Warning Signs of Bullying

Here is some information we shared at the first session of our Bullying Education Series.

Students who are being bullied often exhibit some warning signs. These students may:

* Have torn, damaged or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings.

* Have unexplained cuts, bruises and other scratches from fighting.

* Have few, if any, friends with whom he or she spends time.

* Seem afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities (such as clubs or sports) with peers.

* Take a long, “illogical” route when walking to or from school.

* Lose interest in doing school work, or suddenly begin to do poorly in school.

* Appear sad, moody, teary or depressed when he or she comes home.

* Complain frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical problems.

* Have frequent bad dreams or trouble sleeping.

* Experience a loss of appetite.

* Appear anxious and suffer from low self-esteem.

It’s also important to recognize the characteristics of students who bully, which may help prevent bullying and allow for early intervention. These students may:

* Have a positive attitude toward violence and the use of violent means.

* Have a strong need to dominate and subdue other students and get their own way.

* Be impulsive, aggressive or easily angered.

* Lack empathy toward students who are bullied.

* Have defiance and aggression toward adults, including teachers and parents.

* Be involved in other anti-social or rule-breaking activities such as vandalism, delinquency, and substance abuse.

* Have greater physical strength than that of others in general and the students they bully in particular (especially in boys).

* Be more likely to report owning a gun for risky reasons, such as to gain respect or to frighten others.

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