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Experiences & Stories about Bullying
From short true school bullying stories (including real life personal experiences & books based on articles in the news) to children's books & eBooks including cyber bullying stories for kids & teenagers. These tales show the very real social problem that is all too often ignored.
Useful anti-bullying games and activities are also suggested to prevent and help find solutions to these types of situations, and to open the lines of communication for victims.
As a parent I can't help but look back at my own experiences as a child, and the many power struggles that existed between peers. Teachers & parents need to become aware of the subtle signs that can signal the beginning of troubled relationships in the early stages. Effective communication including asking the right questions and active listening, and sometimes first hand observations are essential.
I can still remember a seemingly simple incident that occurred when I was 5. I can't help but wonder how many of these tiny little episodes strung together along the way help to shape the kind of persons we become later in life...
School Bullying in Elementary School
I was only 5 and it was my first day at a new school, I might have been a little excited or a little anxious as most kids often are, but when my mom left as we all lined up to enter the classroom, I was in good spirits. Everyone lined up and so did I, now I don't recall what led up to it or why or if (most likely) there was no reason at all but I just remember bursting into tears after being suddenly shoved to the ground by a very hostile little girl. To add insult to injury on seeing the approach of the teacher (who hadn't actually seen or heard the incident) the same little girl quickly demanded that I get up while stretching her hand towards me, as though making a friendly gesture to help the fallen. As the teacher asked what had happened, I managed to tell her between sobs. The teacher basically said something to the effect of "don't be silly, she couldn't have pushed you, don't you see she is trying to help you up?" ...
"Dear Bully" presents 70 stories with a variety of these oppressive types of experiences from the viewpoints of the victim, observer and even the bully. This book provides a good assortment of true tales of these types of abusive relationships in various situations.
...I was both emotionally hurt and afraid, I felt that she could do anything she wanted to me and then put up an innocent front so that to the teacher, I would be seen as either a liar or simply making things up. I had no protection.
I remember going to school the next day and when I saw this girl again I got all teary eyed and quickly ran to my mom clinging to her and not wanting her to leave me.
The feelings of hurt, fear and mistrust and feeling that even the person in authority couldn't protect me is something I still remember today. The way in which girls can have the ability to be so mean in at one second and so seemingly deceptively sweet in the next is also something I couldn't quite forget.
Being bullied can start with small beginnings
Although this was only one minor incident this is how bullying can often begin, with caretakers and adults that are not fully aware of the situation, and a child who knows they can get away with bullying because of their ability hide the truth or manipulate the situation.
What happens when children are continuously mistreated by their peers and the adults are left in the dark? These types of negative emotions of fear and vulnerability can set in and scar the victim for life.
Now that I have a child of a similar age I can't help but wonder what happens when I'm not there, when the teacher is too preoccupied, and the bullying begins, when a child might be too young to properly express what is really happening.
One day I was on my way home and happened to be accompanied by an older schoolmate who was a great friend and a bit "rough around the edges". As we approached the intersection my bully was already there waiting for me. She didn't hesitate to start the verbal abuse. My friend beside me who had a short fuse that easily ignited her hot temper and sharp tongue became thoroughly lit and exploded in kind.
Now the shoe was on the other foot and I watched my bully hurry away as a barrage of insults were loudly fired at her. I was relieved thrilled and grateful. I felt like I was standing next to a superhero, and even my peace loving nature breathed a sign of gratitude.
All I remember after this is that I never had any other incidents with this bully.
Early Childhood Bullying
A Friend in need... an unexpected hero
I remember walking home from primary school on several occasions and being bullied by a girl from another school. She was verbally abusive and physically threatening. I remember adjusting the time I left school, often later than usual, so that paths hopefully didn't cross.
I would be on the lookout to see if she was at the intersection where we often crossed wondering if she had already left or was just around the corner.
I always tried to be on the opposite side of the street when I passed here and tried to be invisible, but she seemed to need someone to pick on, to dominate, and I was easy prey...
Stories about bullying
About bullying in schools
Sometimes relationships in a school setting can become so complicated that even friends can be the source of bullying. According to the book "My Secret Bully" this is called "relational aggression" and in the book pictured here written for 2nd to 5th graders, the complex relationship of friendship and mean bullying between girls is explored.
With friends like you...
I can remember a seemingly inseparable friendship between two high school girls where the more domineering friend would frequently take unkind jabs at the other just for fun in the midst of others.
Although these jabs were often taken in stride, they were often harsh, somewhat demeaning and completely unnecessary. These jabs were the kind that would cause others to wonder why they are even friends.
Why should one friend say things that could set the other up for ridicule and teasing by their peers? Is there a need to feel superior or simply to a have a laugh at another's expense? Can this truly be called a healthy friendship?
When friendships start bordering on emotional abuse, a lack of respect, neglect for one's feelings and a lack of care for the consequences of negative words, these "friendships" need to be reevaluated and changed or set aside.
Bullying at school can take many forms, from verbal abuse by classmates to physical abuse by older schoolmates and even various forms of emotional abuse from so called friends.
What is your experience with bullying ?
The "Bullying Clever Catch Ball" below is best suited for kids in Grades 2 to 6. It uses several questions to open up the lines of communication about aggression, harassment, abuse and anger management. An answer sheet is also provided for guidance. This is a great tool for teacher student discussions in a classroom setting.
