Massachusetts takes action on school bullying

stockphotopro_14092QRK_two_young_girls_bKids who have fell victim to taunts and ridicule in school may finally be awarded a victory this week as Massachusetts lawmakers hold hearings on nearly a dozen bills that aim to crack down on school bullying.

Bullying, as defined by the American Psychological Association, is an aggressive behavior that’s intended to cause distress or harm, and involves an imbalance of power or strength between the aggressor and the victim.For every child who is or has been bullied, it’s stressful and distracting at best, and frightening, damaging to self-esteem and  physically dangerous at worst.

If you know a child that is being bullied, offer them these tips:

  1. Act brave. Hold your head up and walk by as if you are not afraid of the bully. Bullies often pick on kids they think are weak because they seem like easier targets.
  2. Ignore the bully. Bullies are often looking for a reaction so they will get more attention from their peers. Don’t give them any.
  3. Stick up for other kids. If a bully does not get approval from his or her peers, he or she may stop the behavior.
  4. Tell an adult. It’s important that kids are protected by adults who can set clear expectations of appropriate behavior.
  5. Be a friend. Plan to be with a friend whenever you are worried about a bully. Develop new friends by getting involved in hobbies, clubs, sports or other organizations.

Not all bullying takes place face-to-face. Almost everyone has access to a cell phone or an Internet connection, and cyberbullying is a fast, easy and sometimes  anonymous way to harrass someone else. Many children report being threatened electronically, through email, instant messenges, blogging, text messages and Web sites dedicated to humiliating another child. For more information on cyberbullying, read this article.

2 thoughts on “Massachusetts takes action on school bullying

  1. Hello Melissa,

    Thank you for writing this piece on such an important topic. I’m wondering if there is a way that someone like myself can email this piece to a friend. Let me know. Thanks!


  2. Maria, if you are on Facebook, you can share it there and many people can read this important article. Thank you Children’s for another very well written piece! This has important and easy tips that children and teens might access and use. Bullying is often over looked as “part of childhood” and not that much of a problem and this is simply not true. My son endured this and it escalated to an extreme that, on top of a medication pushing him over the edge nearly took his life.

    Parents and educators need to take this seriously and look for clues. Kids need to feel they have power to stop bullies. When bullied, children feel they have nowhere to turn and nothing that can be done. Articles like this show that things can and should be done.

    Thank you,

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