Bullying is not a new term that we’ve just heard about. However, despite its existence for years, it’s been only recently that everyone began to speak out about it, calling out the bullies and asking for increased efforts from all factions of the society to address this plague, in addition to Bullying Quotes that reflect its seriousness.

In this article we will learn together about bullying, its different types, why it’s been around for years and why it’s not stopping any time soon, we will learn some shocking statistics about it, as well as what everyone can do to face it.

What is Bullying? (Bullying Quotes)

Different groups of the society practice bullying, hence the definition is slightly altered to fit each group. In general, bullying is where a person or group of people is frequently aggressive against another person or group of people. The bully is usually considered to be stronger than the victim, which somewhat makes the bullying easier, where the bully uses this advantage.

“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”

Benjamin Disraeli

Traditionally, a bully was seen as someone using their larger physique in terrorizing the victim. However, bullying also applies to the case of using social status and social power as a means of threat to the victim. These prerequisites are what make bullying different from conflict.

The Different Types of Bullying

There are different names or types of bullying, depending on certain traits in both the bully and the victim, these are the different types:

1.    Individual Bullying:

Also known as one-on-one bullying, where it is exercised by one person against another person or even a group of people, and this individual bullying is also divided into four categories as follows:

1.    Physical Bullying:

This includes many actions that lead to or cause physical damage to the victim, their belongings or even loved ones. Examples of physical bullying include hitting, shoving, fighting, stealing and destroying the victim’s belongings on purpose.

Physical bullying is mainly dependent on the bully using their body, or a part of it, to hurt the victim. However, physical bullying is usually a later stage that comes after verbal bullying, as a means of intimidating the victim.

This type of bullying is often seen in what’s called “peer abuse”, where the bully or group of bullies target a fellow student and begin to harass him. Physical bullying used to be most common among adolescents, both girls and boys and that’s when it’s mostly dangerous, due to the physical and hormonal fluctuations of that period.

Sadly, peer abuse is not only common among youngsters; abuse in the workplace can also take the form of physical bullying, again after beginning with another form of bullying first. Either ways, peer abuse in the work place is equally dangerous, if not more dangerous. Where adults choose to act aggressively against their peers, while they’re supposed to have grown past these immature behaviours.

Many statistics show that physical bullying unfortunately leads to tragic endings, if not stopped and the bully receives the proper punishment as well as rehabilitative therapy. On the other hand, it can take years for the victims to recover from the abuse they were subjected to.

2.    Verbal Bullying:

Verbal bullying is the most common type of bullying, since it doesn’t involve the use of anything other than the voice or speaking. It is also considered the stage preceding physical bullying, relational bullying as well as collective bullying. This type of bullying seems to be the easiest one to fall into, yet it’s as dangerous as physical bullying.

Many actions are listed under verbal bullying, such as talking to someone in an aggressive manner such as yelling, unjustifiable rude talking to someone, spreading rumours about the victim, threatening them, making fun of the way someone talks or mocking them, calling and nicknaming the victim with derogatory names, insulting the victim and laughing at them.

Verbal bullying is more common among girls than it is among boys. This is mainly because girls resort to verbal bullying than physical bullying, to avoid the problems that come with it; they don’t want to get their hands dirty. In addition to that girls know how to control verbal insult more than boys.

Nevertheless, there are some rare instances where boys would like to establish their superiority and dominance as well through using verbal bullying, when they can control verbal insults as well and would like to avoid the consequences of physical bullying.

Verbal bullying is widespread among all levels of the society, can happen anywhere, in any of its forms and between different people from different age groups.

“Bullying is so common that it’s viewed as almost ‘normal,’ but it should never be.”

Choi Si-won

3.    Relational Bullying:

This type of bullying is based upon the use of relationships to hurt others, and can at times include some techniques from both verbal and physical bullying. It is where the bully uses their relationships with others to alienate or control the victim. They can also use it to raise their social status or destroy that of the victim.

Relational bullying is very difficult to uncover, since it can go on for years, without any obvious evidence over any of the other types of bullying. The only obvious behaviour would be leaving the victim out of any gatherings, social activities or important activities for example. These are common methods normally used by girls to make their victim feel left out and destroy their social life.

4.    Cyberbullying:

This is one of the ugly faces of technology; hiding behind a screen, someone uses the internet to harass, threat, target another person or embarrass them. Cyberbullying has become like an infestation among students, with the increased use of social networks such as Facebook for example.

If the bullying party is an adult, cyberbullying is then called cyberstalking or cyber-harassment, and this is a crime that’s punishable by law and can even lead to jail time. The screen behind which the bullies are hiding, gives them a “fake” sense of security which is gradually becoming punishable under the rule in the recent years.

Cyberbullying can be carried out using different ways of cyber communications, such as emails, social media websites, text messages and mobile phones. Research shows that the increased involvement of technology in the past years, it’s led to cyberbullying being common among secondary schools or high school students than other educational stages.

“We need to start identifying the triggers that aggravate mental health issues in our society – bullying, social media negativity and anxiety, gender based violence, substance abuse, stigma around issues such as maternal issues, etc., and we need to speak up about these more and get to the source of the problems.”

Sanam Saeed

2.    Collective Bullying:

This is group bullying, where a group of bullies targets one person or a group of people with their behaviour. Collective bullying can include any of the previous bullying behaviours, even if you don’t notice it’s done by a group. An example of this would be trolling others on social media websites, the activity seems from the surface that it’s the work of one person, when in fact it falls under organised or collective behaviour.

When a group of bullies target only one person, this behaviour is then known as Mobbing. This can be in any environment such as in the workplace, among family, friends, peer group, school or even the entire community. The bullies aim to cause the victim discomfort and even drive them out of the shared environment. Such behaviour can come out as emotional abuse, humiliation, isolation and even nonsexual harassment.

Reasons Behind Bullying

It’s fairly common that people think the reason behind bullying is a certain characteristic of the victim, which provokes the bully to highlight and focus on. A study conducted by Ditch the Label, proves this fact to be completely false. After asking over 7,000 participants questions about bullying, including their own definition of the act, whether or not they bullied someone before, followed by personal questions to pin point the reasons why people bully others.

The study had staggering results, where 14% of the participants had once bullied someone before in their life. In the end, the study concluded that the real reasons behind bullying are never about the victim and they’re not about a distinguishing characteristic or trait in the victim.

The following reasons are the ones Ditch the Label concluded to be behind why people bully others:

1.    Trauma and Stress:

According to the data collected by Ditch the Label through their study, more than the average number of people who bully others, have gone through a traumatic experience in the five-year period preceding the study. Such a trauma could be the splitting of the person’s parents, the death of a loved one or even an experience as simple as a new brother or sister.

A trauma causes stress and there are two different ways of dealing with stress. The positive way is through practicing meditation, getting involved in more activities and filling one’s time with good deeds. The negative way is by taking it out on others through bullying, drug or alcohol abuse and violence.

While the negative way doesn’t get to the root of the problem and solve it, merely masking it for some time as it becomes worse. The problem is that many people who resort to this negative way because they don’t know how to cope with stress or handle trauma. Resorting to bullying others becomes their way of adjusting.

“The people who are bullying you, they’re insecure about who they are, and that’s why they’re bullying you. It never has to do with the person they’re bullying. They desperately want to be loved and be accepted, and they go out of their way to make people feel unaccepted so that they’re not alone.”

Madelaine Petsch

2.    Aggressive Behaviour:

Sixty-six percent of the participants in the Ditch the Label study who admitted to having bullied someone else were male, which requires a deeper look. Looking at the difference in the ways boys and girls are raised up, we can see why. While girls are always encouraged to speak about their feelings, boys are always told to man up or grow up, using the old “No man cries” way of parenting.

In real life, boys are brought up with not much tools to cope up with any problems or anything that might affect them. So, they use bullying as a means of letting off steam. This is why boys are more likely to physically attack someone. Unfortunately, such a way of upbringing ruins the boy’s life, since he’s not born with such a dysfunctional behaviour, rather it’s a way he was brought up with based on gender bias.

3.    Low Self-Esteem:

There are many reasons why a bully can have low self-esteem. It can be the way they were raised at home, with parents who didn’t teach how to appreciate who they truly are and love themselves. Or they were affected by the fake standards society has set for beauty and appearance.

When the person who bullies others looks at themselves in the mirror, they don’t like what they see. So, as a way of deriving away the negative attention directed their way, they bully others as a way of shifting attention towards the victim.

4.    Bully-Victim:

The people who have once been bullied, are found by the Ditch the Label study to be twice more likely to bully others. Whether these people were once bullied as children or were still getting bullied at the time of the study. These bully-victims who’ve become bullies themselves, see bullying others as some sort of a defence mechanism, as if it will make them immune. While all this does, is drag them into the vicious circle of bully and victim.

5.    Life is Difficult at Home:

According to the study, there were four home life situations usually experienced by 1 out of 3 of the people who admitted to be bullying others on a daily basis. These situations being: their parents or guardians didn’t have enough time to spend with them, they came from a large family with little attention for anyone or they didn’t live with their biological parents.

“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”

Virginia Satir

The fourth situation is the one most likely to create bullies, which is these people were rejected at home, from the same people who were supposed to have loved them unconditionally. Such a rejection can manifest in being busy in arguments and fights or even were subjected to violence.

6.    Relationships:

It’s easier for the people who bully others are more likely to feel insecure in their relationships, whether friendships, family or loved ones. This stems from the feeling the bully gets that in order to keep the relationship going, they must act in a certain way, like being told what to do, which they don’t like. They are also more likely to feel pressured by their peers to act in a certain way, or that the people in their life don’t truly support them.

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

Walter Winchell

7.    Access to Education:

Education is imperative in developing how the new generations think, it provides them with awareness regarding how to deal with others and how to behave. Without access to education, one might not be able to know that speaking about someone in a derogatory way is not acceptable or that there are many acts and behaviours labeled as hate speech, that they should stay away from.

Signs of Bullying

Not all children ask for help when they are dealing with bullying, whether they are the victims or are the ones doing the bullying. Some children don’t even know they can ask for help and prefer to handle matters themselves, or they don’t know how to ask for help. This is why it’s important to attempt to talk to the children if they exhibit any signs of bullying.

Signs of Bullying can be divided into these two categories:

Signs of Being Bullied:

  1. Unexplained injuries.
  2. Destroyed electronics or belongings.
  3. Feeling sick or experiencing headaches or stomachaches.
  4. Faking illness.
  5. Avoiding school.
  6. Changes in eating behaviour such eating disorders.
  7. Increasing nightmares at night and sleeping disorders.
  8. Declining academic performance and declining grades.
  9. Avoiding social gatherings such as avoiding friends and close family or losing friends.
  10. Decreasing self-esteem.
  11. Self-harming behaviour such as cutting or talking about suicide.

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Suicide is a choice and I think if we work with that with kids, we’ll get somewhere.”

Peter Lynch

You need to know that not all children experiencing bullying show any signs, this is why keeping the door open for them to talk to you about matters they’re facing is irreplaceable.

Signs of Bullying Others:

  1. Getting into physical or verbal fights regularly.
  2. Having friends who bully other people.
  3. Gets increasingly aggressive.
  4. Gets detention or sent to the school principal’s office often.
  5. In possession of unexplained money or belongings.
  6. Blaming others for their own problems.
  7. Refuses to be held responsible for their actions.
  8. Worry about their popularity at school or competitive when it comes to reputation and popularity at school.

These signs are not necessarily an indication that a child is bullying others, but they are an indication of a disturbing behaviour adopted by the child.

Effects of Bullying

Bullying has fatal effects on everyone involved in the situation, the victim, the bystanders and even the bully. Recent studies have linked bullying to many mental health problems suffered by students, regardless of where they stand from the bullying situation. In this regard, keeping an open conversation with the students is vital, for them to voice any concerns they might have regarding bullying.

“We all lose when bullying and personal attacks become a substitute for genuine conversation and principled disagreement.”

Alicia Garza

These are the effects of bullying on everyone involved:

1.    For the Bully:

In addition to the fact that many students who bully others, are likely dealing with a difficult situation in their life outside school or even are being bullied themselves in their homes, if not offered proper help, bullying can continue with them into their adult life and they can go onto bullying others in their workplace after school.

Bullies are more likely to resort to substance abuse, whether drugs or alcohol, drop out of school, get into fights, resort to violence and get convicted, as well as being abusive towards their families. Teaching a person who bullies others a productive way of coping with a difficult situation will have a great impact on them.

