A girl in my class is overweight and other kids constantly make fun of her and try to push her lunch tray out her hands. Is there anything I can to do help her?
To the girl being bullied, just knowing that someone else is on her side can make a big difference. It can also help if you and your friends hang out with her, especially during times that she has problems — like lunch or free time. Bullies often bother people when they're alone. And having people to hang out with can help your classmate feel confident and accepted.
Talk to an adult at school about what's going on. The adult can help stop the bullying by dealing with the bullies directly. If it hasn't completely stopped, get advice from the adult on the best ways you and the girl who is being bullied can react. For example, things like calmly telling bullies to stop, walking away, ignoring them, or using humor often discourage bullies because no one seems upset or intimidated by their actions.
Speak up if you hear others bullying your classmate. Stand up for her by telling them that the way they're treating her is wrong and what they're doing is not funny. But do it in a way that's calm and firm, rather than dramatic, sarcastic, or emotional.
Don't let things escalate into arguing, planning revenge, being mean, or resorting to violence. These things usually don't help, and can make a bad situation even worse. Bullies often are encouraged if they see people are upset and if they sense their intimidation is working. You can help prepare by talking to adults or friends and rehearsing how you'll act and what you'll say.
If the bullying involves violence or threats, or if you think your classmate is in danger of getting hurt or harming herself, talk to an adult about it right away.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: October 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|Tolerance.org Tolerance.org encourages people from all walks of life to fight hate and promote tolerance.|
|Anti-Defamation League The mission of this organization is to fight anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds.|
|National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) NCPC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent crime and build safer, more caring communities.|
|American Psychological Association (APA) The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.|
|Stop Bullying This U.S. government website offers valuable resources for kids and adults on bullying awareness, prevention, and intervention.|
|Coping With Cliques Are you on the outside looking in or the inside wanting out? Find out how to deal with cliques in this article for teens.|
|Cyberbullying Using technology to bully is a problem that's on the rise. The good news is awareness of how to prevent cyberbullying is growing even faster. See our tips on what to do.|
|Teens Talk About Bullying (Video) In this video, teens talk about their experiences with bullying.|
|Sexual Harassment and Sexual Bullying Just like other kinds of bullying, sexual bullying is intended to hurt, offend, or intimidate another person. Find out how to recognize sexual bullying and harassment and what to do.|
|Dealing With Bullying Bullying has everyone worried, not just the people on its receiving end. Learn about dealing with bullies, including tips on how to stand up for yourself or a friend.|
|Peer Pressure Responding to peer pressure is part of human nature — but some people are more likely to give in, and others are better able to resist and stand their ground. Find out how to make the right choices for you.|
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