National Crime Prevention Month – Week 4
Bullying has become a tidal wave of epic proportions. Although bullying was once considered a rite of passage, parents, educators, and community leaders now see bullying as a devastating form of abuse that can have long-term effects on youthful victims, robbing them of self-esteem, isolating them from their peers, causing them to drop out of school, and even prompting health problems and suicide.
There are effective and safe ways for kids to step in and help others being bullied. Some work better in certain situations than others. You can help kids decide when to use each method by role-playing bullying situations with them. Remember to emphasize that kids should only step in when they feel safe.
- Walk away. This shows bullies that their behavior is not funny or okay.
- Speak up. Tell bullies that what they are doing is wrong. By saying, “that’s not funny, let’s get out of here” or something similar, kids can stand up for each other. This may also give other bystanders the confidence to speak up or walk away.
- Be a friend. Sometimes kids get picked on because they don’t have any friends or anyone to stand up for them. When kids befriend someone being bullied, bullies are less likely to pick on them. Friendship can also give children the support and the confidence to stand up for themselves.
- Ask others to help. When more kids stand up to bullies, the bullies will be more likely to realize their actions are not okay.
- Get an adult. Sometime kids who are bullied are scared to ask an adult for help because they think it will make the bullying worse. Kids can help by telling an adult what is happening, or going to speak to an adult with kids being bullied.