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How do I Report Bullying?

By K. Testa
Updated May 17, 2024
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Several factors can influence the method you choose to report bullying. For instance, it could depend on the type and location of the bullying activities. Bullying can take place in schools, in workplaces, and via technological means, such as on cell phones and websites. Your choice of bullying intervention might also depend on your particular role, such as if you are a student, parent, teacher, or office manager. By becoming familiar with the anti-bullying laws or policies that pertain to a particular situation, you can help stop bullying wherever it occurs.

School bullying is extremely common. Some examples of the types of bullying that children often engage in include physical, verbal, and emotional bullying. Physical bullying involves any contact with the victim that causes him or her to be injured or afraid of being hurt. Verbal and emotional bullying usually entails harmful words and actions that intimidate the student or make him or her feel isolated. All of these behaviors may be carried out by one child, or by a group of children, against another student. Anyone who observes a student being victimized can usually report bullying incidents to school officials. If necessary, a counseling referral can be made by a teacher or other adult who has spoken with a bullied student.

Cyber bullying is another form of bullying that affects children. It involves harassment or threats using cell phones, e-mail, or other technological means. According to some advocacy groups, both adults and children can be perpetrators of cyber bullying, but only children can be considered victims. The common terms used to describe such behavior toward adults are cyber stalking or harassment. One way to report bullying that occurs online is to contact cell phone or e-mail service providers, for example. You can file reports about potential violations of their terms of service, which usually include typical cyber bullying activities.

Adults in certain positions of authority normally have an obligation to report bullying if a child is endangered. If necessary, someone in law enforcement or child protective services may be called in to deal with either school bullying or cyber bullying. This is usually the case whenever assault, obscene or harassing calls or messages, child pornography, or any other criminal act has taken place. Laws vary by jurisdiction, but you may also be able to consult a lawyer about the possibility of filing a civil suit.

To report bullying in the workplace, many employees contact a human resources representative. In some cases, they might speak directly with the bully’s supervisor. Depending on the company’s anti-bullying policies, you may be able to file either an incident report or a police report. Furthermore, many instances of workplace bullying are based on discrimination. Most U.S. organizations are subject to laws prohibiting workplace discrimination, so you can often file an administrative or civil complaint. While most of the relevant laws contain no official reference to bullying, a company can sometimes be sued by an employee for creating a hostile work environment. Some lawyers also argue that employers may be found guilty of “negligent retention” if they knowingly keep a workplace bully on staff.

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Discussion Comments

By anon989693 — On Mar 17, 2015

I was cyber bullied last month in February on the internet by someone I never met. I had an online campaign and I asked for money for moving so I could find employment. In my home town there is no work available. It's not a crime to make a online campaign and ask for money for desperate situations and that's what I did.

I posted it on a buy and sell face book page in my province and this stranger took great enjoyment and shared it on another public website where people do nothing but fight and cyber bully their victims most of the time. I found this information through someone I knew was a member.

This stranger laughed and made me a laughingstock and I told her to remove that page three times that she shared of mine. She never had my permission in the first place to do this. This woman would not obey my requests. It's apparent she is a cyber bully. I was also cyber bullied by strangers and I documented everything that was said or any doctored pictures. Then, my own sister who was a member on this bad website, decides to cyber bully her own sister and make false accusations for her own pleasure and give out personal information that does not concern her or others. Plus, it's none of her business or theirs.

She constantly nitpicked and basically, intimated me and one person even threatened me and I never said anything to this person. I was belittled and I should have never responded to any of their stupid bickering.

My sister has mental and emotional problems and she needs professional help. I would say those other people that had to put in their two cents need much guidance and learn to have more respect for other people's feelings and that includes my sister. However, I stopped responding after only a few comments. More people turned on my sister and told her to stop it. She was bashing others and swearing on this public website and the woman that started this in the first place, stopped and my sister takes over. Plus, she told her lies about me and told her trash.

My sister is a bully and I'm not the first or last one she bullied. The next day, my sister continued to trash me for three days and posted a doctored picture of me. Some of the people on this public website really got annoyed and they ganged up on her. Her comments and doctored picture of me were reported and it was deleted. I am reporting everything to the proper authorities on Face book with what I documented.

By chrisinbama — On Jul 12, 2011

@oceanswimmer- Kudos to you! Many kids are afraid to report the bullying because the bullying usually gets worse. The teachers and principals try to assure us, as parents, that it is being handled. However, they don't have eyes and ears for every single corner of the school. I'm sure you definitely got their attention.

By OceanSwimmer — On Jan 09, 2011

My son was being bullied at school by the same little kid. My son reported it and the other boy was suspended for a few days. However, when he came back to school, the bullying got worse.

I went to the school and let it be known in no uncertain term, that I would not tolerate it. When it still continued, I went to the Board of Education and got them involved. It finally stopped. Sometimes, we have to take drastic measures to keep our children safe.

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