Step One, Stand Strong – Imagine you are a goal post on an NRL field, it stands strong and upright and can withstand the force of the game of Rugby League. Look down at your feet, imagine that they are planted firmly on the ground, like goalposts on a field. Make sure your body is standing upright and tall – even your shoulders and head. A bully will know from your body language if you are confident or not. If you appear confident the bully might back off.
Step Two, Stay Calm – Appearing calm and in control is important, particularly as bullies like to get a reaction from you. Stay calm with your body, eyes, and voice. On the inside you will be feeling any number of emotions including sad, angry, lonely or frustrated. This is all very normal and understandable. If you stay calm though the bully doesn’t get the reaction they want. The bullying might stop as a result.
Step Three, Respond Confidently – It is important to respond to bullies in a strong, clear voice. You should let them know that you would like the bullying to stop. Practise this skill at home in the mirror or to a teddy bear. It is important to choose your words carefully as you do not want to make the situation worse. Be polite and keep the statement short. Examples could include “Please stop bullying me I don’t like it” or “I would like the bullying to stop”. This gives the bully an opportunity to correct their own behaviour or put themselves in your shoes.
Step Four, Walk Away – It is important for victims of bullying to walk away and remove themselves from an unsafe situation. Walk away in a confident manner and never stay in a situation where you think you are at risk.
Step Five, Report – There are a number of reasons why ½ of children who are bullied do not report it. It could be that the victim is scared that reporting will make it worse. No one should have to put up with bullying and you are encouraged to tell two trusted adults about what you are experiencing. These adults could include your classroom teacher, parents, family members or a coach. If you are really unsure about who to report to then you can also contact the Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.
For teachers requiring more information or a copy of the NRL Tackle Bullying program please visit https://www.nrl.com/news/2009/07/23/one-community-and-lifeline-partner-up/.