2.    For the victim:

The effects of bullying on the victim range between mental, physical, emotional and academic effects. Such effects include depression, changes in the emotional state such as leaning towards loneliness and solitude, eating and sleeping disorders and losing interest in their favourite hobbies or interests. Some bullying victims experience a drop in their academic achievements and might suffer from health problem like headaches, stomachaches and problems with digestion.

Studies showed that a small fraction of bullying victims will retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of the 15 cases of school shootings that took place in the 1990s, it turned out the shooter was a victim of bullying.

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

Mother Teresa

Suicide is often linked with bullying, and is treated as one of its main effects on the victim. However, many studies found that while bullying can give power to suicidal thoughts, it’s never the sole reason behind the act itself. There’s often at least one auxiliary situation the victim is going through that, together with bullying, can lead them to committing suicide. The lack of support from loved ones is one of the most popular auxiliary situations.

3.    For the bystanders:

Not much attention is given to the effects of bullying on the bystanders. However, those who witness bullying are subconsciously affected by it, and somehow become more accepting of violence over time. Bystanders were found to be more likely to substance abuse, skip school and even have mental health problems such as depression and or anxiety.

“There isn’t anybody out there who doesn’t have a mental health issue, whether it’s depression, anxiety, or how to cope with relationships. Having OCD is not an embarrassment anymore – for me. Just know that there is help and your life could be better if you go out and seek the help.”

Howie Mandel

Bullying must be dealt with seriously
Bullying must be dealt with seriously

Popular Myths about Bullying

One might not think there are myths related to something as serious as bullying. However, there are many things people say to those who’ve been victims of bullying, that don’t help them at all, rather exaggerate the feelings they’re experiencing. This is why it’s important for adults, parents, teachers and anyone who works in a field with direct contact with students, to be educated about how to handle a bullying situation and how to help a student who seeks their help.

Here are some of the lines that add insult to injury, and must be avoided:

1.    “Learn to stand up to the bullies”:

When a student seeks your help regarding a bullying situation they’ve been through, it means they could no longer handle the situation themselves. It’s in fact a very wise decision to seek the help of an adult, rather than using physical force to retaliate to the bully, for example. Opt out of advising the student who comes to you about a bullying situation to deal with the situation themselves, rather work together to figure a better solution, preferably using the school’s anti-bullying policy.

2.    “Stand up for yourself and hit back when you’re bullied”:

This is a dangerous piece of advice because in many bullying situations, the bully is usually physically bigger than the victim, which will lead to the victim’s injury if they choose to hit back. When dealing with a bullying situation, schools anti-bullying policies will be applied to all parties involved in the situation. Which means, that if your child had hit back when they were being bullied, they will most likely get punished for their role in the situation.

Instead of encouraging your child to hit back themselves, encourage them to seek the help of a responsible adult in school.

3.    “Sticks and stones will break your bones, words won’t”:

These words seem to have out of a TV show, not something that relates to real life. Broken bones will heal over time, however, a broken soul or self-esteem will last a lifetime if not worked through with proper help, possibly with the help of a therapist. Bullying has been proven have serious emotional, psychological and physical consequences.

4.    “Bullying is a must-go-through stage, we went through it and we are fine”:

Bullying is not a stage, it’s something that will grow up with all the parties involved. If the bully and the victim are not offered proper help during this stage, they are likely to go on in life keeping the same roles. The bully will grow up to bully their work colleagues, and the victim will observe the entire world as conspiring against them.

Any form of bullying is a dangerous and unacceptable behaviour, no matter the environment it takes place in, and if not dealt with properly, will have long lasting effects on everyone involved.

5.    “The best way to deal with a bully, is to punish them”:

Research and studies about those who bully others, uncovered that many of them have problems in their lives that they can’t deal with, so they use bullying as a coping mechanism. While it’s imperative that the perpetrator get their punishment for bullying others, it’s equally important to offer that person the help they need.

The act of bullying others can be a disguised cry for help, so while considering punishment for their bullying actions, consider offering them a safe harbour to speak.

Bullying Statistics

There are many aspects to take into consideration when conducting statistics about bullying, some are regarding the rates of occurrence, effects of the bullying, bullying on students and students of disabilities and students being bullied for their race. There are also statistics tying bullying with suicide, those about intervention and even statistics about the bystanders.

