Myths about Bullying

If you read the newspaper, on any given day, you will notice at least one article on bullying. Bullying can happen anywhere from the halls of schools to the pages of social media websites. Would you know if your child was being bullied?

To clear up some misconceptions and give you the facts, two experts on bullying are cited below. Those experts are; Charles Williams, who is a professor at Drexel University and the director of the Center for the Prevention of School- Aged Violence, and Psychologist John Mayer.

Myth #1

You'll know when your child is being bullied

Bullying is a "silent" issue. Most kids won't tell you they are being bullied for fear that it may get worse.

Myth #2

Bullying always includes physical aggression

Bullying doesn't have to be physical. It can include verbal abuse such as name calling, as well as electronic abuse.

Myth #3

The bully is always bigger

Bullying is often about power, therefore a strong case could be made that the bully is often smaller and trying to compensate for their own feelings of physical inadequacy.

Bullying is psychological. You don't have to be big to mess with someone's psyche.

Myth #4

There's one clear way to solve the problem

Since every bullying case is different you can't solve them all the same way.

How should you fight back?

In most cases, the "eye for an eye" response is not the way to go. There are other ways to fight back. For example, telling an adult who can restrain the bully and force them to face the consequences is a better form of fighting back. Another way to fight back is to make the bully look silly by ignoring it all together and not reacting.

Myth #5

Bullies come from the top of the social pecking order

Bullying is often motivated by a desire for social power.

Those who bully are often bullied themselves.


Myth #6

Parental attitudes have no effect on bullying

Children receive a lot of their ideas about the world from their parents. Therefore, if you tell your child(ren) that all people are equal, but use racial slurs, they will pick up that not all people are equal, and this can translate into bullying at school.

Myth #7

If your child is a victim, call the bully's parents

When parents get involved with other parents, the situation can often turn emotional. A mediator should be used if parents think it's necessary to contact the bully's parents.

First find out the schools policy on bullying, then talk with the teachers and or principle to figure out the next step to take.

Myth #8

Boys are more likely to be bullied

In fact girls are more likely to be bullied, look at the chart below to see why



34% reported being bullied

31% reported being bullied

Indirect bullying

Direct bullying

Rumors, exclusion


Myth #9

Cyber-bullying is the gateway to other bullying

Most bullying starts face to face and progresses into cyber bullying, upping the humiliation for ALL to see.

56% of people ranging in age from 14-24 reported being bullied through social and digital media

Myth #10

Parents are always their kids' best defender

Many parents will actually tell their children to stop tattling or stop whining instead of pursuing the issue.

Adults must take it seriously

Make sure your child knows that they are not the problem!

Myth #11

When bullies use homophobic taunts they're always referring to the victim's sexual orientation

Kids hear the word "gay" as a put down in their home, and then without knowing the meaning of the word, use it at school.

Myth #12

Schools bear no clear responsibility for bullying

Bullying is a national issue

47 states have passed anti-bully laws defining bullying and requiring schools to act when it's reported

Damian Mallard, Esq.
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Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney