If you see someone being bullied and you don't do anything to help them then you're helping the bully!
People who are being bullied can feel their lives are such a misery that they want to die. Often other people at school don't realise the effect that bullying has when it goes on day in day out.
Bullying makes people so upset that they often need to see a doctor. They might even try to kill themselves, or they self harm or perhaps suffer an eating disorder, particularly if they are called names about their weight or appearance.
There are usually quite a lot of pointers that someone is being bullied and if you see or hear any of them you're in a good position to help.
How to tell if someone is being bullied
- Is anyone in your class taking a lot of time off, getting to school late, trying to avoid being in situations like the toilets or changing rooms?
- Do you hear someone calling them names, not loudly, but so that they will overhear?
- Are rumours being spread about them?
- Are they being left out of things when partners are chosen in class?
- Are they spending break and lunchtime on their own?
- Are people fixing up nice things to do out of school and leaving them out?
- Are they getting nasty phone texts and abuse on the internet or by instant messaging?
If so then you already know someone who is being bullied.
You might be afraid that if you do something about it, the bully might pick on you next but there are lots of things you can do to help.
What you should do to help
- Tell a teacher
- Go with the person being bullied and back up what they say to the teacher
- Tell the person being bullied that you'll help them to tell their parents
- Tell your parents what's happening and ask them to have a quiet word with your head of year
- Agree with your friends that you will all make it clear to the person doing the bullying that you don't like what they're doing
- Keep a diary of what you see going on so that you can give a teacher a reliable account of what has been happening
If you tell a teacher what has happened then the bully shouldn't find out that you've done that. The teacher should be able to quietly alert other teachers and keep an eye on the situation so that the bully is caught red handed and has only themselves to blame.
If you see someone being bullied they're probably very upset so make sure they know that you and your friends don't like what is going on and ask them to join your group.