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Bullying isn't just about the big kid in the cafeteria that steals lunch money anymore. Bullying can be all types of stuff that's harmful: name calling, teasing, gossiping, spreading rumors, hurting people, etc. Dealing with it can be really stressful and sometimes downright scary. The important thing to know is that bullying is wrong, and there are things you can do to stop it.

Talk to someone about it. Tell a parent, a coach, a school counselor or another adult you trust. They can help you figure out how to deal with the bully in a safe way and put an end to the situation. And chances are, you are not the only one getting picked on, so you're not only helping yourself, you're probably helping a lot of others!

Speak up. If you are comfortable enough, let the bully know how you feel. Tell him or her that no one deserves to be treated so badly and that you are not going to accept it any longer.

Ignore them. Often, bullies just want attention. If possible, don't give them any. Stick to spending time with your real friends and maybe the bully will get a clue.

Realize it's not your fault. A lot of times, being bullied can make you feel like you did something wrong and it can be embarrassing to talk about it. But remember, it's the bully who is doing something wrong. Bullies are often insecure and lonely, so they bully other kids to make them feel more important. It has nothing to do with you!

Don't bully back. You know it's wrong, and it doesn't make the situation any better.

Be aware of cyberbullying. The Internet and cell phones are being used to pass on gossip and inappropriate pictures and texts. Make sure you are careful about what you write, take pictures of and send to others you know.


Helpful Tips

Remember that bullying is wrong no matter what. It should always be taken seriously, and in some states it's a crime for kids 12 years and older to bully someone.

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There isn't one right way to deal with a bully. There are a lot of things you can try on your own, but sometimes other people are going to have to get involved. You can always talk to your mom or dad or another adult you trust for some ideas.