“When you bully someone, think of the pain they go through every day. They might not even want to wake up, for they won’t want to go to school and get bullied. Remember, never hurt someone because it amuses you. And if you were bullied and do it now to others to get the pain out of you, it won’t release the pain. Two wrongs do not make a right.” -Joel, 8th Grade Student
October is National Anti-Bullying Month. The information and activities featured today were taken from the Newspapers in Education supplement, “Stand Up To Bullying.” The tab was created to help raise awareness about the harmful effects of bullying and draws from the prevention materials and supports offered by the BullyBust campaign of the National School Climate Center (NSCC). This is part 2.
Why Do People Bully Others?
There are lots of reasons that students bully. For example, students too often see adults being bullies. Sometimes, they think, if they are doing it, I will too! Here are some other common reasons why students bully:
Students sometimes feel the need to bully so they can be accepted by a peer group(especially if others in that group also act as bullies).
When people feel bad about themselves, they sometimes believe bullying others will make them feel stronger or better. It really only makes everyone involved feel worse.
Sometimes people are afraid that if they are not a bully, someone else will bully them. Bullies are often being bullied in other ways by parents or siblings at home, by teachers or by others from their neighborhood and they become a bully to let out their hurt and anger.
What if I am a Bully?
Actually, there are a lot of kids who act as a bully at some point in their life. Usually, this is because there is something that is making them feel bad. We might think that if we are really strong and push people around, it will make us feel better. This is NEVER OK, and pushing people around will only make you and others feel worse. Bullies are not bad people, but they are doing bad things and need help. If you have been a bully, talk to an adult you trust. You might be scared to tell a grown-up that you have been a bully, but most adults will understand and help you figure out a plan to feel better and/or deal with whatever is making you feel bad. If you are not sure whom to trust, see your school’s counselor, principal, nurse or assistant principal. They are often people in school who not only care, but will have specific ideas about how best to deal with these kinds of situations.
Make a list of the top three reasons students are bullied at your school. Share some of the most common reasons as a class, and discuss what students can do to protect each other from bullying. Include ways adults could help as well.
Read the comics in your newspaper and find instances of bullying. Pick one and make a list of the characters and whether they are a bully, a victim or a bystander. Why is the bully character being a bully? What is the victim’s response?
Coming soon on this Newspapers in Education blog: What YOU Can Do to Stop Bullying.