Bullying Awareness: What Kids Need to Know about Bullies and Their Victims—
Though students might imagine a bully as someone tough and fit who picks on the smaller, weaker kids, the truth is that anyone can be a bully.
Bullies: Who are They
In some cases, a bully might be a popular girl who uses Facebook to harass one of her classmates or a boy who creates a fake online profile to tease an unpopular girl who has a crush on him. A bully might be a young boy who teases another boy for his lack of athleticism or a girl who encourages the class to ignore a student who is new to the school.
Bullying could come from a single person or an entire group of people—and it may be carried out physically or emotionally. Today, it’s more important than ever before for students to be aware of bullying and the lasting, damaging effects it has on those who are victimized.
Bullying happens everywhere, and it happens frequently. Though you might think that the kids in your classroom get along well, the chances are good that at least one of your students is feeling hurt, lonely, or depressed because he or she is left out or mocked by the other kids.
Many teachers and parents, unfortunately, assume that bullying is just a part of life and they encourage their kids to ignore it or toughen up. But for most kids, ignoring the problem and trying not to let it hurt isn’t really an option. A bully can make his or her victim’s life miserable. Under this type of stress, victimized kids may become depressed, harm themselves, or commit suicide.
Types of Bullying
Students should understand that there are a few different types of bullying:
- Physical bullying includes hitting, shoving, or threatening to harm someone. A physical bully may also steal his or her victim’s belongings or somehow ruin the things in another way.
- Verbal bullying includes teasing, name-calling, and abusive words. Verbal bullies insult and demean their victims, often criticizing the victim’s appearance, intelligence, sexual orientation, religion, race, physical capabilities, or social status.
- Relationship bullying often includes spreading a lie or unkind rumor about a victim either in person or online. A relationship bully may also refuse to talk to the victim and encourage other students to ignore him or her. In some cases, relationship bullying occurs when the bully pressures the victim into doing something that he or she does not want to do.
Bullying has gained attention over the past several years because the Internet enables kids to continue harassing their victims outside of school hours. However, whether bullying takes place in person or online, kids need to know that everyone deserves to be respected for his or choices.
Stop Bullying Resources
Bullying Awareness month is coming up in October. Use the thought below as a guide to design a bully-effects awareness campaign in your classroom:
It’s never okay for one person to make another feel unsafe, hurt, or depressed—and it’s up to students, parents, and teachers to work together to stop bullying.
There are many resources available to help support your bully awareness work. Check out the related articles below or do a search online and you’ll learn about resources such as the National Bullying Prevention Center.
Related Resource: 31 Bullying Awareness Writing Prompts for Students