Here are the latest bullying statistics in all these different areas:

1. Over 20% of students, meaning 1 in every 5 students was subjected to bullying.

2. Twenty-four percent of female students reported being bullied at school, while it was 17% for male students.

3. Both male and female students reported being subjected to different types of bullying. Six percent of male students reported they were victims of physical bullying, in comparison to 4% for female students. Eighteen percent of female students said rumours were spread about them, in comparison to only 9% of male students. Also 7% of female students said they were purposely excluded from activities, while only 4% of male students said the same.

4. Forty-one percent of students who said they were bullied at school, said their fear it would happen again.

5. These students who were bullied at school, were subjected to different forms of bullying. Thirteen percent said they were insulted, called names and made fun of. Thirteen percent were the subject of false rumours. Those who were shoved, pushed, spat on or tripped were 5% and another 5% of were purposely excluded from activities.

 6. Bullied students reported different places where the bullying took place, school stairwell or hallway was 43%, forty-two percent said they were bullied inside the classroom, while 27% and 22% said they were bullied in the cafeteria and on the school ground outside, respectively. Fifteen percent stated they were cyberbullied through text messages and online, 12% were bullied in the lockers or bathroom, while 8% said they were bullied on the school bus.

7. Forty-six of the bullied students said they reported the incident to an adult at school.

8. In recent years, there have been several programs adopted in schools with the aim of preventing bullying, these programs helped in decreasing bullying by 25%.

9. Most students stated the reason behind bullying was one of these: appearance, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability and sexual orientation.

10. The federal government in the US began to collect data about bullying at schools back in 2005, back then the rate of school bullying was 28%.

11. Around 50% of tweens, ages between 8 and 12 years old, said they were bullied at school.

12. Thirteen percent of tweens said they reported being bullied at school and online.

 13. Bullying results in many problems for students, including trouble sleeping, learning, anxiety, depression, low academic achievement and can even lead them to drop out of school.

14. Students engaging in bullying as well as being bullying victims are at more risk of having behavioural and mental health problems, more than students who are only either bullied or bully others.

15. Twenty-seven percent of students who’ve been bullied said that bullying affected how they see themselves about how they feel. While those who said that bullying had a negative effect on their relationship with their family and friends were 19%, followed by 19% who said it affected their school work and 14% said bullying affected their physical health.

16. Bullied students are twice more likely to have physical effects such as headaches and stomachaches than their peers who weren’t bullied.

17. Unfortunately, some students and youths, especially if they were repeatedly bullied, blame themselves and think they deserved the bullying. These students are more vulnerable to negative outcomes and thoughts such as depression, maladjustment and prolonged victimization.

18. Research shows that students with learning difficulties or special needs or with disabilities were worried about their safety when being at school, in comparison to other students without such needs.

19. Even when studying bullying reports by students of disabilities or special needs, different groups of them suffered differently. It was found that students who have emotional or behavioural disorders received 35.3% of bullying, almost 40% of bullying was directed at students with autism, more than 24% of bullying was directed at students who had intellectual disabilities, while more than 20% of students who had health impairments were bullied. Nineteen percent of students who have special learning disabilities face a high level of bullying victimization.

20. In the event of reporting bullying in special education, the students were asked not to talk too much, two times more than students who aren’t in special education.

21. There were several successful methods that helped to lower bullying levels against students with disabilities, such as creating appropriate social interaction programs to promote positive interactions, and schools adopting the proper intervention strategies to increase social and societal awareness regarding the issue, as well as creating custom intervention tactics depending on the targeted student.

22. Twenty-three percent of African American students report they were bullied at school. While 23% of Caucasian students reported getting bullied at school, 16% Hispanic students and 7% for Asian students.

23. There was biased bullying from schools reported by more than one third of adolescents who were reporting bullying.

24. Bullying at schools that’s targeted towards the race of the victim, has been strongly tied to both, negative emotional emotions and physical health problems.

25. Biased bullying has stronger and deeper effects on the emotional and physical health of the victims, than regular bullying.

26. Even though there’s a proven relationship between bully and suicide, it’s also proven that there are several other factors that deepen this relationship. Such factors are like depression, substance abuse and violent behaviour.

