• Susan Delahanty from the Summit County Medical Alliance shared valuable information about bullies, victims and bystanders:
    Parents and caregivers… did you know these Facts and Figures on Bullying?
    • Studies in several countries have consistently shown that at least 15% of students in school are involved. 

    • About 9% are targets. 

    • About 7% bully others repeatedly.  

    • Every 160,000 children miss school for fear of being bullied. 

    • Most adults are not aware of a bullying problem and most victims do no tell an adult. 

    • BOTH girls and boys bully.  

    • Boys are more likely to engage in direct physical bullying.  Girls tend to use covert behaviors such as social exclusion, peer rejection and spreading rumors. 

    • Direct bullying seems to increase through the elementary years, peak in the middle school years and decline during the high school years.

    There are a number of myths about bullying that need to be dispelled.  They are…

    • Bullying at school really doesn’t do any harm.  

    • The best thing to do is to just hit back – harder. 

    • Bullying helps toughen kids up and make them stronger. 

    • Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you.  

    • It’s not really bullying – they’re only teasing.     

    • Boys will be boys. 

    • Kids just go through these things, adults shouldn’t get involved.  

    • It’s just innocent fun.  

    • Girls don’t bully.

    Mrs. Delahanty shared with the students that there are consequences for both the bully and the victim.

    For the Victim:

    • Depression, low self esteem 

    • Shyness 

    • Poor Academic achievement 

    • Isolation 

    • Emotional scars that are carried for a lifetime 

    • Ongoing anxiety and fear 

    • Develop a sense of powerlessness, hopelessness and helplessness   

    For the Bully:

    • Learn that violence and aggression “works” 

    • 60% have criminal convictions by age 24 

    • Lose their popularity as they get older 

    • Suffer many failed friendships and relationships 

    • Bullying becomes a habit 

    • Are likely to be unemployed as adults  

    For the School:

    • Disruptive negative behaviors 

    • Poor achievement scores 

    • Unsafe and tense atmosphere  

    • Inattentive students  

    • Lack of cooperation and personal responsibility 

    • Needless stress 

    • Lost productivity time

    Characteristics of Bullies

    • They have seen people bullied in the family 

    • They are being bullied themselves 

    • They are selfish or spoiled and always want to get their own way 

    • They have no friends and feel lonely 

    • They feel bad about themselves and want to make others feel bad too  

    • They feel insecure and unimportant-bullying gives them power 

    • They want to look “big” in front of others  

    • They don’t understand how bad victims feel 

    • They have poor social skills 

    • They are overwhelmed by life 

    • They feel helpless, out of control and powerless and so they want to feel “in control”  

    • They bully to feel successful and competent 

    • They have a lot of aggressive behavior patterns 

    • They want to dominate their peers  

    • They refuse to accept responsibility for their actions  

    • They are often defiant  and impulsive  

    • They lie to keep themselves out of trouble


    Characteristics of Targets

    • Passive 

    • Tend to be loners 

    • Cry or show emotions easily 

    • Lack of self-defense skills 

    • Aren’t able to dodge conflict with humor  

    • May not think quickly on their feet 

    • Are easily frustrated  

    • Behave or look “different” than the other children around them  

    • Tend to be physically weaker than the bully  

    • Suffer from low self-esteem  

    • Are anxious and cautious 

    • Are shy  

    • May become depressed and/or suicidal

    Signs a Child is Being Bullied
    • Be frightened of walking to or from school 

    • Change their usual route 

    • Not want to go on the school bus 

    • Beg you to drive them to school   

    • Be unwilling to go to school  

    • Feel ill in the mornings  

    • Begin to skip school 

    • Begin doing poorly in their school work 

    • Come home regularly with books or clothes destroyed 

    • Come home starving because the bully has taken their lunch or money  

    • Become withdrawn, start stammering, lack confidence 

    • Become distressed and anxious 

    • Stop eating  

    • Cry themselves to sleep; have nightmares  

    • Keep “losing” possessions or money 

    • Ask for money or start stealing money (to pay the bully)  

    • Refuse to say what’s wrong due to fear of retaliation by the bully  

    • Have unexplained bruises, scratches or cuts  

    • Begin to bully other children  

    • Become unreasonable and aggressive 

    • Give improbable excuses to explain any of the above


    If Your Child Is Being Bullied

    • Ask your child directly if he/she is being bullied  


    • Keep telling your child you love them and are 100% on their side 

    • Reassure them that the bullying is not their fault 

    • Remind them not to react to the bully and explain why 

    • Practice assertiveness techniques with your child 

    • Help your child to think up simple responses to the bully 

    • Help your child minimize opportunities for bullying 

    • Remind your child that keeping safe is more important than possessions 

    • Make time to sit down with your child and listen to their feelings and ideas 

    • Discuss alternatives with your child; encourage them to see themselves as having options 

    • Praise your child when they accomplish something, remind them of these accomplishments 
      when they are feeling helpless or hopeless 

    • Make opportunities for the children to succeed x Encourage children to take up a hobby, activity, or sport x Consider enrolling them in a self-defense class x Encourage your child to join new groups and lend support until he/she feels comfortable


    If Your Child Is The Bully


    • Find out exactly what your child has done and if they have behaved this way before.  Keep in mind that bullies tend to minimize or deny their behavior.  

