Odds are that at some point in your life you will experience bullying. Bullying affects students at private boarding schools and public schools alike. Bullying can be a scary thing, but knowing how to respond when someone bullies you gives you the power to control the situation and stay safe.
Whether you are a student at a public school or at one of the many private boarding schools in the United States, the basic responses to bullying remain the same: Be confident. Don’t overreact. Remove yourself from the situation, and tell an adult. Be just as relentless in reporting the bullying as the bully is in bullying you.
If someone is physically bullying you, it is important to alert an adult right away. Try to avoid being alone with the bully. If a bully threatens you physically, walk away. Running gives a bully feelings of power, so calmly walk away if you can. Avoid being physical at all costs. If you can’t walk away, your safety is your number one priority. Do what you have to do to protect yourself and get away.
Social bullying includes being purposefully excluded, gossip and backstabbing. The best way to cope with this form of bullying is to find a group of friends that share the same values you do. Avoid hanging out with a group that gossips about or excludes others. They will likely do the same to you. Make new, good friends, and focus on the positive experiences you have each day.
If a bully is verbally harassing you, look the bully in the eye. Maintain eye contact, and strongly, calmly tell them to stop. Walk away, and tell an adult. You might find it helpful to role-play responses to the bully with family or friends.
Cyberbullying is a fast-growing form of aggression that happens at public and private boarding schools. Don’t reply or respond to cyberbullying messages. Show the message to an adult, and then, block further messages from that sender. It’s a safe practice to only accept messages from people you know.