Signs of Bullying

Children may:

  • be frightened of walking to and from school (Fear of meeting a controller, or ambush or beating)
  • change their usual route (same reason)
  • not want you to go on the school bus (bags thrown around the bus, out of window, covert beating, threats, insults, no proper supervision)
  • beg you to drive them to school (attacks etc on the way even by those accompanying)
  • be unwilling to go to school or be 'school phobic' (general fear of continued bullying including homophobic bullying)
  • feel ill in the mornings (fear and stress)
  • start truanting (to avoid the pain)
  • begin to do poorly in their school work (stress, fear, sometimes being asked for work to be copied)
  • come home with black eye, bruises etc
  • come home regularly with clothes or books destroyed (result of physical bullying)
  • come home starving (bully taking lunch or dinner money)
  • become withdrawn, start stammering, lack confidence (extreme fear and stress)
  • become distressed and anxious, stop eating (extreme fear and stress, feeling of hopelessness, due to one or other form of bullying)
  • attempt or threaten suicide (feeling of hopelessness, possibly due to bullying that he or she can not verbalise)
  • cry themselves to sleep, have nightmares (feeling of no redress, hopelessness)
  • have their possessions go missing (bullying, robbery)
  • ask for money or start stealing (to pay the bully)
  • continually 'lose' their pocket money (payment of bullies or blackmail)
  • refuse to talk about what's wrong (fear of bully threats, hopelessness)
  • have unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches (physical bullying)
  • begin to bully other children, siblings (many bullied children do this)
  • become aggressive and unreasonable (taking out frustrations on other targets)
  • give improbable excuses for any of the above (fear, hopelessness, no redress)
  • get upset after receiving text message or after computer visit (cyber bullying)
  • spend too much time in room alone (unable to talk about the cyber bullying)

Main source of Signs above: Kidscape (parentheses and extras added by me)