How to Respond to Bullying

When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable.

Stop Bullying on the Spot:

  • Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.

  • Separate the kids involved.

  • Make sure everyone is safe.

  • Meet any immediate medical needs.

  • Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.

  • Model respectful behavior when you intervene.

Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without adult help.

  • Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.

  • Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.

  • Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.

  • Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately.

  • Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.

Do Not Hesitate to involve the authorities to get help if:

  • A weapon is involved.

  • There are threats of serious physical injury.

  • There is sexual abuse.

  • Anyone is accused of an illegal act.