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Are you a bully?
16 May 2011

There has been a lot of talk about bullying in the newspapers and on TV in the last few weeks. Schools are getting all sorts of special programs to work with kids about bullying and how to deal with it. Bullying has become a big issue.

Everyone knows that bullying is sometimes excused as 'only having a bit of fun', 'only teasing' or 'only joking'. The people who are being bullied don't think of it like that. They know that their feelings and sometimes their bodies are being hurt. They are the people who find school an unsafe place to be. Some young people have even taken their own lives to get away from bullying!

So what about the people who are doing the bullying?

Are you a bully?

Do you find yourself saying things like 'I was only having a bit of fun, only teasing, only joking' or even 'I didn't mean to hurt, it was an accident'? Do you send 'joke' texts or photos making fun of people or spread rumours that you know are not true?

If you do, then maybe you need to sit down and do some thinking. Are other kids afraid of you? Do other kids try to avoid you? Do you pick on other people when you are with your friends and they are alone?

Maybe it's time to think about what you are doing. Our topic on 'Teasing others and how to stop' may give you some ideas on where to start to change your behaviour and become the kind of person who has real friends who care about you, not people who hang around with you because they don't want to be bullied by you. Making changes in your life takes time so start straight away!