Bullies, Be Gone!

What to do if you’re being bullied
Author: Sarah M. Aldridge, MS

Oh, no! Here comes that mean, angry kid at school. He always bothers me. Some kids say he’s a bully. All I know is that when I see him, I get scared and wish I could hide. What’s a kid like me supposed to do?

What is a bully?

A bully tries to hurt people with words or by hitting, punching or kicking. A bully wants to feel powerful and popular. He wants to prove to the other kids that he gets what he wants. He is sometimes bigger than the kids he picks on. A bully can be a boy or a girl. Sometimes girls who bully say mean things, whisper or tell lies about you that you might not even hear.

Bullies get mad quickly. They get frustrated when things don’t go their way. Lots of times they blame everyone else for their problems. Sometimes they don’t have happy homes. Many bullies have been bullied at home.

Why me?

Bullies pick on people who they think are:

• smaller or weaker

• not popular and don’t have a lot of friends

• quiet and won’t report it

• different

A bully may pick on you if you are smarter than he or she is. Or if you wear glasses, speak another language or have a bleeding disorder. A bully will use anything that makes you different to tease you and put you down.

What to do?

Most schools have rules to protect kids from bullies. Nobody wants to be a tattletale, but a bully can hurt you, especially if you have a bleeding disorder. Being hit could cause a bruise or a bleed.

If you have to face a bully:

• Use words. Tell the bully to stop, but don’t show anger or fear.

• Act brave. Stand tall with your head up and walk away to show you’re not weak.

• Find friends. Keep them with you in the hall or cafeteria, on the bus, or on your walk to and from school.

• Don’t fight back. Stay calm so things don’t get worse.

• Tell an adult. Reporting a bully will help stop him from hurting you and other kids, too.

Standing up for yourself in the right way can help you to say: Bullies, be gone!