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What’s bullying? Types of bullying Cyberbullying When adults are bullies Why do people bully? Learn to be more bully-proof Dealing with bullies Getting help from others Ban the bullying Quiz Find out more


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Cyberbullying Cyberbullying is when someone uses the Internet, mobile phones or other interactive and digital technologies to insult, threaten, spread rumours about or upset someone. Most of us use these types of technology  Instead of looking forward to opening every day, but when bullies misuse up their computer or mobile, cyberbullying can make people terrified of opening up them, they can be very harmful. their messages or hearing the phone ring.

What’s different about cyberbullying? Just like other forms of bullying, cyberbullying can be a one-off thing, like someone distributing a photo to humiliate a target, or it can happen over weeks or months. But, in the past, targets of bullying at school could at least feel safe when they got home. With cyberbullying, bullies can reach their targets 24 hours a day and seven days a week – as soon as victims switch on their mobile, computer or game. Cyberbullying follows victims wherever they go.

Did You Know? Information circulates at high speed in the digital world. This means that bullies can spread their lies, embarrassing photos or mean rumours very quickly if they want to. With the click of a button, they can also make sure it reaches a very wide audience immediately, too. The number of bystanders in the cyber world can reach into the millions.

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Anonymous attacks

The other difference between cyberbullying and most other forms of bullying is that the bullies are not face to face with their targets. A bully can use false screen names and fake identities or hide their number so they can send offensive messages or upload upsetting material anonymously. There are three problems with this. One is that this makes it difficult, though not impossible, to trace the bully. The second problem is that when a bully feels confident they won’t get caught they often get even nastier. They may do or say things that they would not normally do in public.

There have been examples of bullies who call someone names in a playground extending this to sending death threats when contacting their victim online or by mobile. The third problem is that the victim is left wondering who the cyberbully is. This can cause a great deal of stress, for example if they have to go to school wondering that anyone they meet could be the person who has threatened them anonymously the night before.

YOU CAN DO IT! Cyberbullies think they can be anonymous, but each time someone sends an electronic message, it leaves an electronic trail that can often be traced back to the sender. Also, all activity that takes place in cyberspace is printable so victims can save and print offensive messages as proof of what is taking place.

 Some people who would never bully other people in real life, turn into cyberbullies online. Perhaps it’s because they can’t see the impact they are having on people or because they think they can hide behind a cloak of anonymity.

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When adults are bullies Most of the bullying that happens to young people is done by other young people, but sometimes adults can be bullies. For example, while the vast majority of teachers and coaches who work with young people in schools and sports clubs are caring and kind, a few are bullies.  When teachers bully, it can suggest to other young people that this is an acceptable way to behave. It isn’t.

Teacher troubles

When a teacher is a bully, they use their position of power to criticise, punish or embarrass a pupil in unreasonable ways. For example, they may insult a pupil or hurt their feelings by making nasty comments about them, their appearance, background, personality or schoolwork. They might try to embarrass or humiliate them in front of classmates, give them low marks unfairly or even threaten to hit them. If you feel that a teacher is bullying you, it’s a very serious issue and one you need to sort out.

Top Tip! It’s not bullying if a teacher criticises you or your work fairly or gives you extra homework or a detention after you have done something wrong. These things might upset or anger you but discipline and constructive criticism are important parts of school life and you just have to accept them.

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Tackling teachers

Bullying is wrong whatever the age of the person who is bullying you. If you’re feeling threatened or intimidated by a teacher, you need to talk to your parents or another teacher you trust. Many students are worried about reporting a teacher, or any other adult in a position of authority, because they fear it could lead to more bullying by that teacher, or another punishment like low grades or missing out on special club activities.  It’s your teacher’s job to look after you. You have a right not to be made to feel stupid, be called names or punished unfairly. Talk to your parents or an adult you trust so you can get it sorted out.

Asking for help If you’re worried, ask your parents to introduce the topic with your teacher in a roundabout way. For example, they could meet him or her and say: ‘I’m worried. My son seems afraid of coming to class. Do you know what’s going on? Is someone in class bullying him?’ Hopefully the teacher will realise what they have been doing is wrong and stop. If the situation doesn’t improve, you and your parents have to take it further, to the head teacher, and even to the education authority if necessary.


Did You Know? Adults can bully other adults, too. Bullying happens in the places where adults work, such as offices and factories.

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Parents who bully It may seem strange to think that parents can be bullies, but they can be. Some parents enforce rules with too heavy a hand and others constantly belittle their children. Parents are only human and make mistakes, but some behave in ways that are totally out of order.

