Everyone has the right to be free from bullying. Bullying happens when power and aggression are used to control or cause upset to another person. Bullies use physical, verbal and nonverbal ways of causing that upset. They might intentionally leave people out, gossip, harass or pick on someone, discriminate against others, and cyber-bully.
People who bully often do it because of lessons they’ve learned as children about power and aggression. Often, bullies really don’t like themselves deep down. They get mixed up in thinking that making others feel bad might make them feel better or stronger.
Bullying can make children and youth feel lonely, unhappy and frightened. Warning signs of bullying might be when children and youth don’t seem to like themselves very much. Other signs include missing school, and missing or damaged personal belongings. Sometimes there are physical symptoms like feeling ill, being unusually irritable, quiet or withdrawn. Bullying puts people at risk of having a variety of emotional, behavioural and relationship problems.
Sometimes people who are bullied can feel trapped and need help to stop the bullying. They might make attempts on their own to stop it, but those attempts can sometimes make the bullying worse.
Asking For Help
If you are being bullied, it can feel scary to ask for help. It is the most important thing to do. Adults can help, but sometimes you might have to tell more than one adult before the bullying will stop. Not everyone knows how to help someone who’s being bullied, but there are lots of adults who can help, so don’t give up!
Remember, when no one talks about bullying, bullies feel they can keep bullying without consequence. Secrecy makes bullies stronger!
Schools and community organizations are responsible for creating safe, welcoming and violence-free environments. They can play a key role in helping make solutions happen. Sometimes it can be difficult to stop bullying, but there is help available. With the right people working together to find a solution, bullying can stop. Please visit www.bullyingcanada.ca and www.prevnet.ca for two excellent and well-supported anti-bullying websites.
Shane Koyczan –Brilliant Spoken Work Poet –shares "To This Day" his story of bullying. It will break your heart.