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A Guide to Dealing with Bullying on the Playground

Recess is supposed to be a fun time of the day, but it's a whole lot less fun when a bully is picking on you. Playground bullies might go after you or your friends, and when they do, it might make you want to just skip recess and stay inside. But you don't have to do that. If you learn more about bullying, you might be able to find ways to do something about it and stop them from ruining your fun.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is when someone gets too rough with you, either by shoving, hitting, or tripping you or by calling you names. A bully can be either a boy or a girl, and bullying most often includes teasing, taunting, pushing, or name-calling. Bullying does not only happen once: Bullies will keep doing it over and over, making you miserable and making the playground feel like it's not a safe or fun place to be.

Types of Bullying

There are many types of bullying. There is verbal bullying, which is when a person or a group of people says mean, hurtful things. Another type of bullying is cyberbullying, which is when people go online and say mean things to others. There is also physical bullying, which means that a person or a group of people hit, kick, or trip you, hurting your body. People might also use the term "relational bullying," which is when a friend or a group of friends excludes someone from the group and spreads rumors about them.

Recess time or playground time is a great time for fun, but it's also a great time for bullies, since teachers are busy trying to keep track of every student and can't pay attention to every single person at once. Bullies will often pick this time to say mean things, throw things, or hurt someone when the teacher isn't looking. Bullying also sometimes happens in school bathrooms, on the bus, or even at home.

Who Is Involved?

When someone's being bullied, there are usually a few different people involved. There's the bully or bullies, and there's the victim, the person being bullied. But there's also often bystanders, people who know about the bullying or see it happen. Bystanders are often scared to stand up to the bullies, just like the victims are. But bystanders can be the ones to stop it. Whenever you see someone being bullied, it's important to go tell an adult so they can do something about it.

What Parents and Teachers Can Do

Teachers and parents can do a lot to help make places safer for kids. The most important thing is that when teachers and parents are on a playground with kids, they need to work hard to keep an eye on everyone. If a student looks nervous or upset or stays close to the teachers instead of playing with their friends, a teacher should ask them what's going on. If two kids aren't getting along, the teacher should try to separate them. Most schools have rules against bullying, and school officials need to enforce those rules every day.

For parents, it's never easy hearing that their child is a bully or a bully's victim. The parent needs to make sure that they let the child's teacher know about the problem, and if their child is the bully, they need to talk to them about being nice to people and about what can happen when they don't follow the rules. If their child is being bullied, it's important that a parent is always there to listen and help them stop the problem.

Prevention

Preventing bullying in schools is important, and everyone can do something to help. Schools need to make sure that they have rules against bullying and punish kids who do it. It's also helpful to reward students for good behavior. Parents need to make sure that their kids know that they can always talk to them when there's a problem, and they need to teach their kids that bullying isn't OK. And kids need to make sure that when they see bullying happen, they don't just stand there: Tell an adult who can help stop it.