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Being Bullied?

In conjunction with, the IPC has developed a three-step response to bullying: Stop, Block, and Tell Someone. First, you need to “Stop” – don’t respond right away, take a moment to calm down. Next, you should “Block” the bully, or limit your communications to those you trust. Finally, “Tell Someone” – let a trusted person know what is happening.

What to do if you are a victim of real-life bullying

  • Walk away from the situation;
  • Don’t hit back, don’t talk back, don’t reply back;
  • Tell an adult whom you trust – a teacher, the principal, the school bus driver or the lunchroom supervisor – find someone in authority and let them know;
  • Don’t be ashamed. Talk about it with your parents, brothers or sisters or with friends, so that you don’t feel you’re alone;
  • If you feel that you can’t talk about it with family or friends, you can call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, or visit their website, at

Bullying: We Can All Help Stop It, Ontario Ministry of Education,

What to do if you are a victim of online or cyberbullying

  • Tell the person not to make contact again – however, save all communications for evidence. Do not alter them in any way. Keep electronic copies, not just printouts;
  • If the harassment continues, tell someone – contact the harasser's Internet Service Provider (ISP). The ISP is provided with instant messages. Most ISPs prohibit using their service for abusive purposes. An ISP can often intervene by directly contacting the bully or stalker or closing his account;
  • If you are threatened with physical violence, save the information and contact law enforcement;
  • Keep a record of your contacts with ISP officials or law enforcement officials;
  • When contacting police, provide specific details such as any tangible evidence you've collected. In cases of a serious threat, police can refer the matter to other authorities for investigation.

— WiredSafety, Cyberbullying / Stalking & Harassment,

Bystanders and Witnesses

“There are bullies. There are victims. And there is everyone else watching from the sidelines. It’s time for us to take a long look in the mirror. It’s time to speak up, say something, and refuse to be the complicit bystander.”

— Carly Weeks,
How Bullies Get Away With It,
Globe and Mail, October 15, 2012.

Stand Up! Don’t watch from the sidelines.

  • If you are a witness to bullying get involved and speak up! Don’t be a silent bystander.
  • Support victims of bullying by offering them help and support – let them know they are not alone;
  • Fear does not equal respect. Bullies are cowards and deserve neither fear nor respect.

Advice for Parents

How can parents tell if their child is being bullied?

A child or teenager may not necessarily tell their parents they are facing bullies at school or online. There are, however, some signs that may indicate a child is being bullied:

  • Sudden changes in behaviour, in attitude, or in appearance;
  • Aversion to attending school or school related activities with other students – may lead to dropping out of school;
  • Suddenly losing or missing personal items or money;
  • Coming home with torn clothing or broken personal items.

Bullying: We Can All Help Stop It, Ontario Ministry of Education,

What can a parent do if his or her child is being bullied?

  • Listen to your child and assure that they have a right to be safe;
  • Make notes about what happened and when it happened;
  • Help your child understand that it’s okay to report bullying and it’s not considered “ratting.” Tell them that reporting a bully is done not to cause trouble for other students, but to protect all students;
  • Make an appointment to talk to your child’s teacher, or the principal or vice-principal of the school;
  • Keep an eye on your child’s behaviour. If your meetings with school staff haven’t made the bullying stop, go back and talk to the principal. Follow up on the steps for ending the bullying that were agreed upon;
  • Contact police if the bullying involves criminal behaviour, such as sexual assault or use of a weapon, or if the threat to your child’s safety is in the community rather than the school.

For more information on what parents can do if their child is a victim of bullying, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Education SafeSchools website at:
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