Have you ever read some of the statistics on bullying? It’s a wonder kids even get up and go to school some days! And a lot of
teachers think that if they ignore bullying it will magically disappear! Yeah, right! The bully will grow magically more menacing, and the only thing that will disappear is your
lunch money – or you! That’s right! There is a great deal of absenteeism because of bullying. You should NOT have to be afraid to go to school, but many kids skips school to
avoid being picked on. Sometimes you’re afraid to tell on the bully – we know. You could get punched out for being a tattletale. So, what to do?
Believe it or not, there are some strategies you can use against bullies that are effective. It will take practice, which will build confidence, which you will need to stand up to
the bully. After all, why should your academic performance go down just because some loser feels the need to pick on you?
1. Agree with the bully
Say things like, "You’re right" or "That’s true" or "I see what you mean." Walk away.
2. Ask questions
When the bullying consists of teasing or name-calling, ask questions such as, "How do you know I’m stupid?" or "What exactly do you mean by stupid, anyway?" or
"Do you know any other people who are stupid?" or "Have you compared me to them to find out who is more stupid?"
3. Use Fogging
Fogging is used to confuse the bully. For example, if the bully called you fat, you could reply with, "You may be right, I could lose a few pounds." Or if the bully called
you ugly, you could say, "I could be better looking." Seeing that it doesn’t bother you (even though it does – we know!), will make you a less likely target.
4. The Broken Record
Repeat the same response over and over again. For example, after everything the bully says, respond with, "That’s your opinion."
Now, these techniques are for situations where you are being verbally bullied or teased. For more serious kinds of bullying, such as hitting or other violent behavior (even just
the threat of violence), you must report it. Even if it falls on "deaf ears," keep telling adults until someone listens. You’re thinking, "That’s only going to
make it worse." No. Keep telling until someone LISTENS and ACTS.
Who can you tell? Your homeroom teacher. History teacher. Coach. Guidance counselor. Principal. Math teacher. Bus driver. Police officer. Parent. Grandparent. Aunt.
Uncle. You get the idea… TELL EVERYONE! No one has the right to bully or harass you for any reason. Not for your race, ethnicity, religion, height, weight, hair color,
personality, shoe size, shirt color… now we’re being silly. But no, we’re being serious. Bullies go after you for NO REASON. They make something up to justify their anti-social
behavior. Don’t take it. And if you see someone else being bullied, think about it… should you say something? Report it? Step in? Yes. Stick together.