For Over 30 Years, Long Island's Leading Organization Dedicated to Preventing Bullying and Child Abuse

Sample Helpline Letters

Dear CAPS,
I have a friend in my class who is getting bullied by a lot of boys in my class. When ever I try to stand up to her they say something even worse to her.  What should I do?
From, Cara

Hi Cara,
Bullies can be a real pain! It takes courage to stand up to a group of bullies. You are making a difference to your friend simply by standing up for her, refusing to join in and speaking out.

It sounds like an adult should be alerted to what’s going on.  Bullies should not be allowed to get away with this behavior and right now their greatest protection is silence. So perhaps you can offer to go with your friend and tell an adult you both trust about what’s going on. State what you and your friend have already done to try and solve this problem on your own, but the bullying is only getting worse and now adult help is needed. Don’t worry.  It’s not tattling because you are reporting someone who is hurting others, and once it is “out in the open” the bullies will no longer be in control!

Good luck to you, and your friend. Your friend is lucky to have you as a friend!

 

Dear CAPS,
A girl on my bus made fun of me and called me fat. She is usually really nice to me and she is my best friend. But some times she can be so mean to me. I am afraid that if I tell a teacher she will not be my friend any more. What should I do?

From, Megan

Hi Megan,
There are ups and downs in every friendship and it sounds like your friendship has reached a point of uncertainty.  It may or may not be a big deal but the time to deal with it is now.

It sounds like this isn’t the first time she has called you names and been mean to you. Ask yourself: is her being mean to you becoming a pattern? What do you need to feel better about this situation? 

You can either end the friendship or try and work it out, or maybe just take a break from one another for a while. There are some things friends just don’t do to one another like hurting one on purpose or embarrassing one in front of a group of people. It’s just not OK.

So, if you decide the friendship is worth saving you will need to speak up and stick up for yourself in this relationship.  Pick a good time and place to talk. Remember this doesn’t have to be a fight. Be calm and direct and tell her what’s bothering you (you may want to practice this a few times beforehand). Tell her what you want to happen to make things right.  Hear what your friend has to say. If you walk away with good feelings great, and if you don’t, well then maybe you won’t be the friends you were before, but that doesn’t mean you have to be enemies.

Remember, too, having good friends requires that you be a good friend also. Good luck to you Megan!

 

Hello. I’m having trouble at school. Kids are making rumors about me that isn’t true and it makes me feel bad. They are saying that I’m a bra stuffer but I’m not. And now when i walk by anyone they stare at my shirt. What should i do? Please respond back thank you.

If we think about it, probably at one time or another every girl has been hurt or been made fun of at least once during their school years. You don’t say how old you are but we bet these types of rumors are very embarrassing and we understand why you feel bad about them. Please remember that these rumors are really not about you but really about these kids own meanness.

When they stare at your shirt hold your head up high, look them in the eye, and stand up straight. Your body language says volumes and you want these kids to see you looking confident and strong (even if you are not feeling it). So practice in the mirror! Because the more you act confident the more you’ll start to feel more confident! Try and stay calm and walk away from them with confidence.

If this doesn’t stop them, sometimes bullies can be stopped by having a few comeback lines ready.  Think about saying something unexpected or funny in return.  It probably would be best to talk to someone you trust about the situation and brainstorm together your “script.” 

Can you identify some friends or classmates to walk with you in the hallways, in the lunchroom, etc. Remember there is strength in numbers!

Remember too to always to say nice things to yourself.  Think about all the things you like about yourself and repeat them to yourself when you need to. Be good to yourself and try and surround yourself with good friends. Good luck to you

 

Dear CAPS,    
I am not getting bullied, But another day I was. someone pushed me and said “you cant play with us. So I went inside of the school and i was crying and the teacher got the kid out of the game and she put me in the game. Now the kid is really mad at me. what should I do? Jamal

Well, Jamal, we would guess that pushing is against school rules! The good news is that almost all problems have many solutions.

