Is bullying happening to me?

“Bullying” in Delaware means:
any intentional written, electronic, verbal or physical act against you that: (1) instills reasonable fear of substantial harm to your emotional or physical well-being or substantial damage to your property; (2) creates a threatening, humiliating or abusive educational environment (meaning – you are afraid to go to school); (3) interferes with you having a safe school environment; or (4) coerces others to demean, embarrass or cause any harm to you.

What does that mean? Here are some examples of how bullying might look or feel:

  • Are other kids kicking, shoving or hitting me, or threatening to do so repeatedly?
  • Are other kids teasing me, calling me names, insulting me, or spreading rumors about me?
  • Are other kids leaving me out or trying to make others not be friends with me?
  • Are other kids using texting, tweeting or Facebook to spread rumors about me, insult me or embarrass me?
  • Are these things happening over and over to me?
  • Are kids taking things from me or making me give them my stuff by threatening me?
  • Are the kids who are doing these things to me more powerful than me in some way (bigger, older, have more friends)?
  • Do I avoid situations so that I won’t be bullied? For example, did you ever pretend to be sick in the morning so you didn’t have go to school and face the bully? Or, have you walked a different way home or tried to avoid the bus to avoid a bully?

How do I deal with bullying?

  • Try to avoid being alone. Find someone who can walk with you to classes, to the bus stop and who will sit with you at lunch.
  • Ignore the bully and walk away if you can. Bullies want attention, and will continue to taunt you if you give them a reaction. Showing no reaction may make the bully lose interest in you.
  • Talk to your friends, or someone you trust. You don’t have to deal with bullying alone.
  • Develop a plan. Bystanders can be your best asset if you work together! Bullies love to feel power. Take the power away by telling them you and your friends won’t stand for bullying. Ask your friends to join together and take a stand against the bully.

Who can I turn to?

  • Although you may feel alone and depressed if you are a target of bullying, remember:  THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE WHO CARES ABOUT YOU!
  • Reach out to your parents, brothers, sisters, teachers, neighbors, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, or any adult you respect and trust. Even your doctor.
  • Talk to your school’s bullying prevention coordinator. Don’t know who that is? Ask your guidance counselor or assistant principal.
  • Check out blogs and discussion forums where teenagers just like you speak out against bullying. Check them out by clicking here for more resources.
  • Talk to your friends about starting a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) at your school, if you don’t already have one. Go to this link for a how-to guide created by GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network).