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and Guns at School

Are you afraid that a kid at school might be dangerous, AND afraid of being called a tattletale? Most schools will protect your privacy. They won't tell who told them. They’re very careful not to. Pretend that you're asking them for change in the cafeteria. Tell people you went to a guidance counselor to talk about your grades. Nobody has to know why you really went to talk to them.

Bullying is one of the most minimized and persistent problems in our schools today. The sad thing is – it’s a reality for all children, whether they’re victims, witnesses, or they’re the bullies.

Children are born into the world innocent – without defenses. Another child or an adult comes along who is a product of abuse, rage, or being a ‘bully’ victim and the cycle continues. Whether it’s at school or at home, anyone who is bullied will very often feel depressed and have low self-esteem. And if you’re a bully, you are more likely to be hostile and antisocial. If you’re a bully, who has been bullying you?

Do You Know What Bullying Is?

It’s physical harm, it’s verbal and emotional terrorism, it’s sexual harassment, its racism … and at times it can grow into much more serious abuse – and criminal behavior.

If someone is hitting, biting, kicking, punching, pinching you, pulling your hair, tripping you – that’s physical bullying.

If someone is relentlessly teasing you, calling you names, spreading rumors about you, leaving you out of group activities – that’s verbal and emotional terrorism.

If someone touches you inappropriately, snaps your bra strap, stares at your body, or makes sexual comments – that’s sexual bullying.

If someone is using racial slurs against you, making fun of your customs, the color of your skin, your accent, or the food you eat, if they spray symbols and graffiti on your house, if they tease you about your country – that’s racial bullying.

Bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person.

Some of the ways they bully other people are by: calling them names, saying or writing nasty things about them, leaving them out of activities, not talking to them, threatening them, making them feel uncomfortable or scared, taking or damaging their things, hitting or kicking them, or making them do things they don't want to do.

Have any of these things happened to you? Have you done any of these things to someone else? Bullying is wrong behavior which makes the person being bullied feel afraid or uncomfortable.

Understanding Bullying

If you understand bullying, you can help to stop it.

A bully just doesn’t become a bully and they’re not born that way. A bully is usually being bullied or abused at home. They usually have self-esteem which they got by being a victim. Bullying is learned behavior, and what’s learned can be unlearned. They don’t have to continue the cycle.

There are a lot of reasons why some people bully.

They may see it as a way of being popular, or making themselves look tough and in charge. Some bullies do it to get attention or things, or to make other people afraid of them. Others might be jealous of the person they are bullying. They may be a victim of being bullied themselves.

Some bullies may not even understand how wrong their behavior is and how it makes the person being bullied feel.

If a kid is being bullied, they will pick on other kids because it’s the only thing they know and it’s a way of dealing with it. Bullying makes them feel powerful. They have a special need to feel popular – because they’re never praised at home. The bully is really insecure, but they’ll never let you see that side of them. They’ll go after someone weaker, smaller, and different. They’ll take away your self-esteem and scare you.

Bullying Is Harmful

Some people think bullying is just part of growing up and a way for young people to learn to stick up for themselves. But bullying can make young people feel lonely, unhappy and frightened. It makes them feel unsafe and think there must be something wrong with them. They lose confidence and may not want to go to school any more. It may make them sick.


SANTEE, CA., March 2001 – A 15-year-old boy took a .22-caliber revolver from his father's collection of weapons. He brought as many as 40 rounds of ammunition to his high school in his backpack, and fired 30 of them during the shooting rampage. He killed two schoolmates and injured 13 others.

ST PAUL, MN., February 2001 - Two 5-year-old girls were suspended from an elementary school in St. Paul after one of them brought a loaded gun to school in a small handbag. Police say the gun belonged to the girl’s grandfather, who stored it in a purse at the home they share. Prosecutors are considering charges against the student's grandfather.

WEST PHILADELPHIA, PA, March, 2001 - An 8-year-old student at an elementary school in West Philadelphia was taken into custody by police after he brought a handgun to school and later threatened a 9-year-old girl. Police found an unloaded, 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a loaded clip for the weapon in the boy's book bag. The gun had been reported stolen in January 1999. Police later charged the 24 year old uncle of the boy with reckless endangerment.

LITTLETON, CO, April, 1999 - Two boys, 17 and 18 years old entered their school, walking through the cafeteria, shooting as they walked. The massacre continued throughout the school. An hour and a half later, 15 were dead, including the two boys who killed themselves. Police confirmed that the two boys had arsenals in their bedrooms.

These are only a few of the stories about gun violence. Sadly, there are so many more! And many of them began with bullying!

