Bullying: Anti-Bullying

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     Some schools have bully prevention/intervention programs. Some schools have made an attempt to start some type of program, but don't have a functioning program in place.
     Unfortunately, some schools have no bully prevention/intervention program, and simply rely upon their discipline policy to punish violators. This action sometimes inadvertently punishes the victim in a bullying incident for fighting or for being involved in a "conflict."  Bullying is not a conflict; it is a victimization.

     Your school district's bullying policy and program should determine what steps you follow.  Follow your district's plan (if they have one).
You have the right to feel safe in school.
>If you are being bullied:

    
You need to seek help from an adult .  Websites and books provide some basic information, but you really need to discuss this problem with your parents/guardians and your teacher, counselor or principal.  They can help you deal with this problem, and develop a plan to help prevent future problems from happening. 
"Well...I punched this bully..."
Thanks, but NO THANK$!
-Lawsuit? You can be sued $
-Criminal Charges?
You can be charged $
-Injuries?
You can be hurt $
-Suspension?
You can be suspended
"Who" started the fight-may not matter!
Helpful Advice--I don't think so!
    Note:  Be careful with information and stories offered by well-intentioned friends or irresponsible adults .  Sometimes they may make things worse by suggesting that you do something that "worked for them" (that may or may not be factual).  Not every "fight" ends with the underdog winning.
*(see note under "If you are being attacked" below)
>If you have been bullied:

1.  Tell an adult what has happened.  Talk with your parents/guardians and school officials.  Trying to solve this as a group takes some of the pressure and worry off of you.  You will feel better just talking about the problem to someone who cares!
>If you are being attacked:

1.  Try  to stay calm.

2.  Try  to ignore the bully if it is a verbal attack (name calling). Keep walking and try to get to an area where there are others present (preferably adults). Some bullies will just move on to another victim in an attempt to get some type of reaction.
3.  Be confident! Tell them to "stop" if the bully becomes aggressive.  Sometimes just saying "stop" works. This might work if your school has a bully prevention/intervention program and the bully knows what this means. In any case, keep walking.

4.  If it becomes or looks like it will become physical, get away from the situation as quickly as you can. This isn't being a chicken, it is being smart and the right thing to do.
*Note:  Every situation is different. What works in one situation may not work in another. Use caution.  Talk with your parents/guardians, school officials and law enforcement members about what to do if you are attacked.
>Talking to an adult about bullying:

1.  Describe what  has happened to you, how often  it has happened, who  is involved, and where  it is happening.
2.  Explain how you are feeling about the situation and ask for advice to make things better.
3.  Ask your parents/guardians to advocate for a bullying prevention/intervention program in your school if you don't have one.  If you have one, have them ask questions about the program and work to improve it .  It takes everyone working together to solve bullying problems.
5.  Some experts say don't fight, if you can help it. Of course, you can defend  yourself--by retreating.*(see note)  Most bullies are bigger or stronger than their victims, and sometimes have henchmen  (their "friends") that might step in to "help" him/her.  If you fight back you could make the situation worse, get hurt, or possibly get blamed for starting the fight.
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2.  Avoid the bully and his/her friends if possible until the problem is solved.  Stay away from isolated areas in the building.

3.  Eat lunch, go to the restroom and walk with a group (friends, if possible) to school and when going to the bus or walking home.  There is some safety  in numbers, and some bullies don't like lots of non-friendly or adult witnesses  to their bullying.  If you don't have many friends in some areas (e.g., in your grade, in your classes, at your school, around your neighborhood), try to make some by being friendly.

4.  Let the school officials sort the problem out and develop a plan to help you and the others that are victimized   by the bully. It is their job to help keep you safe. But they can only help if you tell them. 
Remember: "Tattling" and "asking for help" are not the same.

5.  If the adults do their job, in most cases, the problem can be resolved. 
This problem won't last forever.