1. Bullying is just teasing.
False. While many bullies tease, others use violence, intimidation, and other hostile tactics. Sometimes teasing can be fun; bullying always hurts.
2. Some people deserve to be bullied.
False. No one ever deserves to be bullied. No one "asks for it." Most bullies tease people who are "different" in some way. Being different is not a reason to be bullied.
3. Only boys are bullies.
False. Most bullies are boys, but girls can also be bullies.
4. People who complain about bullies are babies.
False. People who complain about bullies are standing up for their right not to be bullied. They're more grown-up than bullies are.
5. Bullying is a normal part of growing up.
False. If you think bullying is normal, you're less likely to say or do anything about it. Getting teased, picked on, pushed around, threatened, harassed, insulted, hurt, or abused is not normal.
6. Bullies will go away if you ignore them.
True & False. Some bullies may go away. But others will get angry and keep bullying until they get a reaction.
7. All bullies have low self-esteem. That's why they pick on other people.
False. Some bullies have high self-esteem. They feel good about themselves, and picking on other people makes them feel even better. Most of the time, bullying isn't about high or low self-esteem. It's about having power over other people.
8. It's tattling to tell an adult when you're being bullied.
False. It's smart to tell an adult who can help you do something about bullying. It's also smart to tell an adult if you see someone else being bullied.
9. The best way to deal with a bully is by fighting or trying to get even.
False. If you fight with a bully, someone might get hurt. Plus, you might get into trouble for fighting. If you try to get even, you're acting the same way as the bully. And the bully might come after you again to get even with you. Either way only makes things worse.
10. People who are bullied might hurt for a while, but they'll get over it.
True & False. It really depends on the person and how severe or prolonged the bullying is. But bullying can hurt for a long time. Many adults can remember all too well when they were bullied as children.
Adapted from The Bully Free Classroom, by Allan L. Beane, PH.D.,
Free Spirit works for kids Publishing, C. 1999.