Are You Being Bullied? Here’s How You Can Stop It!

Coping with bullying can be difficult, but remember, you are not the problem, the bully is. You have a right to feel safe and secure.

If you're different in some way, be proud of it! Stand strong. Spend time with your friends - bullies hardly ever pick on people if they're with others in a group.

You've probably already tried ignoring the bully, telling them to stop and walking away whenever the bullying starts. If someone is bullying you, you should always tell an adult you can trust. This isn't telling tales. You have a right to be safe and adults can do things to get the bullying stopped.

Even if you think you've solved the problem on your own, tell an adult anyway, in case it happens again.

An adult you can trust might be a teacher, school principal, parent, someone from your family or a friend's parent. If you find it difficult to talk about being bullied, you might find it easier to write down what's been happening to you and give it to an adult you trust.

What Can You Do If You See Someone Else Being Bullied?

If you see someone else being bullied you should always try to stop it. If you do nothing, you're saying that bullying is okay with you.

Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Show the bully that you think what they're doing is stupid and mean. Help the person being bullied to tell an adult they can trust.

Are You A Bully?

Have you ever bullied someone? Think about why you did it and how you were feeling at the time. If you are sometimes a bully, try to find other ways to make yourself feel good.

Most bullies aren't liked, even if it starts out that way. Remember … treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Get Help

Teachers and parents have a special responsibility for looking after kids – especially helping you if you’re being bullied at school. It’s not so easy to identify a bully. Is the bully really being hostile and aggressive toward you or are they just having what they call ‘fun?’

When someone is bullied at school, your friends and acquaintances usually know what is going on. Even though they’re not involved they know it’s happening. Adults can’t always tell and need your help in order to help you or your friends.

All members of a school community — whether they’re kids or teachers, have a responsibility to help kids who are being bullied. You and your friends must speak out against the bullies.

Nobody has the right to hurt anyone else by hitting them, calling then   names or doing anything which is hurtful.
Bullying is wrong – no matter how old you are.
If an adult is bullying you or trying to make you do something you think is   wrong, it is imperative that you tell someone immediately.

Help Your Friends

You can help other kids who are being bullied. Encourage them to talk to an adult, or offer to talk to an adult on their behalf. You might be able to let bullies know that you do not like what they are doing and that you are determined to stop them. Be empowered. Tell the bully you don’t like what they’re doing to your friends. Walk away. Don’t give in to their threats or challenges.

Help Your School

Take part in your school's anti-bullying activities. Some schools have taken the following measures to help:

Some schools have set up Bully boxes. Kids can put notes in the box if they are too worried to tell someone. If your school has boxes like these use them wisely. Always make sure that anything you write about is the truth.
Be a buddy to a younger student. Older students can sometimes volunteer to help new students coming into their school by getting to know them and by helping them with any problems.
Special campaigns, such as a "no-bullying day" can be a big help.
Counseling is a good way of talking to someone. Kids who are being bullied, or who are bullying others, can be helped through counseling by a trained professional.
Some schools have set up peer counseling where kids volunteer to learn how to help other kids.
Mediation - some schools have introduced mediation where two people who disagree about something agree that a third person, either an adult of another student, helps to find a solution to a problem. This can be helpful in many situations, but not in all cases of bullying. A bully may refuse to take part because they have no interest in ending the bullying. A victim may feel that a negotiated solution is not fair when it is the other person who is completely in the wrong.
Taking part in plays and other drama activities can help people to understand what it feels understand what it feels like to be bullied and to think about what they can do to stop it.
Peer Support, where older students volunteer to discuss things like bullying, friendship or drugs with groups of younger students.

Teachers, students, support staff, parents and administrators need to work as a team to take action against bullying.

If You Think Someone Might Be Planning To Do Something Dangerous:

Keep yourself safe, stay away from the person.

Tell an adult you trust and respect, and who has taken you seriously in the past — maybe a family member, guidance counselor, teacher, principal, school psychologist, school security officer, or religious leader.

If you think the person might be planning to hurt you, or someone else,   don't take a weapon to school to protect yourself.

Don't try to go it alone ... TELL Someone!
Save your Life … Save your Classmates’ Lives …
Telling Isn’t Tattling!

Parents Can Learn More About Bullying Below:

Bullying And Guns At School
Parents Helping to Stop Bullying and School Violence
Time For School ... Time For Bullying Prevention

Kids Can Learn More About Bullying Below:

Stop Bullying
Bullying At School
Bullying: What Have I Ever Done To You
Cell Phone and Text Messaging Safety
Online Safety For Kids and Teens
Miss Teen New Jersey International 2007 Stand Against Bullies

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