Talk to an adult you trust
It is every adult’s responsibility to help kids stay safe. Unfortunately there are times when some adults won’t believe you if you tell them you or someone else is being bullied, or they will tell you to solve the problem yourself. However there will be times when bullying problems need adult help. If you or someone else is being bullied, make a list of trusted adults you can go to help. Promise you won’t stop looking for help until you find it. Here are some adults you may be able to turn to:
|•||the school principal or vice-principal|
|•||another teacher in your school|
|•||the school secretary|
|•||a lunchroom supervisor|
|•||the school guidance counselor|
|•||an aunt, uncle or a grandparent|
|•||a daycare teacher or babysitter|
If you aren’t ready or comfortable going to an adult, find someone you trust to talk to about what is going on. Tell a friend, an older student or a sibling. However, if the situation becomes very serious it’s important that you try and find an adult you trust to help you.
When you ask for help, be sure to clearly describe:
|•||Exactly what happened|
|•||When and how often it has happened|
|•||Where the bullying took place|
|•||Who was involved|
|•||Who else saw it happen|
|•||What action you have taken, if any|
Most school playgrounds have unspoken “rules” about going to an adult for help. There rules aren’t written down anywhere, but most kids know that if you go to an adult you will be seen as a “snitch”, “tattletale” or “rat”. Who benefits from these rules? Kids who bully, of course! They want their behaviour to go unreported. They rely on these “rules” to stop you from telling.
When students tattletale, they are often just trying to get someone in trouble and not looking to solve a problem or help a victim. But when students report, they know they need adult help to solve a problem and are looking for help to make sure that everyone at school is safe. When you report it’s to make the bulling stop, not to get those who are bullying in trouble.
If you see bullying taking place, you might need to support those being bullied or go and report it yourself. You might be afraid, but having the courage to report bullying means you’ve taken your power back from those who bully. Keep telling adults you trust until something is done about it.
Educate your friends. Make a poster to show the difference between ratting and reporting. Ask your teacher if you can share it with the class or over the announcements. The more people know that it is okay to report bullying, the less bullying will occur.
The truth is that bullying will never stop if no one stands up to those who bully, tries to help those being bullied or goes to an adult for help. If you go to an adult and they don’t believe you, find another adult you trust. Promise you will keep looking and asking for help until you find it.