The "No Bullies Needed Puppet Set" on the right includes puppets plus scripts for puppet plays including a "mean girl" and "playground bully" written by a licensed counselor who has experience in this field. Also included is a teacher's guide. This is an entertaining way to teach students to exercise good judgment in conflict situations. Puppets are between 16" and 18" in height.
Another unlikely source of bullying...
I remember in high school being subject to this type of abuse from a teacher who had been notorious for this practice on a selection of students for many years. I would go to class fearfully, hoping to be invisible, and off of the radar, hoping that if she had to go on a rampage this time that it would be someone else's turn. It was definitely a negative learning environment.
It's really sad and dangerous when an adult in a position of authority, such as a teacher, is the bully, but such is the case with teacher bullying. The teenage years can be stressful and difficult enough but when added to the mix is a teacher that is constantly on the warpath to publicly humiliate, berate or embarrass particular students in class with personal insults; this can be literally a deadly combination. Thinking back I wonder if I had been a weaker person, if this teacher could have been my tipping point... the added factor that would make a troubled teenager think that life really wasn't worth living and make an exit.
Although teacher bullying might not be very common today, it does exist, especially in situations where the demand for a particular expertise that a teacher might have is so great and the reporting system is so flawed or ineffective that a blind eye could be turned to the information that didn't first fall on deaf ears.
Call it verbal abuse or any other name, when a teacher continuously makes pubic personal attacks, picks on and belittles a student in class, it's a form of bullying.
To the right are a couple of good resources for teachers who actually want to take a stand against bullying and make a difference:
Have you ever been bullied by a teacher or witnessed teacher bullying?
Bullying Statistics Poll
Interesting tales & coping techniques
Coach Kozak has some very helpful advise for the various scenarios presented in this video. I find it interesting that he also was subject to relational aggression as mentioned on this page above. It just goes to show that this abuse in it's various forms is both widespread and gender-less.
Cyber Bullying Stories - Books and Stories about Cyber Bullying
In today's world the use of modern technology can be one of the most prevalent and abusive forms of bullying. The anonymity of the internet, ease of use and accessibility plus lack of supervision and law enforcement are just a few of the factors that makes this problem very real, and can make the lives of victims more of a living nightmare than before.
"The Truth about Truman School" is a book suitable for 5th to 8th Graders. The story explores the world of anonymous online gossip, rumors and malicious photos, and the how the abuse of the internet can affect its victims.
In the book entitled "Facebook Killed Amanda Todd" the real life story of the tragic consequences of cyber abuse is told, this book is suitable for teens and parents and adults in general.
The disturbing part of this trend is that in the past victims could leave the situation in which they were bullied, by for instance leaving the group or school, growing up and leaving behind negative relationships and acquaintances or leaving the area they grew up in where the incidents occurred.
However the internet makes escape much more difficult since the information (especially when photos and videos are involved) is quickly and easily spread, and can often be permanent, plus victims can often be tracked online despite their physical location.
I know of countless tales of young people who may have made a wrong choice or have been a victim in some way, who have had to endure the misery of being harassed online with uploaded pictures, videos and comments for the world to see. The world wide web of Cyber bullying in many ways can truly be like being caught in a giant spider's web.
"The Defeat of the Cyber Bully" is a fun fictional children's book that attempts to teach young kids how to respond to online harassers before they become victims - suitable for preschoolers.
Real life, true stories about bullying
These true tales of bullying help show are both powerful and inspiring.
Some titles are available for download while others are in hardcover and paperback book format.
"End It Now" is an autobiography of a teenage boy and how the physical abuse of his tormentor almost led to his death.
This story is available in paperback.
"Tread Softly" tells the tragic story of the harassment of Phoebe Prince that led to the teens death in 2010.
This ebook is a good read for teenagers, parents and teacher.
Anti bullying activities to help stop bullying
These Fun anti-bullying games and activities shown below focus on opening up the lines of communication:
"Bully Wise" ...Educational Dominoes is a great twist on the original dominoes game. Before placing a domino tile Players must pick a card to answer a question relating to harassing relationships or use a skill, the cards are grouped according to victims, bullies, bystanders or extra help. It is suitable for 2 to 5 players and is geared towards children grades 1 to 5.
"Anti Bullying" activity books - This fun set of 24 activity books is themed around anti bullying, they can be folded out to 8.5 x 11 individual sheets with 8 activities each.
"Bullies, Victims & Bystanders" This board game uses pawns, playing cards, and a die to teach about how hurtful oppressive relationships can be and how to overcome it. This is a good tool for teaching children good behavior and positive anti-bullying habits.
Help for Victims of Bullying - Helpful resources & Bullying Articles Online
If you are a victim - please see the section "Help for Victims of Bullying" below
These are some of the best sources of information about bullying:
- Suicide Prevention lifeline
If your situation has ever caused you to consider suicide, at the SuicidePreventionLifeline.org Telephone # 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you find out more about their free and confidential lifeline where you can speak to a trained crisis worker who will pro
- Help for teenage victims of bullying & young adults up to age 24
This site offers a live chat help lione for teens and youn people between the ages of 13 to 24 who are the victims of various typews of bullying
- Help for Cyberbullying Victims
If you are a victim of cyberbullying, you can do something about it - this site can help.
- Bullying help for Kids
This page is designed to teach kids what to do about being bullied.
- Bullying Resources & Help
Get more info & get help from Stopbullying.gov
- Wikipedia article on Bullying
Get the facts about bullying and see their list of helpful sites.