Hurting at home

Some parent bullies regularly insult or hurt their children, or use threats of violence like : ‘Sit down before I slap you’ to make them do as they are told. No form of discipline should be nasty or violent and treating people like this can make them feel scared and very lonely.

Other parents don’t mean to bully. They think they are motivating you when they say things that upset you, like teasing you for being chubby to get you to do more exercise or comparing you unfavourably to a sibling by saying things like: ‘why don’t you work harder then you could be in the top group like your sister?’ These parents may not mean to be unkind, but when you hear comments like this a lot, it can make you feel pretty miserable and worthless.  If a parent constantly puts you down, it can make you feel unloved and shrink your self-confidence.

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Talking to parents

Dealing with a parent bully is very difficult, but it’s important that parent bullying be stopped. The first thing you should try is to talk to the parent. This often works right away if a parent hasn’t meant to be unkind. If you calmly and clearly explain how their behaviour makes you feel, without insulting them or getting angry, they should listen and take on board what you say.

Top Tip!

It is OK to say no to adults. We’re all brought up to respect adults and do as they tell us, but sadly not all adults behave in ways that deserve our respect all of the time. If a parent or other adult in your family is bullying you, you can say no to them and you should tell another trusted adult about it.

If that doesn’t work, or if you are too scared to talk directly to your parents, or you’re convinced it won’t help, then it’s a good idea to talk to another adult you trust. This could be someone else in your family, like a grandparent, or aunt or uncle, or you could ask a teacher at school for help.

 Sometimes parents ask or tell you to do things that you don’t want to, like tidy your room. This is obviously not bullying! Sometimes its best to do as parents suggest, or they’ll be justifiably annoyed.

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When bullying becomes abuse When an adult bullies a child or young person by hitting or hurting them, this is physical abuse. When an adult bullies a young person into taking part in any kind of sexual activity this is sexual abuse. Both kinds of abuse are a criminal offence.

Keeping safe

Your body belongs to you and only you have the right to decide what happens to it and who touches it. If someone hits or harms you in a way which hurts or frightens you or if someone older than you tries to touch you, or makes you watch or do something that feels wrong or that you don’t like, tell them to stop. Try to say this loudly and clearly and then go and tell an adult that you trust about it.

Did You Know? If someone is too frightened of an abuser to say no, they may be forced to do what the abuser says, in order to keep safe. Then they must tell someone about what happened later. This is never something to feel bad about. It’s not their fault. The most important thing is to keep safe.

 Nobody has the right to hurt or abuse you.

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Taking action

Some people are reluctant to take action and speak out when the abuser is someone they care about. They worry about what will happen to that person. But if people we care about hurt us, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is all bad. It just means that they have a problem, for example an alcohol or drug addiction, and that they need help sorting it out. The way to get you and them the help that’s needed is to tell an adult you trust and to keep telling different adults until someone does something to make the problem stop. In the long run this will help you and help the adult doing the abusing.

Did You Know? Some abusers tell young people that a kiss or a touch is a secret between them that they should not tell. Even though we’re all brought up to keep secrets some secrets have to be told, even if you’ve promised or been made to promise not to tell. Anything that worries you should not be a secret.

 Some things are really tough to tell, but its vital that you do. If the first adult you tell about the abuse doesn’t believe you or help you, then you need to keep finding other adults to tell until someone does.

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ferent forms, if d y an m in es m Bullying co ts and threats ul s in g, n lli ca eam e from n obile phone or onliny m by g in ly ul rb be app to cy s. If you feel unh hing k or w et n l ia oc s a et vi eone is doing som or alone, and som ally or verbally, it’s to hurt you physicing about it. Even if you time to do someth ing bullied, we all need yourself are not beake a stand and say to know how to m NO to bullying. what bullying is, This book looks at of bullying and the the different typesat people can variety of ways tho looks at deal with it. It als eople p the reasons why how become bullies and they can seek help, too.

The author, Louise Spils bury, has written more almost 200 b ook a very wide ra nge of subjec s on ts, including man y on health a nd PSHE.

The consulta nt, Kidscape , is a charity comm itted to kee ping children safe from abuse a nd The charity aims to equip bullying. children with practic al life skills and with the knowledg e and strate gies to protect them selves from harm.

I S B N 978-0-7502-7111-0

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Say No To Bullying  

Wayland 2013

Say No To Bullying  

Wayland 2013