Stand Up to Bullies

Does another kid pick on you all the time? Call you names, try to trip you, take your things without permission, or push you? Sounds like you're dealing with a bully!

A bully can be a boy or girl, one person or a whole group. Their actions can make you feel scared, sad, embarrassed, even sick.

Everyone-big or small, young or old-has the right to be treated with kindness and respect, and to feel safe. Bullies may act tough, but inside they are really cowards. Here are some things you can try to get those bullies to back off:

  • You can try talking to them. Calmly say, "Why are you being mean to me?"
  • Walk away and ignore them. Sometimes, bullies think it's fun watching you react to something they say to you. If you ignore them, it won't be fun anymore and maybe they'll go away.
  • Make a joke. If you say something funny and laugh with them, the bully might forget to pick on you. If they pick on you a lot for the same thing, think of some lines you can use on them next time. Then, practice with a friend or adult.
  • Speak up. Loudly say, "Stop picking on me!"
  • Stick with your friends. Some bullies don't like to approach kids when they're with a group. They would rather corner someone when they are alone, and when there are no adults around.
  • Avoid places where the bullies hang out. If you can, take a different route to class, or home from school. Or leave a little earlier or later.
  • Tell an adult. If you've tried to solve the problem yourself and aren't getting anywhere, tell your parent, a teacher, counselor or the principal. Chances are the bullies could be picking on other kids too, and that's a problem an adult should handle.
  • Talk to the school security officers. Explain the problem to them and ask for their help.
  • If a bully is doing something that hurts you-like punching or kicking-tell an adult immediately.