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Girls can take steps to stamp out bullying

By AMANDA BLANKENSHIP
Published November 14, 2007


Okay, let me just tell it like it is. Girls around the world "bully" each other. Now, raise your hand if you've been talked about behind your back. Alright, now raise your hand if you've talked about someone behind their back. Look around you. All girls do it, but that doesn't mean that it's alright to take it too far. Adolescents, especially girls, may bully because of these reasons:

1) To be in control so they are not a target for another bully.

2) Jealousy, because they are threatened by you, or because they have little self-confidence.

3) Family of origin, learned behavior from family, or issues in the family.

Kaye Randall, a speaker for this sort of adolescent stuff, says: "Middle school is the toughest time for relational aggression."

Relational aggression is in fact the "fights" that girls have toward each other. Some forms of relational aggression are:

Exclusion, ignoring, spreading rumors, dirty looks, cyber-bullying, teasing, intimidation, eye rolling.

"Girls that continuously hurt you are not your friends," Randall said.

Be careful what you say: You can't put toothpaste back in the tube. This means that once you say something, you can't ever take it back.

Girls, take a stand.

Know your own personal strength.

Do not jump on the bandwagon, even if you think a certain group is "on top."

Refuse to be an audience for the bully.

Walk away and go get help.

Don't laugh while someone is being picked on.

Do not participate in gossip.

Do not participate in online hostilities.

Do not go along with abuse.

Just remember, speak your truth, respect yourself and others, and be confident!

Amanda Blankenship is a sixth-grade student at Day Spring Academy. Her column runs in the school's "Tidal Wave."

Bullying Resources on the Web

Bullying.org

www.bullying.org/

Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Cyberbully.org

Stop Bullying Now

www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov

National Education Association Bullying Awareness Campaign

www.nea.org/schoolsafety/bullying.html