Bullying Prevention | MHA

Bullying Prevention

Bullying Statistics & Facts:

  • 16% of Duval County high-school and 33% of middle-school youth report being bullied at school.
  • Incidents of bullying are significantly underreported due to fear and concern of retribution.
  • Young people who are bullied are more likely to skip or drop out of school, engage in violence and have mental health problems such as depression, thoughts of suicide and anxiety.
  • Bullying may include one or more bystanders (witnesses).
  • Bullying can happen anywhere – on the bus, at recess, in the halls, bathroom, locker rooms, classroom, walking home.

What is Bullying?

Definition of bullying (as per Florida Statute & Duval County Public Schools):

  • Systematically and chronically, inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress, on one or more individuals.
  • It is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation; and is often characterized by an imbalance of power.
  • Further defined as unwanted, purposeful, and repeated written, verbal, nonverbal, electronic, or physical behavior, by a student or adult.

Types of bullying:

  • Physical, verbal and peer pressure.
  • Cyber Bullying – sending mean or threatening messages or images, posting private information about another person, pretending to be someone else online.
  • Direct vs. Indirect Bullying
    • Girls are more likely to use indirect forms of bullying – spreading rumors or gossip about someone, calling names, exclude someone from their group.
    • Boys act more directly, physically and aggressively.

Examples of Bullying:

  • Older or bigger kids picking on younger or smaller kids.
  • Pushing, hitting, beating up and kicking others.
  • Picking or being mean to others on purpose.
  • Teasing until it’s not fun anymore.
  • Calling someone names repeatedly.
  • Leaving someone out of a group on purpose.
  • Picking on someone because they look or act different.
  • Telling lies or spreading rumors about someone.
  • Damaging someone’s personal property.
  • Forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do.

Effects of Bullying

How does bullying make one feel? Youth who are bullied or witness bullying say they feel…

  • Scared
  • Mad
  • Anxious
  • Helpless
  • Uncomfortable
  • Sad or depressed
  • Defenseless
  • Insecure

Victims of bullying may…

  • Feel less safe or happy at school.
  • Miss school or dropout of school.
  • Have low self-esteem and depression.
  • Attempt or commit suicide.
    • Bullycide: a suicide that is caused from the depression or other feelings someone has from being bullied.

Why does someone bully?

  • They want to be in control and feel powerful.
  • They want to impress their friends.
  • They think they will win.

Youth who bully more often…

  • Display anger or physical aggression.
  • Display prejudice against others.
  • Get involved in gangs.
  • Engage in criminal behavior such as shoplifting, drug abuse and vandalism.
  • Become child and spouse abusers as adults.

What can youth do if they are bullied or witness bullying?

  • Tell an adult. Telling a teacher, parent or other adult about a bully is NOT tattling or snitching. It is an act of courage and bravery! Everyone has a right to feel safe.
  • Try and not let the bully see that they are upset.
  • Avoid areas where they might be confronted by a bully.
  • Surround themselves with friends and people who will stand up for them.
  • Lend a hand and be a friend to someone else who is being bullied.
  • If they witness bullying, get help. Don’t cheer the bully on.
  • If it is online or by text messaging, don’t reply.
  • Join activities where they can meet other people.

What should youth NOT do if they are bullied?

  • Think it is their fault. It is not. No one deserves to be bullied!
  • Keep it to their self – it is okay to tell someone!
  • Skip school or activities they are involved in. They have a right to be there!
  • Hurt themselves. This is not the answer. Talk to an adult and get help.

Important Things to Remember

Once a bully, always a bully – NO!

  • Bullies can learn to understand the pain they cause others.
  • Bullies can change and choose to become part of the solution.

Once bullied, always bullied – NO!

  • Stay strong. It does get better.
  • Walk away.
  • Lend a hand to others. Take a stand against bullying.

Treat others the way you want to be treated!


  1. Olweus Bullying Prevention Program – Hazelden Foundation
  2. Pacer Center – National Center for Bullying Prevention
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Stop Bullying Now! Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. and Make Time to Listen, Take Time to Talk – About Bullying.
  4. Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2009)


For parents, teachers, caregivers and gatekeepers:

  • Developed by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.
  • Provided to parents, teachers, case managers, mentors and other caregivers of youth.
  • Promotes positive youth development and helps to prevent youth and school-based violence.
  • Participants receive general information on bullying and methods for communicating with youth about the climate of fear created by bullying.
  • Program builds on the value that children place on the advice that they get from important adults in their lives.


For children & adolescents:

  • Developed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for elementary, middle and high-school age students. Program topics include:
    • What is bullying?
    • Types & examples of bullying.
    • Why do people bully?
    • Effects of bullying.
    • What can youth do?
    • Important information about bullying.
  • Programs are tailored to the unique issues that youth of different ages may encounter (e.g. cyber bullying, gender issues, suicide).
  • Programs are interactive and provide the students the opportunity to examine various scenarios and watch short videos about bullying prevention.
  • Students sign an individual and group ‘Stop Bullying Now’ pledge.
  • Programs can be provided in the classroom, after-school programs, through faith-based organizations, summer camps, or in any other setting appropriate for educating youth.

These programs are offered at no cost to participants. If you are interested in scheduling a program, please contact Kelvin Lewis at (904) 738-8423 or email kelvin@mhajax.org.

Bullying Prevention Resources

Pacer Center for Bullying Prevention

Stop Bullying Now!

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program


Find Youth Info – Bullyinginfo.org

Bullying by the Numbers: A Breakdown of Bullying Statistics and Facts