Safety Planning for Bullying

Being bullied can feel pretty awful. But, no matter how bad it makes you feel sometimes, you should know you're not alone. That's right ... there are not only plenty of kids all over the world who go through the same things you do every day but also tons of adults who remember what it was like for them as kids, being bullied. Even though you may feel helpless sometimes, there are a lot of things you and others can do to help stop the bullying. 

Always tell an adult.

Sometimes it's hard to talk about serious things with adults, but they can help put a stop to a bully. Tell an adult that you trust and can talk to - your parents, your teacher, your school counselor, your coach, your neighbor, your pastor or church group leader, etc. If you've told a grown-up before and they haven't done anything about it, tell another one. If they also do nothing, tell another adult, until someone listens. And if you're afraid to tell an adult that you have been bullied, get someone to go with you, like a friend or a sister or brother. Having someone else there to support you can make it a lot less scary. Tell the adults exactly what happened - who did the bullying, where and when it happened, how long it's been happening to you, and how it's making you feel. If you talk with an adult at your school, ask them what they will do to help stop the bullying. It is their job to help keep you safe. Most adults really care about bullying and will do everything they can to help you. 

Stay in a group.

Kids who bully like to pick on kids who are by themselves most of the time - it's easier and they're more likely to get away with their bad behavior. If you spend more time with other kids, you may not be targeted so easily and you'll have others around to help you if you get into a difficult situation! 

If it feels safe, try to stand up to the person who is bullying you.

If the person who is bullying you thinks you won't do anything about it, they will likely just keep picking on you. This doesn't mean you should fight back or bully them back or bully someone else. Instead, tell the person bullying you that you don't like it and that they should stop! Keep it simple. You might just say, "Cut it out, Miranda!", and then walk away. If possible, try to talk to them in a calm voice. Kids who bully LOVE to see that they can make you upset. Don’t give them the satisfaction! If you're afraid to talk to the person who is bullying you by yourself, then you might want to ask someone else to be there with you. Kids who bully are more likely to listen, and less likely to bully you, when you're not alone. If you're not comfortable standing up to someone who has bullied you, that's definitely OK! Just walk away. But still be sure to tell an adult. 

If you are being bullied on-line, don't reply.

This may actually make the bullying worse. Instead, be sure to tell a family member or another adult you trust. If possible, block any more communications from this person. (For example, it might be a good idea only to accept messages from people you know.) Save evidence of the bullying. If you get a nasty e-mail, print it out or save it so that you can show it to an adult.

Join clubs or take part in activities where you'll meet other kids.

Sometimes, it can help to join clubs or take part in activities that interest you. Think about joining a sports team, taking an art class, or joining a scouting group, for example. You can meet other kids who share your interests, you can participate in & be a part of things that you like to do and you might just make some good friends! 

What NOT to do if you are bullied:
  • Think it's your fault. Nobody deserves to be bullied!
  • Fight back or bully a person back. This probably won't make things any better and it might get you into big trouble. Besides, you should try to act better than the person who bullies you.
  • Keep it to yourself and just hope the bullying will "go away." It's normal to want to try to ignore bullying and hope that it will stop—or hope that the person will start to pick on someone else. But, often, bullying won't stop until adults and other kids get involved. So, be sure to report the bullying. 
  • Skip school or avoid clubs or sports because you're afraid of being bullied. Missing out on school or activities that you enjoy isn't the answer. You have a right to be there!
  • Think that you're a "tattle tale" if you tell an adult that you've been bullied. Telling is NOT tattling! It's the right thing to do.
  • Hurt yourself. Some kids who are bullied get so sad and depressed that they may try to hurt themselves because they think there is nothing else they can do. This definitely isn't the answer. Talk with an adult immediately and tell them how you are feeling. They can help stop the bullying.

If you’re hurting from a bully and feel you have nowhere to turn, please give us a call or send an email to: help@newchoicesinc.org

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