First, it’s important for you to understand bullying. Bullying occurs when someone hurts, scares or forces you to do something that’s against your beliefs or better judgment. Bullying comes in physical, mental and verbal forms. Physical bullying is when someone is kicked, hit, pushed or beaten by another person. Verbal bullying includes name calling, taunting, teasing and threatening. Bullying may affect you mentally when people spread rumors about you or try to destroy your friendships or relationship with others. This can occur face to face, by email, texting, or instant messaging. When you are bullied (threatened, harassed, picked on) through a computer or cell phone, it is known as cyberbullying.
Both boys and girls can be bullies and can cause their victims to experience all types of negative feelings, including loneliness, low self-esteem, depression or embarrassment. In more serious cases, some young people have even committed suicide.
If you find yourself or someone else as the victim of a bully, you should share your feelings and your situation with a caring adult. Remember your teachers, principals, guidance counselors and parents are there to listen and help. If you are afraid to report the bully or embarrassed to discuss the situation in front of others, ask an adult to talk with you in private. From there, you can work together on the best way to deal with the issue.
Don’t worry about being perceived by your peers as a tattler or snitch. There’s a big difference between "tattling" and "telling on someone." A person who tattles is deliberately trying to get someone in trouble. Telling on someone is intended to protect the well-being of yourself and others. You or someone you know deserves having a positive experience in life without being stressed out by bullying.
For more information on ways to stop bullying, contact the Logan County Cooperative Extension Service at 270-726-6323.