Bullying Prevention and Education
Who to Call:
This service set up by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is available 24/7
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE:
Support on suicide prevention and mental health available 24/7. They also have a dedicated website available in Spanish.
1-800-784-2433 (esp: 1-888-628-9454)
Available 24/7 in English and Spanish.
INTERNATIONAL BIPOLAR FOUNDATION:
Because it offers bilingual suicide prevention, this hotline does get busy at times and can have limited resources.
NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS ASSOCIATION:
This hotline offers help and advice for people affected by anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders. Open Monday-Thursday from 9am-5pm and Friday from 9am-9pm and Friday from 9am-5pm, excluding public holidays.
This hotline provides support and encouragement to people suffering from eating disorders and even provides referrals for treatment. Open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.
This helpline assists with suicide prevention in the LGBTQ+ community. Available 24/7.
|And many more people are ready and waiting to help! If you know of another resource, please let us know!|
What Students Can Do to Help Stop Bullying
There are many things students can do to help; in many ways, students standing up to bullying is even more effective than staff or teachers doing so.
As you may already know, most children, adolescents, and teenagers are very impressionable and easily swayed by the opinions of others. While bullying occurs for many reasons, one of the most prevalent reasons is a lack of self-confidence and a desire to fit in. Students taking a stand and showing that bullying is not accepted or “cool” can go a long way towards preventing incidents in the future.
It is also crucial for students to properly report bullying to an adult or person in charge. This should be done regardless of whether they are the victim or a bystander. Teach children that their words matter. Having the power to stand up to people hurting them or others can help improve confidence, foster a sense of independence, and build a strong sense of community.
Types of Bullying
Bullying doesn’t come in just one form. Most bullying is a combination of different types; let’s take a look at those types below.
Identifying Gateway Behaviors
Identifying gateway behaviors is an excellent way to help understand what turns someone into a bully. It can also help with early prevention. “Gateway behaviors” to bullying are behaviors that most would consider socially unacceptable. Examples of socially unacceptable behaviors include:
- Deliberate exclusion
- Laughing and whispering at someone in front of them
- Embarrassing or humiliating someone in person or online
- Encouraging peers to mistreat or ignore another person
These behaviors are called “gateway” behaviors for a reason; while single instances don’t necessarily indicate a bully, the repeated demonstration of these behaviors can be cause for intervention.
Direct Bullying & Indirect Bullying
Direct bullying is likely what comes to mind when most people think of the word ‘bully.’ It includes verbal harassment: name-calling, insulting, teasing, or embarrassing a peer in front of others. It can also spiral into physical violence.
Indirect bullying is just as common, sometimes even more so, but can be harder to spot. Indirect bullying is mainly mentally and emotionally charged. It includes spreading rumors, shunning or ignoring a peer, or encouraging others to end their friendships or relationships with the victim.
Verbal & Physical Bullying
Verbal bullying is usually the predecessor to physical bullying. The majority of verbal bullying does not result in physical bullying. However, it typically happens after a bully has exhausted their interests in verbal bullying or is struggling to feel the sense of power that comes with bullying.
Physical bullying is almost always a form of violence. It includes pushing, shoving, tripping, and hitting or kicking the victim. Physical bullying can also refer to things done to annoy intentionally or inconvenience the victim. It includes destroying property, or doing something that may result in the victim hurting themselves (ex. tying someone’s shoelaces together).
Cyberbullying is a relatively new form of bullying. It has gained exposure and popularity since the rise of social media. However, it can be one of the most insidious forms of bullying because there is no escape from it; victims are tormented both at home and behind a screen. Cyberbullying can also encourage people who typically may not bully face to face because they can often remain anonymous, and the consequences seem so much less severe.
Examples of cyberbullying include posting photos online to embarrass someone, harassment of a person via messaging apps, leaving nasty comments on someone’s social media profile, or creating fake profiles of people to humiliate them.
Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies
While there is no federal law to prevent bullying overall, multiple states and cities have taken action and implemented anti-bullying policies in their schools. Most state laws require schools to implement some kind of anti-bullying agenda and sufficiently report and address bullying when it occurs.
Few states consider bullying a criminal offense; instead, they focus on assisting the victims and preventing bullying from escalating and spreading to violent or harsh behavior.
To take a look at bullying policies by state, visit www.stopbullying.gov
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