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Saturday, 16 October 2010

Bullying at school

If you think that bullying is just a part of everyday school life, you're wrong. No-one deserves to be bullied and you shouldn't ignore the problem.

What counts as bullying?

You don't have to be physically beaten up or hurt to be a victim of bullying. Teasing, being threatened and name calling can all be classed as forms of bullying.

There are lots of reasons why people are bullied. Some people are picked on because of their religion or race, whilst others are chosen because of their weight, the clothes they wear or because they're clever - things that no-one should be ashamed of.

If you're being bullied, you don't have to put up with it and there are many people that can help you do something about it.

How it can affect you

If you are being bullied, you may feel like you're trapped or alone. You may be finding it harder to make friends or talk to other people of your age. Your school work might also be suffering because you're worried about what might happen at school the next day.

If you're finding it hard to concentrate on your work and live your life normally, or if you're worried that the bullying is getting violent and you're scared for your safety, you must tell a teacher or your parents. You may find it difficult at first, but it's vital that you let them know what's happening so they can help you do something about it.

Bullying by mobile phone

Mobile phones can also be used to bully people.

If you've been a victim of mobile bullying, you may have been sent a rude or scary text directly to your phone, or you could have had voicemail messages sent to your phone that are threatening or just long periods of silence.

You may have received photo messages which made you feel uncomfortable.

Remember that bullying isn't just something that happens when you're face to face with someone - it can happen over the phone or even on the internet.

If you see someone being bullied

You may not be affected by bullying yourself, but you may see someone being threatened or teased and want to do something about it.

It's not a good idea to get involved with the incident itself as you may get in trouble, but you shouldn't just ignore it. If you know the person being bullied, you should try to encourage them to speak to someone about what's happening.

If you think it's appropriate, you may want to mention the problem to a teacher or a parent in confidence. Your school may also run anti-bullying schemes that you can get involved in if you feel strongly about getting rid of bullying.

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