Be Unlimited is taking a major stand against bullying. Our 3 On Bullying feature appears on the last Friday of every month. Here, you’ll learn facts to keep you informed, skills to help you handle bullying situations, the support you need, and much more. This month’s 3 On Bullying profiles the targets of bullying.
Many targets of bullying live in silence. Some hide it better than others. But no target of bullying is able to hide the pain that it causes. That pain can linger for the rest of one’s life, long after their school days are over. Someone very close to you could be a target of bullying right now, and you might not even know it. Here are some signs to be on the lookout for:
ONE: Issues at school could be an indicator that someone is dealing with a bullying situation. These indicators can include: a sudden decrease in school attendance or skipping certain classes; a decline in the quality of academic performance; and, difficulty concentrating in class and being easily distracted. If you recognize any of these indicators in someone you know, please talk to them about what’s going on. What a target of bullying really needs is someone they can trust and confide in. Be that person.
TWO: A target of bullying might suddenly become overly concerned about their personal safety. This behavior might include: spending a lot of time and effort thinking or worrying about getting safely to and from school and getting around in the school (to and from lunch, to and from recess, to and from the bathroom, to and from their locker); wanting to take a different route to school or different transportation to school; and, wanting to stay in the house at night and on the weekends. Be aware of these behaviors. No one deserves to live in this kind of fear. Talk to someone who you believe might be worried about their own safety. Just knowing that you’re in their corner will make them feel less alone and afraid.
THREE: Listen closely. Some targets of bullying are more verbal than others. They might talk about being made fun of, laughed at, picked on, teased, put down, pushed around, threatened, kicked, hit, or called names. These targets will also want to talk about students telling lies about them, gossiping about them, excluding them from a group, or other bullying behaviors. Take what you hear seriously. If the target of bullying is not willing to tell an adult who can help, then it’s up to you to speak up for them. Find an adult you trust and tell them what’s happening.
Be Unlimited is taking a major stand against bullying. We hope you are ready to stand with us.