Riley’s Rainforest: End Bullying!
Jessie walks nervously to the bus stop, feeling her stomach tighten. Will the girl who bullied her yesterday be on the bus? Her heart pounds. Maybe I should just stay home sick, she thinks.
Jessie isn’t alone. On average, about 28% of U.S. kids say they’ve been bullied. Whether it’s repeated name-calling, rumors, or hurting someone physically, bullying is a serious problem. The stress it causes can even impact health. Kids who are bullied are more likely to report headaches, stomachaches, sleep problems, anxiety, and depression. And if bullying goes on for a long time, health issues can continue into adulthood.
It’s important to speak up any time you experience or see bullying. Sometimes it helps to look in the eye of a kid who’s being mean and say in a calm, firm voice, “Stop.” Other times, laughing it off or walking away is enough to make the person back down. But if harassment continues, ask for help from parent, teacher, or other trusted adult.
Bullying doesn’t only happen in person. Cyberbullying takes place online and in text messages. It can be just as tough to deal with because it may happen at any time and can reach a wide audience. Sometimes it’s hard to know who’s doing it, too. Kindness is just as important online as it is in real life. Talk to a parent or teacher if you see embarrassing or cruel messages or photos.
If we all work together on stopping bullying, the world will be a happier, healthier, and safer place for everyone.
Explore and Soar: A Good Friend Checklist
Are your friendships fun and healthy? If you can answer yes to these questions, you’re probably in good shape. Think of a friend. Do you:
- Look forward to seeing him or her?
- Listen to one another?
- Treat each other with respect, even when you disagree?
- Know you can trust him or her?
- Feel comfortable being yourself when you’re together?
- Appreciate each other’s differences?
- Share common values, such as kindness and honesty?
True or False? Kids who are bullying usually won’t stop if someone speaks up.
False. In a study, when bystanders intervened in a bullying situation, the bullying kid backed down within 10 seconds over half of the time. If you see bullying, speak up and get help from a trusted adult.Bullying43 Health59 Characters307 Riley68 Riley’s Rainforest49