Section 3

Students who are bystanders to bullying are more likely to:

  • Feel afraid
  • Feel powerless to change things
  • Feel guilty
  • Feel diminished empathy for victims

In one research study, bystanders were reported to have an intensity of trauma that compared to distress levels of police, firefighters and paramedics during the 1989 San Francisco Earthquake.21

Students who are bullied are more likely to have:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Low self-esteem
  • School avoidance behaviors
  • Higher absenteeism rates
  • Dislike of school
  • Lower grades
  • Psychosomatic symptoms (e.g., sleep problems, bed-wetting, stomachaches, etc.)

Warning Signs that a Child May be the Target of Bullying

  • Has damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
  • Has unexplained injuries
  • Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches or feeling sick
  • Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
  • Loses interest in visiting or talking with friends
  • Is afraid of going to school or other activities with peers
  • Loses interest in school work or begins to do poorly in school
  • Is very hungry after school from not eating lunch
  • Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed after school
  • Suddenly has fewer friends
  • Avoids certain places
  • Acts differently than usual

A child should be evaluated by a professional if the child:

  • Runs away from home
  • Hurts himself or herself
  • Talks about suicide
  • Feels helpless
  • Blames himself or herself for his or her problems