Is your student being bullied?

Warning Signs

If you suspect that a student is being bullied, there are signs you can watch for:

  • Are the student’s clothing being damaged throughout the day?
  • Have you seen physical symptoms like bruises or scratches?
  • Does the student seem afraid to go to school, ride the bus, use the bathroom or take part in school activities?
  • Is the student complaining about physical ailments (stomachaches, headaches) often?
  • Does the student appear sad or moody?
  • Has the student shown a loss of appetite, more anxiety or low self esteem?

This list is not conclusive. The best thing you can do is watch for changes in normal activity and keep open lines of communication


Possible Outcomes

There are many long terms effects of bullying a student could suffer from. Remember that this is not a conclusive list:

  • The stress that bullying causes can affect the student’s engagement and learning is school.
  • Bully victims are more likely to be depressed, lonely, anxious, have low self-esteem and possibly think about suicide.
  • Bullying can cause a child to be fearful of going to school, use the bathroom, or ride the bus.


Real Information

Here are some things to keep in mind when approaching a bully situation:

  • Kids can be scared to go to an adult and even feel that adult intervention can make the situation worse because it may only bring more harassment from the bully.
  • In survey of 14 Massachusetts schools, more than 30 percent of kids believed that adults did little to nothing to be the bullying stop.
  • Sometimes the bully can also be a victim. Remember that they are still kids and they need help as well.
  • Verbal bullying is the most frequent form of bullying experienced by both genders. Physical bullying is more likely to happen among boys, while social exclusion-type bullying is more likely among girls.
  • Bullying has an impact on other students at school who are bystanders to bullying. Bullying creates a climate of fear and disrespect in schools and has a negative impact on student learning.
  • Bullying has been linked to serious school violence, shootings and hazing incidents.


  • Talk to your student. Let them know that you are concerned about them and that you want to help. Ask lots of questions.
  • Let them talk and listen to what they have to say. It is important to not brush off bullying as normal or invalidate their feelings. Remember that they are hurting.
  • Make it clear that you take bullying seriously and that there is no tolerance for it.
  • Be in communication with their parents. Talk to them about what the student has said and ask them to talk to other adults who interact with them to see if they’ve observed the bullying. You may also try a guidance counselor or even the principal.
  • Make it clear that you take bullying seriously and that there is no tolerance for it.
  • Observe your students’ activities and behaviors. If you can identify normal behavior, it may be easier to spot a student being targeted.
  • Talk to your student’s parents, counselors, coaches, or any other adults in their life so you can all work together to solve the problem.
  • Children who are bullied need extra care. They need:
    • To know that they can talk about what’s happened and how they feel about it
    • Protection from adult supervision and adult intervention
    • Good relationships with both their peers and the adults who support them
    • To know that it is not their fault
    • Potentially ongoing counseling.


– Teen Lifeline – This is a confidential and free peer to peer hotline where other teens can help you through your tough time. 602-248-TEEN (8336)

– You, as their teacher, can also call Teen Lifeline to learn about ways to help deal with a bullying.

– You can also find tips online at