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Help Students Who Bully

Posted: 6/13/2011

Sabrina, a 12-year-old, has experienced both sides of the bullying issue. When she was nine, she was bullied relentlessly because of her speech impediment. By the time she was 11, she was bullying others. School staff took her aside and told her that she was physically hurting other students.  

"I denied it all, but the school officer convinced me that I really was bullying kids. She told me that if it didn't stop, I would be arrested or kicked out of school, and that I needed help. I was kind of shocked," Sabrina says. "The officer gave me a reality check. First I was scared that I could go to jail and then ashamed that I hurt other kids."

There were several reasons why Sabrina bullied other students. "Some kids would irritate me. They would have something of mine or they would hit me," she says.  "I didn't want to be known as a snitch, so I tried to deal with it myself and that was not a good plan." 
   
"Sometimes I was defending myself before they could hurt me. With other kids, I don't know why I bullied them. Sometimes they would do something, and I didn't know it was just an accident. For the majority of the bullying, I really was mad about other things and I took it out on other people" 

Sabrina wishes someone had taken her aside sooner and helped her to understand what she was doing. Talking with her school officer made all the difference. "She told me what other kids would feel like when they were bullied and that helped,"  Sabrina says. " She told me to not think about my feelings, but to think about their feelings." 

Now Sabrina has joined the bullying prevention movement and is sharing her experiences to help others. Here's her advice for:

Students who bully
1. Think about what other people would be feeling. "I know people who bully for fun, but it's only fun for them, not for anyone else," Sabrina says.
2. Think about what you're doing and try to find help.

Adults
1. For kids who have been bullies, try not to judge them on what they've done in the past.  
2. For kids who are messing up, talk to them instead of telling them that they're bad and sending them back to class. Help them understand why they are bullying.

By: Anonymous

 
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