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Kids bully others for many reasons. They may copy their friends, think it will help them fit in, or make them seem cool. They may have been bullied themselves and think bullying someone else will make them feel better. Bullying is never ok. Those who bully use power to hurt people. If someone needs to hurt someone else to feel better, that is a problem.

Kids who bully may be also feel sad or frustrated, have problems at school, and are at increased risk for other concerning behaviors like breaking the law. Kids who bully others may need help and should find a trusted adult and talk about what is going on. Asking for help takes courage. Telling someone about your or someone else's bullying behavior may help stop more trouble happening later in life.

Being bullied

NO ONE EVER DESERVES to be bullied. However it happens to a lot of people every day. It happens everywhere, in schools, neighborhoods, youth groups, and even at home. Kids being bullied can feel powerless, alone and different. They may feel sad, lonely, afraid, or nervous. They may feel sick, have pain, and have trouble concentrating at school.

It is very important for kids to know that bullying is not their fault, they are not alone, and there is help. Kids should not believe what is being said about them.

There are lots of adults such as parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, coaches, parents of friends, teachers and doctors who want to and can help. In Michigan, and most other states, there are anti-bullying laws.

If you are being bullied, tell a trusted adult. If the first person you talk to isn't able to help, tell someone else you trust.

Telling someone about being bullied is not tattling or snitching. People who bully will say that it is because they don't want to get in trouble. If no one reports their behavior, they can keep bullying.

Cyberbullying is being bullied through electronic technology. If you are being bullied on line, social media sites, emails, or texts

  • STOP - do not respond
  • BLOCK - the person sending the messages
  • TELL - an adult

Do not delete the message (this information can be helpful for the police or internet service providers).

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call our 24-hour bullying hotline at 855-URNOBLE (876-6253). This number can be called from anywhere and is free.

Watching bullying

When kids see bullying, they may not know what to do. They may feel sad, depressed, worried or powerless. They may avoid school because they feel scared. They may join in or stay silent so they won't get bullied.

There are things you can do if you see bullying:

  • Tell the person bullying to stop (only do this if you feel comfortable)
  • Don't join in and don't watch silently. People think silence means you agree with what is going on.
  • Try to get the person away from the situation.
  • Be kind to the person being bullied. Let them know you don't think they deserve to be treated that way.
  • Get other kids to stand up to bullying with you. There are usually lots of kids who want it to stop but aren't sure what they can do. There is power in numbers.
  • Always tell a trusted adult.

Michigan legislation

An anti-bullying bill was passed in December 2011 requiring schools to adopt anti-bullying policies. Read more about Michigan's legislation policy prohibiting bullying, also known as Matt's Safe School Law.

Fighting hate online

Because of the enormous volume of content, companies typically rely on users like you to bring problems to their attention. Click on the company or product name to quickly access its policies and a link to make your cyberbullying/harassment complaint heard.