27. Studies have found that normalising suicide to be the direct outcome of getting bullied, will have adverse outcomes, in increasing the number of students attempting it. It’s important to recognise other factors complicating the process in order to make it easier to help the victims properly.

28. Both students who’ve reported being bullied frequently, and students who report bullying others frequently, are at a higher risk of suicidal behaviour.

29. Students who are victims of bullying, peer victimisation to be exact, were found to be more than two times more prone to suicidal behvaiour and thougts, and they were also found to be 2.6 times more they might attempt suicide.

30. Both students who bully others or are bullied, were found to be more vulnerable to negative outcomes.

31. Youth who’ve been victims of bullying reported that receiving support from others had a positive impact on them.

“Our teachers made such a difference – all my teachers and professors were very supportive and nurturing.”

Katherine Johnson

32. It was found that tactics aiming to change the behaviour of the bully, such as fighting with them, asking them to stop or get back at them, were found to make the situation worse and increase the bullying.

33. There were many things done by teachers which students saw as effective in helping a bullying victim, such as listening to them, regularly checking back on them and offering them advice.

34. On the other side, there were many things reported by students, that teachers do that could make things worse for them. These are such as telling the bullied student to solve the problem himself, blaming the victim for the bullying and that it wouldn’t have happened if he or she acted in a different way, asking the student to quit tattling or asking him not to talk of the entire problem altogether.

35. There are many negative self-actions done by the victims which make things worse. The worst of them being walking away, asking the person to stop, speaking about how they feel or have to pretend the entire bullying didn’t bother them. Sadly, these are self-harming actions that are adopted by many youth and many people advise the bullied youth to follow them as well.

36. While getting bullied can have major negative emotional impact on students, studies show that even watching and observing someone getting bullied, can have the same negative impact on those students.

37. The positive or negative attitude of bystanders’, those standing watching someone getting bullied, was strongly tied to those people’s beliefs regarding social self-efficacy. Such as in the case if someone believed they could make an actual difference, they would intervene to stop the bullying.

38. Bullied students said there are many helping actions taken by their peers that greatly helped them, such as spending time with them, talking to them and helping them to get away as well as giving them advice. They also said these are the most helpful actions from bystanders.

39. Bullied students are more likely to be better responsive to peer actions and can find them very helpful to them, more than those of the educator or even self-actions.

40. There were several reported strategies which bullied students reported were most helpful from bystanders. Fifty-four percent said it was spending time with them, 51% said it was talking to them, 49% said it was helping them get away, 47% said it was calling to check on them, 46% said it was giving them advice, 44% said it was helping them to tell others, 43% said it was distracting them, 41% said they listened to them, 35% said it was telling an adult while 29% said it was confronting the bully and asking them to stop.

41. Students who witnessed bullying behaviour, even if they didn’t take part in it, are more likely to feel helpless and feel disconnected and feel they’re less supported by adults, than students who haven’t witnessed bullying behaviour.

42. Two-thirds of tweens were found to be ready to step in and help the bullied student as well as defend them, whether it happens at school or even online.

43. There are many reasons why tweens might fear stepping in as well, such as not knowing what to say or do, fearing making things worse, fear that other kids might make fun of them, fear of getting hurt, not knowing whom to tell or how to report the bullying if it took place online.

How to Stop Bullying?

1.    Be aware and see the signs:

It’s important to know the signs of bullying and be aware of it when it happens; parents as well as teachers must pay attention to these signs and act right away when recognizing them. There are many signs of bullying, some of the most common are eating disorders, refusal to go to school, unexplained injuries, anxiety, self-harm, avoiding social gatherings, favourite activities and preferring loneliness and isolation.

The significance of looking for the signs is that many students who are being bullied, try hard to hide the effects of the bullying on them. So, parents and teachers need to keep an open conversation with the students and let them know they can come to them for anything.

2.    Don’t ignore the problem:

Right now, bullying takes place in every elementary, middle and high school in the US, every day. The emotional, psychological and physical effects of bullying surpass the victim onto the bystanders as well. In another sense, bullying is never harmless, its effects are immediate and last for long times.

This is why it’s important to take any threat felt by any student seriously, even if it were mere joking or teasing. Make sure to comfort the student who’s been bullied and let them know that you will take care of the incident and it won’t happen again.

3.    It’s important to act immediately:

There are many dangerous means of thinking when it comes to kids bullying other kids, such as “Kids will always be kids” or dismissing the entire issue as not being a problem. It’s important if you’ve discovered that a student or child is getting bullied, that you take the problem as seriously as possible and take an action immediately.

Because bullying has lifetime effects on anyone, especially kids, it is a serious problem. If you’re uncertain whether or not a certain student is getting bullied, you can open a conversation with the students regarding acceptable behaviour at school, mutual respect and most importantly, not to forget to mention the school’s anti-bullying policy and action plan.

4.    Step in, but do not get involved:

It’s proven that setting a proper example is the best way for kids to follow any behaviour. So, if you witness a situation where someone is getting bullied, don’t start lecturing the students or arguing with them. Instead, be a role model. In the event of physical bullying, first make sure that no one got hurt, disperse all the bystanders then take the parties involved in the bullying, both the bully and the victim to a quiet place to talk.

“Bullying is killing our kids. Being different is killing our kids and the kids who are bullying are dying inside. We have to save our kids whether they are bullied or they are bullying. They are all in pain.”

Cat Cora

5.    Separate everyone first, sort things out later:

When there’s a bullying incident, you need to separate all the parties involved before trying to get to the root of the problem or understanding what happened. Ensuring that every student, witness or bystander, can tell you what happened from their own perspective, makes sure they aren’t influenced by other students or what they might say.

6.    Give it time:

School anti-bullying policies have been put for a reason; strict handling of bullying situations. It might seem heroic to try and resolve the whole situation right there on the spot, shunning the bully, making them apologize, is a form of forcing the victim to accept the apology and make up with the bully. This course of action gives more power to the bully and reinforces the fear others feel towards them.

When a bullying situation takes place, make sure that you’re handling the situation according to the school’s anti-bullying policy, with the special authorities involved, to ensure the situation doesn’t happen again. Any other way will not have the same authoritative effect and won’t probably make the other students feel safe from the bully again.

7.    Bystanders play an important role:

It’s imperative to clarify to students what their role in stopping bullying is, and what consequences there are to encouraging a bully. Students must be encouraged to be responsible and stop or report bullying when it happens. As a bystander, watching someone get bullied and doing nothing, the student should be held accountable. This includes any form of bullying, whether individual, verbal, physical or collective.

8.    Take time to pass judgment:

Another important benefit of separating all parties involved in the bullying, is you get to know and understand the entire story. In many cases, it turns out that the person doing the bullying, is in fact a bullying-victim who is only retaliating to the other person’s bullying. You might be surprised that in many cases, it was proven that the person calling for help, turned out to be the actual bully, not the real victim.

There are many cases as well where the bullying took place as a result of emotional, psychological or even a medical condition. This is why it’s important to take time to hear all sides of the story before making a judgment.

9.    If professional help is needed, do not hesitate:

It’s okay to not know what to do, or what advice to give the parties involved in a bullying incident. This is one of the situations where it’s better to seek professional or expert help, rather than giving the wrong piece of advice. If you’re unsure what to say or do, please seek a professional. There are many people whom you can refer the students to, such as the school principal, the school counselor, the school psychologist, a nurse, social worker or even a law enforcement person.

10. Get proper training:

People who work or deal with a professional or academic capacity with students, need to have the proper training to handle bullying situations. Whether you are a teacher, counselor, principal, advisor, or anyone who deal with students on a daily basis, it’s imperative you have such training and knowledge.

What can I do if I am, or someone I know, is being bullied?

When bullying is taking place in real life, there are several things to do or steps to follow in order to distance yourself from the situation, as well as handling it. Here’s what you can do if you’re getting bullied or witnessed someone getting bullied and would like to help:

1. Try to stay calm.

2. Don’t let any hurtful words get to you.

3. Ask the bully to stop.

4. Don’t say anything and get away from the situation, even run if you need to.

5. Tell someone you trust about the situation, whether a parent, a teacher, mentor or even a therapist.

“A mentor is someone with a willingness to help others, who has a capacity to inspire, a determination to work hard, a clear sense of vision, an inspiring purpose, a deep sense of integrity and an appreciation for joy.”

