What Can YOU Do?
First of All, What is Bullying?
After you read through and finish this Smore, please keep in mind that you will not be a coward or pegged as weak if you choose to walk away from a bully, because it takes surprising strength to keep your fists at your side, and your head held high when you walk away from a bully or abuser.
When is Teasing/Harassment Bullying?
However, when someone simply calls you a name once, and especially if that person is your friend or you know them well, you can deal with it yourself and it is not bullying.
So What Can You Do to Prevent/Stop Bullying?
Face to Face bullying is much harder to prevent and stop, but if you are a simple on-looker or passerby, you can help out by taking the victim away from the scene and standing up for them; tell the bully that what they are doing is wrong — and even though it's very difficult, keep the biting comments to yourself. As good as telling a bully off feels, it could only fuel the bully to do much worse later.
Lesser-Known Types of Bullying
The Reverse Victim
Sometimes the reason a bully becomes a bully is because they have low self esteem themselves, they just feel like making someone else's life look worse than there's; the main cause of this is because they have been bullied before as well (home-life, past school, etc...); this type can also be confused with standing up for yourself, and often involves the bully getting bullied back.
This type of bullying is not as commonly caught and dealt with as other types, and can be more serious than the other types. This type of bullying can encompass all other types of bullying quite easily, especially since kids don't usually have a good grasp on what is seriously wrong and hurtful compared to jesting and teasing. This type most often includes skin colour, race, wealth/poverty, religion, and even family name.
It may seem appealing to a bully that they are not face-to-face with the person they are bullying. They could text you to remind you that will always have a way of demoralizing you, and this can cause severe anxiety. The other appeal seen with this type of bullying is that it is not a school or work related case; therefore the bully thinks no one can do anything about it.
The Reverse Victim
Ideas that Could Change Things at Van Meter School
Instead of brushing off bullying with a "Boys will be boys," or "Girls will be girls," we could take a different approach. Van Meter School could introduce a policy that does not tolerate threatening teasing and harassing; nip the harassment in the bud — before it becomes bullying! With this policy, though, students who are being bullied also need to pull their weight to make it work, which is where we would like to propose a time frame. Give the victim 2-3 days after the bullying takes place to report it, after that though, you can tell them that it is not in your power to control anymore. Give the victim time to decide whether or not they really want to approach authority about it, but also give school authority a chance to not have to deal with petty things that the victim and 'bully' could figure out themselves.
This way, when the school authority is bothered, they will be able to see that the issue at hand is worth dealing with, instead of sending the victim away to be bullied some more until they involve parents and/or police.
Have gym meetings once or twice a year with the whole student body, where you explain the harm that comes with bullying, and the consequences of being a bully. Gym meetings really work, because after discussing the issues, we are all refreshed and look out for it a lot more. The main issue with bullying is that some people just don't care when they walk by and see it, and we need to change that.
Muscari, Mary. "How Can I Help Teens Who are Victims of Bullying."Medscape Multispecialty. WebMD LLC, 25/10/10. Web. 15 Jan 2014. <http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/579988>
"The Need For Attention." Bullyonline. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan 2014. <http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/attent.htm>
Gordon, Sherri. "6 Types of Bullying." Bullying.about. about.com, n.d. Web. 15 Jan 2014. <http://bullying.about.com/od/Basics/a/6-Types-Of-Bullying.htm>