What should I do if I am getting bullied at school?

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Answered by: Chelsey, An Expert in the Teenage Advice - General Category
Bullying is a very serious problem in our schools. If you are getting bullied at school, the first thing you need to do is report the bullying to a trusted adult. Talk to your parents, teachers, school nurse, counselor or principal. Be honest. Report the bully. Describe in detail what happened and where the bullying occurred. Trust an adult to take charge of the situation. This is not only to protect you, but to keep other students from becoming future victims of the bullying behavior. If school staff is aware of the situation, they should keep an eye out for future instances of bullying from the same student.

There are also a few steps you can take to prevent the bullying from happening again. First, avoid the bully. Ask your teacher if you can change your seating assignment. Sit away from the bully at lunch. Avoid being alone in a bathroom or hallway, as these are prime places for bullying. Walk with a group of friends and get to class on time.

Secondly, ignore the bully. This is easier said than done, but it can be very effective if you are getting bullied at school. Don't react if the bully calls you names or tries to get your attention. Stay focused on the teacher and your classwork. Do not let the bully see your fear. Students who bully will usually become bored if their victim is not reacting and move on to an easier subject. Then, make sure your teacher is aware of the attempt by reporting it after class.

If ignoring doesn't work, a third option is to "kill them with kindness." This is a common phrase that means you are going to treat your enemies in a kind way. Say, "Good morning" to the bully as you pass him or her in the hallway. If the student who is bullying you forgets to bring classroom supplies, kindly offer him or her your pencil or book. Don't overdo the kindness. Just remember to be a good citizen and treat the bully how you wish to be treated.

Lastly, some people will tell you to stand up to the bully. This could be dangerous if it is physical bullying or if the bully is bigger or older than you. If you chose to stand up to the person who is bullying you at school, do so in a firm way. Use a strong firm voice. Don't yell or become emotional. State that you are tired of being harassed and it needs to stop. It may be best to do this in front of a supportive friend or adult.

If you have tried all of these steps and you are still being bullied at school, it may be time to report the bullying to a higher authority. Ask your parents for help. Contact your school resource officer or the superintendent of the schools. Your parents may chose to speak with the bully's parents outside of school or in the presence of school administration.

The most important thing is to not give up! Bullying is a very serious problem and it can truly hurt. Do not stop until you feel safe at school!

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