Kerry Kennedy

6. Avoid places where bullying might take places, in the neighborhood or at school.

7. Safety in numbers so keep around your friends or surrounded by people at all times.

8. Focus on spending more time with the people who love you and make you feel good about yourself, not put you down.

9. Avoid retaliation so you wouldn’t become a bully yourself.

10. Let the adults in your life know that what you’re going through is important.

11. If you start feeling depressed, avoid your close friends and family and suffering from anxiety, seek professional help.

12. If you feel unsafe, seek the help of an adult.

If someone you know is getting bullied, be a good friend and let them know you’re always there for them. Try to advise your friend that things will get better when they seek help from an adult or a professional. Be sure to listen and take care of them.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

Dalai Lama

What if I am the Bully?

When speaking about bullying, the spotlight is often on the victim and how to help them recover. It’s not often that people speak about how to help the bully. The person bullying other people is showing bad behaviour; bullying is merely a behaviour they’re exhibiting, but it’s not who they truly are.

The Ditch the Label study, mentioned before, found that one in two people bullied someone in their life, at least once. Since no one is born a bully, experts have put together 7 important and practical steps to follow, in order to help the person bullying others, to stop exhibiting such behaviour.

“The harassment and the bullying that students face is a learned behavior.”

Sarah McBride

These steps are as follows:

1.    You’re Not a Bully:

Being a bully is a certain behaviour you’re exhibiting, but it’s not your identity or who you are. You’ve got to stop telling or labeling yourself as a bully and to stop repeating such a label to yourself. This behaviour you’re exhibiting; bullying someone else is due to something that is pushing you to act in such a way.

2.    It’s Important to Understand Why:

There are many reasons why people might bully others, but the most common reason is that the person bullying other people is using this behaviour as a way of coping with a stressful situation they’re facing, which means that bullying is a behaviour you learn, not something you’re naturally born with. The situation might vary between many things, it could be a traumatic event, loss of someone, being bullied themselves or even abuse.

Another common reason for bullying others is the feeling of competitiveness between the person doing the bullying and the victim. This competitiveness might not necessarily be academic, it might even be about popularity or that the bully doesn’t understand something about the victim and this lack of knowledge is upsetting.

It’s important to understand why you’re bullying other people, because that’s the first step to be able to resolve that problem or situation, in a way that is not hurtful to you or others.

3.    Try to Resolve the Situation:

When you’ve figured out what is deriving you to bully other people, you can then seek a solution to this situation. You don’t have to do this on your own, you can speak to an adult, a parent, a teacher, a counselor or even seek the help of a therapist, so they’d also help you and let you know you’re not alone and you deserve as much support as the victim.

“Proper love should be utterly supportive and comfortable, and it feels like a raincoat or a jacket potato.”

Olivia Colman

4.    Manage Your Stress:

Stress is consistent in the lives of the young and adults, and it’s imperative to find a productive and positive way through which this stress can be handled. When stress builds up inside you, it will fester and soon you won’t be able to control it. However, relieving stress in a productive way will help you keep your mental health in check and will also make you feel good.

5.    Talk About It:

Sitting down with someone you trust and talking about the things that are bothering you, will help you more than you think. The proverb goes “A problem carried by two, becomes lighter”. It doesn’t matter whom you choose to talk to, but you must trust them enough to help you through what you’re dealing with and be with you every step of the way.

6.    Is Bullying a Good Strategy for Coping:

Using bullying as a coping mechanism to deal with a certain situation will never solve that situation. On the contrary, things will get worse for you and the victim as well. You need to understand that the fake feeling of victory that you get after bullying something, will fade away and the problem or situation you’re running from, will still be there at the end of the day.

7.    Understand the Impact of Bullying:

You don’t see how the bullying act can affect the person you’re bullying. Studies have shown that 3 out of each 10 people who’ve been bullied, are likely to harm themselves, at least one will attempt suicide and fail and one will go on to developing an eating disorder. Down the road, bullying will affect the academic path of the victim, as their grades will lower and it could ruin their academic prospects as well.

These steps are merely the beginning of the way to help better handle stressful situations and relieve any built-up stress inside you. All for the sake of a better life for you and the victim. Combating bullying is a never-ending job that needs all hands on deck to protect our children and youth.