Anti-Bullying Resource Page
This page is designed as a helpful resource with tips and tools to foster an anti-bullying culture in your community, school, neighborhood or home.
For more information on bullying and anti-bullying education, we recommend the stopbullying.gov website. This is a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
It starts with talking...
Start to create a safe environment for open discussion and understanding. Discussions can be frank and evoke strong feelings. You can start the conversation by asking questions such as:
- What does "bullying" mean to you?
- When people are treated unfairly, how does it make you feel?
- What does it mean to be a friend?
"Action Words" are words which summarize many of the key themes of the short films presented as part of the No Bullies, Please screenings offered by Facets Children's Programs.
We believe that an understanding of these "Action Words" can empower children and youth to make proactive, positive choices when confronted with a potential 'bullying' situation. In essence, by understanding and accepting these concepts, children and youth are given permission to 'be nice' which in turn, promotes an anti-bullying culture.
Sympathy – when someone has a problem, feeling sad for them.
Empathy – understanding someone’s feelings because you have been through the same or a similar experience.
Compassion – when someone has a problem, helping that person by showing sympathy and concern.
Respect – an appreciation for someone’s behavior, belief, race, religion, nationality, personal qualities, achievement, ability, or opinion.
Tolerance – having a fair and objective attitude toward someone’s behavior, belief, race, religion, nationality, personal qualities, achievement, ability, or opinion that may differ from your own.
Acceptance – having a positive attitude toward a behavior, belief, race, religion, nationality, personal qualities, achievement, ability, or opinion that may differ from your own.
Confidence – having a positive attitude toward your own behavior, belief, race, religion, nationality, personal qualities, achievement, ability, or opinion.
Individuality – things about you (behavior, belief, race, religion, nationality, personal qualities, achievement, ability, or opinion) that make you unique.
Communication – sharing thoughts, opinions, or information with others.
Cooperation – working with others toward a common goal.
Friendship – showing kindness, respect, and affection toward someone you know, like and trust.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is repeated, aggressive behavior and includes:
Verbal Bullying: teasing, name calling or threatening someone (physically or emotionally).
Physical Bullying: hitting, pushing, spitting, damaging someone's property, or making mean or rude gestures.
Social Bullying: leaving someone out or telling others not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors, embarrassing someone in public.
Cyberbullying: posting rumors or false information on social websites, sharing embarrassing pictures or videos, making threatening or intimidating posts or sending threatening texts or emails.
Who Is Involved?
Those Who Are Bullied - Those who are the target of bullying behaviors.
Those Who Bully - Those who participate in bullying behaviors, directly or indirectly, by supporting or encouraging those who start or lead bullying behaviors.
Those Who Witness Bullying (Bystander) - Those who witness bullying and indirectly encourage it because they…
- Do not know how to stop it.
- Are afraid to stop it.
- Give bullying an audience or encourage bullying behaviors by laughing or watching.
- Participate in bullying behaviors without realizing they are doing it [‘innocent’ teasing is bullying].
- Witness bullying and do nothing about it.
Consequences of Bullying
Bullying is not OK. No one deserves to be bullied. Kids who are bullied are not alone.
Those involved in bullying (Those Who Are Bullied as well as Those Who Bully) can feel:
Bullying can affect:
- Their schoolwork.
- Their attitude about things they enjoy (it discourage you from hobbies or interests).
- Their health (stress can make you feel sick).
- How they treat treat others (kids may bully others because of how they feel).
- Their mood (it can make them sad when they should feel happy).
There are many reasons why bullying happens:
- Copying other’s behavior or trying to impress someone.
- Trying to fit in.
- Showing off.
- Thinking they are better than someone else.
- Those who bully may have problems of their own and are confused about how to handle their stress and emotion.
So...What Can You Do?
If you suspect a child or youth is being BULLIED, encourage them to:
- Not keep their feelings inside. Let them know they are not alone and can there are people who can help.
- Talk to an adult they trust (a teacher, a family member, a neighbor, a coach, an afterschool program leader, etc.). Bullying can be complicated and hard to deal with on their own. Adults need to know when bad things happen so they can help. Even if the adult cannot help solve the program directly, they can comfort, support, and give advice.
- Use humor or tell the bully to “stop” in a calm, clear [direct] voice. If speaking up seems too hard or unsafe…
- Walk away and stay away from places where bullying happens.
- Stay near adults and other kids who they trust.
- Not become a bully by fighting or bullying back.
- Be proud of who they are and keep doing what they love. Hobbies and special interests can help kids and teens build confidence and make friends.
If you suspect a child or youth is being CYBERBULLIED, encourage them to:
- Talk to an adult they can trust.
- Not respond to or pass on mean or hurtful messages.
- Keep evidence of cyberbullying.
- Block or delete the person bullying them.
- Protect themselves by thinking about the information they post and who may see it.
- Keep passwords a secret.
- Report it, if someone online makes them feel scared or sad.
If a child or youth SEES BULLYING HAPPEN, encourage them to:
- Get an adult that can stop by bullying on the spot.
- Create a clever distraction ("Mr. Smith needs to see you right now," or "Come on, we need you for our game.").
- Not to encourage bullying behaviors by giving it an audience (watching bullying or laughing).
