BudgetMI School Data

Is Your Child Affected by Bullying?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

Bullying is not just a normal part of childhood. Both children/teens who are bullied and those who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. Those who are bullied may experience depression and anxiety, health problems, and decreased school performance. Those who bully are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, drop out of school, have criminal convictions as adults, and become abusive to romantic partners and family members as adults. Even children who only observe bullying are often affected.

Not all children or teens who are bullied exhibit warning signs. But some signs may include:

  • Unexplainable injuries.
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry.
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness.
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares.
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school.
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations.
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem.
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide. 

Signs that children or teens may be bullying others include:  

  • Getting into physical or verbal fights.
  • Having friends who bully others.
  • Acting increasingly aggressive.
  • Getting sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently.
  • Having unexplained extra money or new belongings.
  • Blaming others for their problems.
  • Not accepting responsibility for their actions.
  • Being competitive and worrying about their reputation or popularity. 

If you are concerned that your child may be involved with or affected by bullying, ask questions and encourage your child to talk about what is happening.  Also talk to teachers, counselors, and the School Nurse to learn more about how the school is educating and supporting students regarding bullying.

Learn More

The Stop Bullying website provides a wide range of information, resources, recommendations, and news regarding preventing and stopping bullying: http://www.stopbullying.gov/index.html