Caught in the Web

Bullying: Seeking Help Online


by Laura Emery, Field Editor 


Bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone. It happens every day in schools across the Commonwealth and around the country. So often, those being bullied feel helpless and don’t know where to turn. In severe cases, bullying situations can lead to physical violence, threatening behavior, and even death.

As we move closer to the start of the school year, it’s important to know that there are a variety of websites with advice and resources for parents and students to handle bullying — before it gets out of control.

This website speaks directly to the one being bullied. On its opening page, it reads: “There are lots of reasons teens pick on their peers at school. Is it because you look different? Do others ostracize you because of your sexual orientation? Are they just being mean? Sometimes it feels like no one understands how being bullied makes you feel. Sometimes it feels like no one will listen. Sometimes it feels like no one will help. All that pressure starts to build up. You think about running away from home or hurting yourself just to make the bullying stop. You aren't alone. The National Runaway Safeline empowers bullied youth with tools to help them make sense of their situation.”

The big message here is awareness. If parents and teachers pay attention to warning signs, a bullying situation could be remedied before it goes too far. According to this website, some signs that may point to a bullying problem are unexplainable injuries, lost or destroyed personal items, frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness, changes in eating habits, difficulty sleeping, declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork or not wanting to go to school, sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations, feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem, self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, self-harm, or talking about suicide.

Kidpower is a global nonprofit leader in personal safety and violence prevention education, which has served over 2 million people of all ages and abilities across six continents, since its founding in 1989. Instead of using fear to teach about violence prevention, the Kidpower Method makes it fun to learn to be safe, building habits that can increase the safety of young people and adults alike and that can last a lifetime. This website has a large number of articles on how to teach your children to be less of a target for bullying. By following a lot of the suggestions, you make your child feel safer and more confident when it comes to dealing with bullies.

This website includes articles that discuss when adults should intervene during teasing, how a parent can help a child deal with a bully, teaching children tolerance, and how to react when you know someone is being bullied at school.

This is a compilation of articles and blogs that cover topics related to bullying — everything from sibling bullying to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is similar to other types of bullying, except it takes place online and through text messages sent to cellphones. Cyberbullies can be classmates, online acquaintances, and even anonymous users, but most often they are someone familiar to the victim.

STOMP Out Bullying focuses on reducing and preventing bullying, cyberbullying, sexting and other digital abuse, educating against homophobia, racism and hatred, decreasing school absenteeism, and deterring violence in schools, online and in communities across the country. It teaches effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying; as well as educating kids and teens in school and online, providing help for those in need and at risk of suicide, raising awareness, peer mentoring programs in schools, public service announcements by noted celebrities, and social media campaigns. An additional focus educates parents on how to keep their children safe and responsible online.

If you’re interested in finding out the six different types of bullies, this is the place to go. The article clearly defines types of bullies and their personality traits. They are: bully victims, popular/aggressive bullies, group bullies, relational bullies, serial bullies, and indifferent bullies.  


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