    • Explore with your child to see if he/she has any idea why they bully and what they think might help.  

    • Reassure them that you love them- it’s their behavior you don’t like.  

    • Find out if there is something in particular troubling them and try to sort it out.  
      SET LIMITS. Let your child know that bullying is NEVER okay.  
      Arrange for effective, non-violent consequences that fit the behavior.   

    • Increase the amount of supervision your child receives, both at home and at school.  
      Minimize the viewing of violent television shows, video games and movies your child is allowed to partake in.  

    • Address any ongoing violence or problems within the family.  

    • Stop any show of aggression.  Help children recognize their anger and explore constructive ways to deal with the anger. 

    • Discuss alternatives when your child may be faced with a frustrating situation or an opportunity to bully.  

    • Encourage children to WALK AWAY, COOL DOWN, AND THINK.  

    • Teach your child the difference between assertive, aggressive and passive behavior.  Help him/her practice assertive behaviors.  Be supportive.  

    • Praise your children when they accomplish something.   

    • Work with the teacher and school personnel in setting realistic goals for your child and follow up frequently, providing support and encouragement.  

    • BE PATIENT. Changes take time.


    Teaching Assertiveness Skills

    • Demonstrate assertive behavior.  

    • Contrast aggressive or submissive responses through role-play or demonstration.  

    • Intervene when interactions seem headed for trouble and suggest ways to work out a compromise 
      and express feelings in a productive way.  

    • Teach children to seek help when confronted by the abuse of power by other children or adults.  

    • Remind children to ignore routine teasing by turning their heads or walking away.  

    • Teach children to ask for things directly and respond directly to each other.  Friendly suggestions are taken more easily than bossy demands.  

    • Teach children to ask nicely and respond appropriately to polite requests.  

    • After a conflict between children, ask those involved to replay the scene.  

    • Show the children how to resolve problems firmly and fairly.  

    • Encourage children not to give in to bullies.  

    • Identify acts of aggression, bossiness or discrimination for children and teach them not to accept them.  

    • Show children the rewards of personal achievement through standing up for themselves, rather than depending on the approval of others only.


    If You Are A Target

    • Tell a friend, family member or teacher what is happening.  

    • IGNORE the bully or say NO firmly and WALK AWAY.   

    • Don’t fight back if you can help it.  

    • It’s not worth getting hurt to keep possessions or money.  

    • Think up funny or clever replies ahead of time.  Practice.  

    • Avoid being alone in places you know bullies may pick on you.  Stick with a group.  

    • Practice “walking tall and standing strong” in a mirror.   

    • Use assertiveness techniques.  

    • Keep a diary about what is happening.  

    • Do things to make yourself feel better.   

    • Practice “fogging” which means to stare at them.   

    • Ask a friend for help and support.   

    • Join a self-defense class  


    Making Yourself Feel Better

    • Make a list of all the good things you can think of about yourself.

    • Learn to talk in a positive way to yourself and others.

    • Develop your skills and interests.

    • Do some volunteer work.

    • Get involved in a “cause” to protect people, animals or the environment.

    • Join a group that interests you.

    • Practice assertiveness skills every day.

    • Take a risk and make a new friend.

    • Hang around fun pleasant people.

    • Remember that changes take time and practice.

    Self Assertiveness 

    Making Requests:

    • Be clear about what you want.

    • Plan ahead and practice.

    • Make your requests short and to the point; (I want my pencil back.).

    • Decide what you want and stick to it. You don’t have to be rude, but don’t get sidetracked.

    Saying NO:

    • When you say NO, say it firmly.

    • Listen to your body and to your feelings: what do you really want to say?  What do you really want to do?

    • Try not to get caught up in arguments and DON”T get angry or upset if you don’t get your own way.

    • If you don’t want something, don’t give in to pressure.  Be firm. Remember, you have the right to say NO.

    • If you are not sure and somebody is bugging you for an answer, say you need more time or more information.

    • Don’t make excuses: stand tall, look the person in the eye, and look like you mean business.

    • Offer an alternative, that way people understand that you are saying no to the activity, not to the person.

    Dealing With Taunts and Insults:

    • DON’T ARGUE!


    • Pretend you are in a “Fog Bank” and all the insults are absorbed by the fog.

    • Reply with something short: “That’s what you think.” “Maybe.”  Then WALK AWAY.

    • Practice handling the worst thing the bullies can say.

    Dealing With Anger:

    • GET AWAY from the situation.

    • Take several deep breaths and count to ten.

    • Exercise to help let off steam.

    • Practice simple relaxation exercises.

    View the Copley-Fairlawn City Schools Board of Education policy on Bullying.

Last Modified on September 29, 2009