What is bullying?
Bullying is when someone is deliberately hurtful to others over a period of time. The person being bullied usually finds it difficult to defend themselves.
There are different types of bullying, but these are the main ones:
o physical - hitting, kicking, taking belongings
o verbal - name calling, insulting, making offensive remarks
o indirect - spreading nasty stories about someone, not including them in social groups.

Is it bullying?
It is if you feel hurt because individuals or groups are:
· calling you names
· threatening you
· pressuring you to give someone money or possessions
· hitting you
· damaging your possessions
· spreading rumours about you or your family
· using text, email or web space to write or say hurtful things (cyberbullying).
It is bullying if you feel hurt because of things said about your ethnic background, religious faith, gender, sexuality, disability, special educational need, appearance or issues in your family.

Bullying is a very serious problem and upsetting for both, parents and children. Children may find it hard to talk about being bullied or bullying others, and parents may not be sure that their child is being bullied. But there are some signs that may suggest there is a problem.
Look out for:
o excuses to miss school, such as stomach complaints or headaches (or your child may be skipping school altogether)
o torn clothes, school things that are missing or broken, or lost money
o more bruises and scrapes than usual
o signs of stress - being moody,silent or crying, or bullying a younger sibling or friend
o bed wetting (in younger children)
o a change in eating habits.

There could be other reasons for these symptoms, so try to avoid jumping to conclusions. Is there anything else bothering your child? Have there been changes in your family like a new baby, a divorce or a separation?

How to avoid mobile phone bullying
More and more children are using mobile phones to bully others. The most recent - and very worrying - trend is to send a videophone film of an innocent person being hit or bullied to friends. This is known as 'happy slapping'. Other ways of bullying using a mobile phone include messaging and texting.
Tips for parents
o Always encourage your child to talk about how they use their mobile. If they seem worried about phone calls, bring up the idea of malicious calls and messages.
o If your child knows the sender of bullying messages and is at the same school, contact the school as soon as possible, even if the phone calls and texts happen outside of school hours.
o Keep a record of the calls and texts to show the school.
o Arrange for the number to be changed as soon as possible.
o Talk to your service provider. Most providers operate a 'Malicious Calls' helpdesk as part of customer services.
o Report 'happy slapping' to the police if you are at all concerned about the level of violent information sent to your child's video phone.

Tips for children
o Don't give any information about yourself (phone numbers, address etc) unless you know and trust the caller.
o Don't leave alternative contact details as part of a mailbox greeting.
o Do check the caller ID - if there is an unknown number or no number is displayed, you should not answer the call.
o If you do answer a bullying call, if possible place your phone near loud music or traffic noise.
o Do divert calls to a mailbox without answering them. Any message left can then be used to prove the bullying.
o Be very careful who you give your number to and ask those you have given it to not to pass it on.

620 words


bullying - Mobbing, schikanieren
deliberate - absichtlich
to insult - beleidigen
offensive - beleidigend
to pressure sb. - jdn. unter Druck setzen
to spread rumours - Gerüchte verbreiten
to skip school - die Schule schwänzen
sibling - Geschwister
happy slapping - 'lustiges Verprügeln'

1. Which other forms of harassment do you know besides bullying?
2. Have you experienced any form of bullying so far? If not, do you know of anybody of your friends who has been bullied? How was he/she harassed?
3. What would you do if you were bullied?
4. What would you do against cyberbullying?

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