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Sadly, bullying among kids and teens is still very common in the U.S. About 20% of all students between 12 and 18 report being bullied at school.
Bullying can take a toll on a young person’s mental and physical health. Victims of bullying are more likely to:
Victims are not the only ones who suffer because of bullying. Kids and teens who witness bullying are also more likely to experience:
In reality, bystanders are not as helpless as they may think.
Experts say bystanders play an important role in putting an end to bullying. While most kids who are bullied won’t tell anyone, someone else who sees it can report it to a teacher, parent or other trusted adult. This brings bullying out in the open.
Rather than putting themselves in the path of the bully where they could become the next target, witnesses stand up to bullying when they:
They can lend support to victims in many ways. They can say hello and start a conversation. Or introduce them to friends.
What Parents Can Do
Parents play a vital role in teaching young people ways to stand up to bullying, not just stand by.
The end to bullying can start with you and your kids. Talk with them about the importance of being kind and respectful. Make sure you lead by example by modeling that behavior with those around you.
Originally published October 13, 2015: Revised 2020, 2023
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