WHAT YOU CAN DO
Tips For Kids
When asked the question: “What threatens your safety and emotional health?” most kids say, teasing and bullying (Kaiser Family Foundation & Children Now, 2001). Yet many adults, even your parents and teachers, may not realize how often you see or experience bullying at school and elsewhere. Often adults don’t see bullying when it happens. And those adults who see it, and do nothing, may not understand that kids can be hurt by bullying.
Kids who are bullied day after day can feel helpless and alone. They may become too scared to report the bullying, fearing that adults won’t believe them. Kids also worry that if the bullies find out they “tattled,” the bullying may get worse. To protect kids who are bullied, parents and all adults must understand what bullying is, how harmful it can be, and the best ways to stop bullying behaviors.
YOU can help Stop Bullying Now! by talking to adults about bullying!
Think about times you have seen bullying happen and write down as much as you can remember using the questions below as a guide.
Where does it take place?
Who does the bullying?
When does it happen?
Remember from the Webisodes how Cassandra had Mimi and Bibi ignore Melanie—sometimes the one behind most of the bullying gets others to do the bullying for them.
Find out how bullying is handled at your school. If you haven’t been bullied but are close to someone who has and is willing to discuss it, talk to him or her about what could have been done differently. Here are some questions you could ask:
Did you tell a parent or teacher?
Did an adult help stop the bullying?
Did any students help you?
What would make you feel safer?
Be a leader by telling adults that you want to lend a hand to stop bullying. Schools with anti-bullying policies often include students in the development of the Bullying Prevention Program. A Youth Expert Panel helped design the Stop Bullying Now! Campaign (see the Tip Sheet, Advice from Our “Tween” and Teen “Experts”).
If there isn’t a policy on bullying in your school, get involved. Share your concerns about bullying with the school principal, teachers, and counselors and express your interest in being involved with preventing bullying in your school.
Señorita Ortega tells a story of how the students, staff, and parents at Cherry Hill Middle School are working to prevent bullying. You could suggest trying some of these ideas at your school.
Talk with adults outside of school who can help stop bullying everywhere. Many adults you know understand the effects of bullying and can help plan ways to keep kids safe whether in or out-of-school. So, ask for their help. Suggest that they visit the Campaign Web site at www.StopBullyingNow.hrsa.gov to learn about bullying and the National Bullying Prevention Campaign.
When you first meet to explain your ideas and tell stories about the bullying you’ve seen or heard about from friends and classmates, bring along the tip sheet that was developed for the adult audience you will be speaking to.
For doctors, nurses and persons in medical & health jobs: Roles for Health and Safety Professionals in Bullying Prevention and Intervention.
For counselors, social workers, and youth mentors: Working with Young People who are Bullied: Tips for Mental Health Professionals, and Working with Young People who Bully Others: Tips for Mental Health Professionals.
For school resource officers, police, and law enforcement officials: Involvement of Law Enforcement Officers in Bullying Prevention.
For after school program directors, youth workers at neighborhood clubhouses & community centers, and with scouting, camping, sports, and other youth programs: Bullying in Out-of-School Time Programs: Tips for Youth-Serving Professionals and Volunteers.
For your minister, rabbi, or other religious leaders, and youth directors & adult volunteers at your church, synagogue, or temple: Faith-Community Responses to Bullying Among Children and Youth.
For elected officials and community leaders with an interest in speaking out on issues of child safety and protection: Community-Based Bullying Prevention: Tips for Community Members.
And, finally, practice what you’ve learned to stop bullying whenever and wherever it happens as shown by Milton, Josh, KB, Melanie, and their friends. To remind you of these lessons, here are Tip Sheets you can use:
What Should I Do If I’m Bullied?
What Can Students and Youth Do To Lend a Hand?