We understand that you were sad because you were pushed and not included. This is a pretty typical problem and happens to a lot of kids. Can you think of other ways you could respond in case this happens again? One suggestion is not to allow the bully to see you so upset (even though you are feeling sad) because that is exactly what he wants—to have power and control over you! So you can take away his power by walking away and, when you walk away, remember to say nice things to yourself by thinking of things that make you a strong and likable person. 

You could also identify other friends to play with. You might want to ask someone to play with you in advance. You could look around and see if there are enough kids to start another game. If you are friends with this kid maybe you could ask to “talk it out” and come to some understanding. Sometimes, too, it’s good to talk to an adult like your mom, dad, sister, brother, or school counselor when you are feeling left out or lonely. Good luck to you.


Hi, my name is Briana. I am 11 years old and I am in sixth grade. I am being bullied by some people in sixth grade. Please give me some tips on building confidence and ignoring comments.
Sincerely, Briana.

Hi Briana,
First please know that you are not alone. Most kids at some point in their school experience have been bullied.

Bullies can really be a pain! If the bullying is verbal, the first thing you need to do is: don’t believe a word they say! If this group of bullies starts saying mean things, say nice things to yourself, sort of like putting on a CD in your head playing good thoughts and positive messages to get you through these difficult times.

You know, bullies love to get a reaction and see you upset, so even though it can be difficult, try not to let them see you upset. If you need to cry, etc. go someplace “safe” to express your feelings.

It can be very difficult standing up to a group of bullies and should only be done if the bullying does not place you in any danger. Is it possible to talk to an adult about your specific situation and “act out” some of the situations with him/her so you can practice different ways to respond to the bullies? For example, practice standing up straight, looking them in the eye and firmly telling them to stop.

Perhaps with the help of others you can come up with some funny responses (that way you could surprise them and they would not know how to respond back and it would interrupt their meanness).

Do you have friends you can travel with? (there is strength in numbers). Do these bullies pick on others too? If so, perhaps you can form a pact with the others and promise to watch out and stand up for one another.

If the bullying doesn’t stop it’s important for you to report it to an adult you trust (like your teacher, social worker, guidance counselor). Don’t worry, it’s not tattling. They should not be allowed to get away with this behavior. Make sure you spend time doing things you like to do and try and have some fun. You deserve to go to school feeling safe and happy.

 

Every school day during P.E. (except Wednesdays), bullies always give me a hard time. They pick on me and make me feel bad about myself. They love to ridicule me because I like school. I’ve tried ignoring them, but that just makes it worse. I’ve tried talking to my P.E. teacher, but he doesn’t care about me. He just lets the kids bully me. My grandparents and friends don’t help that much and I don’t know what to do.  Sincerely, HelpMeNow

Dear HelpMeNow:
It sounds like you are having a really hard time. Bullies can be a real pain! We know you’ve heard it before: just ignore them. However this can be real hard to do and sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. Sometimes it depends on how long you’re willing to ignore them before they get tired of picking on you. But, sometimes, enough is enough!

One thing that’s important for you to try is to go into PE class looking confident (stand straight, shoulders back, look the kids in the eye), even if you don’t feel confident it’s important to look confident and you might have to practice at home!

Is it possible for you to take a deep breath, look the bully in the eye and say in your most confident voice: Leave me alone! and walk away? Are there any kids in your gym class that you can join up with? Sometimes having others around you can help you feel safe. Sometimes saying something funny back to the bullies can help ease the situation. 

We are concerned that you have told your teacher and he has not done anything about the situation. You know, sometimes you have to go to more than one adult. Here are some adults who can help you: the social worker in the school, the guidance counselor, another teacher, etc. Keep telling until someone believes you and is prepared to help you sort out this matter. Don’t worry, you are not tattling, you have every right to feel safe in gym and report those who are hurting you. Refuse to believe what these bullies are saying and say nice things to yourself and know that bullying is not OK, that it’s not your fault and that it won’t last forever. Good luck to you.

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