Are You a Target of Bullying?

Instructor: Gaines Arnold
This lesson discusses what bullying is and helps the reader determine if they are the target of a bully. The lesson uses an example of a bullying situation, provides a definition, and then looks at how someone who is bullied can stop the harassment.

The Sneaky Bully

People who have not been victims of a bully may think that bullying is an overt (clear or open) act, but it is often very subtle. When the kids on the playground seem nice, but make fun behind a playmate's back, or when someone a teacher uses their position to make life difficult (unbeknownst to the person being bullied), bullying is not clear. So, it is no wonder that people often mistake bullying for something else.

For example, Betty always made sure that she gave herself extra travel time in the morning so that she would be at school on time. She was friendly to other students and seemed to be liked by everyone. But, lately she had seen a shift in attitudes towards her. Michael, a former classmate in grade school, had transferred from another high school a short time ago. He was outwardly friendly to Betty and liked to reminisce about old times in the neighborhood. Sometimes they would even hang out together after school with other friends.

What she didn't know was that Michael had always envied her popularity and was actively working to undermine her at school. He talked about her to friends, and he even made negative comments to teachers about her. He had recently started a page on social media making fun of her. What could Betty have done to realize the situation she was in before it became critical?

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