Tipsheet

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Table of contents

If you are being bullied:

  • Tell a friend what is happening.
  • Ask him or her to help you. It will be harder for someone to bully you if you have a friend supporting you.
  • Try to ignore the bullying or say 'No' and then turn and walk away.
  • Don't worry if people think you are running away. Remember, it is very hard for the bullying to go on when the person being bullied won't stand still to listen.
  • Try not to show that you are upset or angry.
  • Students who bully love to get a reaction, they think it's 'fun'. If you can keep calm and hide your emotions, they might get bored and leave you alone. As one teenager said to us, 'they can't bully you if you don't care'.
  • Don't fight back if you can help it.
  • When you fight back it makes the argument continue. Walking away is more difficult, but there are no winners when you fight back.
  • It's not worth getting hurt to keep possessions or money.
  • If the person bullying you wants something you own, give it to them. Property can be replaced, you can't.
  • Try to think up funny or clever replies in advance.
  • It helps to have an answer ready. Using prepared replies works best if the student bullying is not too threatening and just needs to be put off. The person bullying might just decide that you are too clever and leave you alone.
  • Try to avoid being alone in the places where you know the person bullying is likely to pick on you.
  • This might include changing the way you go to and from school. It’s not fair that you have to do this, but it might discourage the student from bullying you.
  • Sometimes asking the bully to repeat what they said can put them off.
  • Often students who bully are not brave enough to repeat the remark exactly so they tone it down. If they repeat it, you will have made them do something they hadn't planned on and this gives you some control of the situation.
  • Keep a diary of what is happening.
  • Write down details of the incidents and your feelings. When you do decide to tell someone, a written record of the bullying makes it easier to talk about what has been going on.

If you know someone who is being bullied

Students often know that someone is being bullied long before teachers and parents do. Here are some things you can do to help:

  • Persuade the person being bullied to talk to an adult who will listen - this may be a teacher or a parent.
  • Encourage the person being bullied to talk to you about what is happening.
  • Do not tell the person being bullied to deal with the problem on their own.
  • Offer to speak to a trusted adult on the bullied person's behalf.
  • Tell the students bullying that you know what is going on.
  • Raise the issue of bullying with the student council (if the school has one) or in discussions in the classroom.
  • Involve as many people as possible. In particular try to make sure that teachers know what is going on - but, most of all, talk to somebody who will listen.

Kids Helpline is always open 1800 55 1800