Stop Bullying – It Hurts

The basic elements of bullying are:

  • Unequal Power: One person has more power than the other person (or at least it seems that way to the people involved)
  • Hurtful Actions: Physically or psychologically harmful behaviour takes place
  • Direct and Indirect Actions: The behaviour may be face-to-face or behind one’s back
  • Repetitive Behaviour: The hurtful actions keep happening so the person being hurt finds it more and more difficult to escape

Teasing, rough housing or even play fighting are not considered bullying when both students are willing participants.

If a teen is being bullied, you can suggest:

  • “Stay calm and try not to show you are upset. Try to respond to the person bullying you without anger. Anger can make things worse.”
  • “Look the person in the eye and say you don’t like what they are doing.”
  • “As soon as you can, find an adult you trust and tell the adult what happened. It is your right to be safe.”
  • “Stay close to peers you can count on to stick up for you.”
  • “Stay away from places where you know bullying happens.”
  • “If the bullying continues, walk away, join other teens or ask someone else for help.”

If a teen sees someone being bullied, you can suggest:

  • “Speak out and help the person being hurt. Nobody deserves to be bullied. You can help by telling the person who is bullying to stop.”
  • “Comfort the person who was hurt and make it known that what happened was not fair or deserved.”
  • “If this does not work right away or if you are afraid to say or do something on your own, find an adult you trust to help you.”
  • “Help a teen who is being bullied by being a friend. Invite that person to participate in your school activities. This will reduce the feeling of being alone.”

Source: Public Safety Canada