Bullying Roles

Bullying can happen to anyone. Bullying is about someone’s behavior. That behavior could be directed at the shy, quiet student, or the class tough guy. Girls bully, boys bully, preschool kids bully, and high school kids bully – there is no one characteristic or aspect that indicates who gets bullied. The one sure thing is that no one EVER deserves to be bullied, and if someone is being bullied, they have a RIGHT to be safe.

Learn more about the roles of bullying, and think about where you fit in the cycle of bullying. 

A person who bullies isn’t always “the other kid.” Sometimes, it might be… you! Before you say “No way!” think about it. 

Have you ever heard yourself saying – or thinking – things like:

  • Some people deserve to be hurt.
  • Being mean to people doesn’t hurt them.
  • It is fun to hurt others.
  • I’m so cool that kids and adults don’t think I would do anything wrong.
  • People push me around, so I’m going to do it to other people, too.
  • I feel better about myself when I make other people feel worse.
  • If kids are afraid of me, then I won’t get picked on.
  • I am just being funny. What’s the big deal?
  • I do what it takes to be part of the “cool” crowd.
  • I don’t want to be the only one getting picked on.
  • Some kids deserve to be bullied because of what they do to me.
  • I don’t like them, so it’s OK to be mean to them.

Do you recognize any of the signs? Kids bully for a lot of reasons. It might be because of:

  • Peer pressure
  • Being manipulated into something
  • Fear 
  • Insecurity 
  • Not understanding that their actions hurt someone 
  • Not having positive adult role models 
  • Being bullied themselves 

If you think this might be you, talk with an adult. Seriously, they can help. If the first adult you talk with isn’t helpful, talk to someone else until you find one who will listen. You have that right.

©2012, PACER Center | National Bullying Prevention Center

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