A Place for Kids
Step Up to Bullying and Cyber Bullying
(and have fun doing it)
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Check us out!. Explore our pages to see all there is to see and do:
- Stepping On Up Series Overview »
- Clip of the Month »
- Activities »
- Student Essay Contest: Win free programs for your school! »
What is Stepping On Up?
Stepping On Up is an exciting way to learn about bullying and help stop it at your school. It will give you a lot of good ideas about how you can protect yourself, your friends and classmates from bullies and make your school a kinder and more caring place to learn. It will also help you discover more about yourself, how to make good choices and be the best person you can be.
In the shows, you will meet Zazi and Dieter, our wacky and lovable puppet characters who, like you, have to face bullies, cyber bullying, peer pressure, and other conflicts in school. You will learn positive and easy ways to solve these problems when Zazi and Dieter get a little help from their loving, empathetic and funny friend, Michael Pritchard.
You can learn more and see clips from all of our programs by going to the Stepping On Up Series Overview »
Clip of the Month
Each month we will stream a complete segment from one of our lessons along with sample discussion questions for the program. Check out our Clip of the Month »
Win Free Programs
We are pleased to announce that through the generous support of Our Funders, we will be giving away sets of free programs to schools participating in our Stepping On Up Student Essay Writing contest. Learn More »
Check out all our activities: Make your own puppets, put on your own puppet shows! We will show you how, step by step. Learn more »
How to Step Up To Bullying
What is Bullying?
By definition, a student is bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time to negative actions on the part of one or more other students. Bullying takes place when someone intentionally inflicts, or attempts to inflict, injury or discomfort on another. (Olweus). It can be physical, verbal or emotional:
- Physical bullying includes: hitting, kicking, or pushing someone (or threatening to do it), stealing, hiding or ruining someone’s things, making someone do things he or she don’t want to do
- Verbal bullying includes: taunting, teasing, name calling, insults, threats or hate speech
- Emotional bullying includes: rejection or exclusion of others, refusing to talk to someone, social isolation, rumors and gossip
Every incident of bullying involves the victim, the bully and the bystanders. To stop bullying, every member of the school community must play a part.
Things victims can do while bullying is taking place:
- Ignore the bully whenever possible
- Try not to respond emotionally: don’t cry, get angry, or show that you’re upset
- Respond to the bully evenly and firmly
- When appropriate, use humor to diffuse the situation
- Turn and walk away
Things victims can do after bullying takes place:
- Talk to your parents or an adult you trust such as a teacher, school counselor or principal
- Don’t blame yourself for what happened
- Avoid situations and places where bullying can happen
- Stay in a group: don’t walk alone, travel with other people whenever you can
- Sit near the bus driver on the school bus
- Don’t bring expensive things or money to school
- Label your belongings with permanent marker in case they get stolen
- Act confidently: hold your head up, stand up straight and make eye contact
Things bystanders can do:
- Be a part of the solution
- Speak up and offer support to the victim
- Walk away: bullies enjoy an audience
- Do not instigate or encourage conflicts and fights
- Refuse to join in if someone is being bullied
- Report bullying to an adult
Things the school community can do to prevent bullying:
- Talk about what is bullying (see above) and identify bullying behaviors
- Develop clear school rules and sanctions regarding bullying
- Protect victims from retaliation: provide a wide range of safe and effective interventions so victims are not left alone to deal with aggressive behavior
- Encourage bystanders to make positive interventions that diffuse violence
- Create clear, easy and confidential ways to report incidents of bullying
- Increase supervision to protect victims
- Promote a climate of inclusion and respect for all students
- Teach tolerance and empathy
- Develop school-wide activities that create an awareness of bullying; discourage bullying behavior and identify effective strategies to stop it
- Support local bullying prevention programs
Staying Safe on the Web
- Don’t go to web sites that you know are unsafe or are favorite hang-outs for bullies.
- Never post or share your personal information online (this includes your full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents’ names, credit card info, or Social Security number) or your friends’ personal information.
- Never post your e-mail address on a public message board or in a chat room.
E-mail should only be shared with fiends, people you know and trust.
- Never share your Internet passwords with anyone, except your parents.
- Never meet anyone face-to-face whom you only know online.
- Talk to your parents about what you do online.
- Ask your parents to install software that keeps you safe on the web by identifying suspicious sites, blocking unwanted ones and monitoring hostile messages.
What To Do When Bullied Online:
- Don’t retaliate. If someone is being mean to you online, do not respond in anger. In fact, it is never a good idea to send a message of any kind when you are angry and upset. The message you send could escalate the bullying.
- Ignore it. In real life it is often hard to “walk away”, but online it is much easier. Move on to something else you like doing on the web.
- Block the bully. If you get mean messages by text, IM or on a social networking site, “unfriend” the person and take them off you lists. Use preferences or privacy tools to block the person. If it’s in chat, leave the “room.”
- Save and print out bullying messages. If the bullying continues, the police may need to become involved so save the evidence.
- Sign off the computer. Turn off your computer. Do not go back to web sites or chat rooms where you’ve been bullied.
- Talk to a friend. When someone hurts your feeling online, it helps to reach out to a friend and share your feelings. Do not isolate yourself or keep secrets about how you are feeling.
- Tell your parents or guardians. They need to know what is going on in your life and can help you be safer on the web and avoid cyber bullying.
- Talk to you teachers or other trusted adults. There are a many people at school and in the community who will listen and help you deal with this and other problems. Brainstorm good ways to approach a trusted adult with your parents or friends. And remember, you can always keep you these conversations confidential and make your reports anonymously.
- Report the problem to an Internet service provider or website moderator.
Don’t Become a Cyber Bully — Follow these simple Rules for Digital Etiquette:
- If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online. Remember that everyone you are talking to on the web is real person with feelings and emotions. Never say anything on the web that you would not say in person, face to face.
- Never post a comment or send an e-mail when you’re angry. It is easy to get angry and post mean things on the web without thinking about the consequence. As Michael says, “everything we text or post on the web is more or less public” and can last forever.
- Be civil and kind. Remember the golden rule: treat people the way you want to be treated. Never trash talk — research shows that it increases your risk of being bullied.
- Block on-line rumors. Never spread gossip or rumors online and help block them by naming the problem by saying, “Sounds like a rumor to me.”
- Be an up-stander, not a bystander. Bad things can happen when insulting or embarrassing messages, pictures or video go viral. Watching or forwarding these mean messages makes you a partner of the bully and hurts victims even more. Whenever possible, calmly name the problem: tell the sender that you think what they are doing is bullying and tell them to stop. It can help to remind them that they are hurting someone and that such cruel behavior is unacceptable, in person and on the web.
- Report incidents of cyber bullying to your parents, guardians, teachers and other adults. They can help you figure out good ways to stop the cyber bullying and protect the victim, such as reporting the problem to an Internet service provider or the police.
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