- Stand up for the person being bullied. Talk to the bully about their behavior. Tell the bully “it’s not cool” what they’re doing. Defend the person being bullied (“She can dress how she wants. Leave her alone, man.” or “Just because he’s different doesn’t mean you have to do that.”).
If a child or youth BULLIES, encourage them to:
- Understand that everyone is different. Those differences do not make us better or worse than other people. Understand that differences can be tolerated. They can learn to appreciate the things that make us unique and individual.
- When they feel frustrated or upset, catch themselves before they do or say something that is mean or hurtful.
- Distract themselves when they feel like being mean to someone. Go another direction or start doing something else.
- Talk or write to an adult they trust. Kids who bully may have problems or feelings they don’t know how to deal with. Talking with an adult can help. Even when kids who bully get into trouble, it can be an opportunity for them to open up and share their feelings.
- Apologize if they have bullied or teased in the past. It can make everyone feel better.
And, WE SHOULD ALL REMEMBER:
- Not to ignore bullying. By not saying anything the problem could get worse because the bully will think it is OK to treat others that way.
- To be kind to those who are bullied (hang out, talk, be polite (simple gestures), or invite them to do something).
- To be a good listener. Ask about what happened and let the person being bullied tell you how they feel.
- To set a good example by treating others the way you want to be treated.
- If you are friends with someone who bullies, talk to them about how their behavior makes you feel.
- To tell an adult you trust when you see bullying happen. [talking, note, email, text]
- Not to be discouraged if the bullying continues. You can help by getting other adults involved to help stop it.
Next Steps - Bullying Prevention
Create or reinforce an anti-bullying culture in your community (school, neighborhood, playground, at home).
- Create an ‘open culture’ of anti-bullying. ‘It’s not cool to bully.’
- Set a good example: ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated' by showing kindness & being respectful to others; being a good friend; and continuing to discuss ‘action words’ which reinforce positive concepts (respect, tolerance, etc.).
- Be a leader in your community and continue to discuss bullying and what to do if it occurs. Talk to an adult you trust if you see bullying behavior or are being bullied and don’t be an ‘audience’ to bullying.
- Work with school clubs, after school programs or neighborhood organizations.
- Talk to adult leaders about the bullying culture; where and when it happens. Adults often don’t know how bad the problem is.
- Campaign to deliver the message of anti-bullying (posters, assemblies, role-play activities, writing contexts, mentoring with younger kids).
- Encourage other students to join in the campaign and carry on the ‘fight’ against bullies.
Below are several activites that encourage children and teens to address their feelings about bullying and the culture of bullying in their home, neighborhood, or school. Activities can be modified for all grade levels.
Describe your thoughts and feelings about bullying and how it makes you feel.
Use any form of "written" work that helps you or the group communicate, including: a journal, writing a fiction or non-fiction story, drawing a picture, writing a poem, presenting a speech, creating a video, creating a piece of digital art, painting, sculpting, photography, song, piece of music, collage, presentation, play, etc.
- How you personally relate to bullying. Are you someone who is bullied, someone who bullies, or a bystander?
- An instance of bullying or teasing in your life that impacted you. How did it impact you? What have you learned?
- A time when you were bullied.
- A time when you bullied someone.
- A time when you witnessed bullying.
- The emotions you feel when thinking about this subject or a specific event that happened to you.
- Share your work with the group and talk about what inspired you to create it.
- Why is this important to you?
- What does this work make you think about or feel?
- Take the exercise one step further by creating a work that shows you in a positive situation inspired from the first work; what you learned and how it can help you in the future.
Write about or discuss what you learned about bullying.
Discuss, write about, or draw pictures relating to the action word(s)
- What is bullying
- Who is involved
- Consequences of bullying
- What you can do
- Bullying prevention.
and what it/they mean to you or in relation to a film.
Research bullying online and learn more about its effects and what you can do to stop or prevent bullying in your community.
Do a study of bullying in your school or community.
- Research places bullying happens, when it happens, and who is involved.
- Present your research in your class or to school or community leaders.
- Devise a plan to make your community aware of the problems.
- Start the conversation about how to stop and prevent bullying.
Do a report or in-class presentation about bullying.
- Have small groups or individuals present information about different aspects of bullying: What is bullying; Who is involved; Consequences of bullying; What you can do; Bullying prevention.
- Discuss findings in the group as a whole.
- Relate the findings to your school, home or neighborhood bullying culture.
- Brainstorm ways to help those who are bullied or start an anti-bullying campaign.
Role-play bullying scenarios and what to do when you encounter bullying.
Create an ‘Anti-Bullying Pledge’ or ‘Code of Conduct’ for your classroom, group, or school.
- Keep it simple.
- Focus on the positive.
- List or state simple rules or ‘action points’ that encourage respect, kindness, tolerance, and cooperation.
- Put into practice ‘pledging’ these rules or create activities or a school-wide campaign to make these rules standard practice (part of the everyday culture).
Create an anti-bullying campaign for your school or community.
- Create a slogan and images to communicate your anti-bullying message.
- Make posters, create a website or Facebook page.
- Do presentations that teach the facts about bullying.
- Welcome guests to speak about bullying or workshop activities.
Do a campaign focused on cyberbullying, its effects and how to protect yourself online.
Visit the PREVENT BULLYING – PREVENTION AT SCHOOL page of the stopbullying.gov website for more great tips and ideas for addressing bullying in your school or community.