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What Should I Do If I’m Bullied?

— Stop Bullying Now! U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HRSA
Updated on May 16, 2011

What is bullying?

Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose. The person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Ususally, bullying happens over and over.

Sometimes bullying is easy to notice, such as with hitting or name calling, and other times it’s hard to see, like with leaving a person out or saying mean things behind someone’s back. Both boys and girls bully, and both boys and girls get bullied. Bullying is not fair, and it hurts.

How to deal with bullying:

  • Tell your parents or other trusted adults. They can help stop the bullying.
  • If you are bullied at school, tell your teacher, school counselor, or principal. Telling is not tattling.
  • Don’t fight back. Don’t try to bully those who bully you.
  • Try not to show anger or fear. Students who bully like to see that they can upset you.
  • Calmly tell the student to stop…or say nothing and then walk away.
  • Use humor, if this is easy for you to do. (For example, if a student makes fun of your clothing, laugh and say, “Yeah, I think this shirt is kind of funny-looking, too.”)
  • Try to avoid situations in which bullying is likely to happen. You might want to
    • Avoid areas of the school where there are not many students or teachers around.
    • Make sure you aren’t alone in the bathroom or locker room.
    • Sit near the front of the bus.
    • Don’t bring expensive things or lots of money to school.
    • Sit with a group of friends at lunch.
    • Take a different route through hallways or walk with friends or a teacher to your classes.
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