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Depicting Bullying
It's not normal
Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior that is intentional, hurtful, (physical and psychological), and/or threatening and persistent (repeated).

Although sometimes considered a normal part of adolescence, bullying is far from acceptable. Bullying can lead to depression, failing grades, truancy, and even self harm by the victims. 

Using entertainment as a means to increase awareness about bullying is a great way to start conversations about the topic both at home and at school. Consider the following when designing your characters and storylines about bullying:

  • Many in society see bullying as a normal part of childhood, that kids will get over as they get older. When designing your storylines around bullying try to showcase the consequences of this misconception such as a loss of interest in school, scoring poorly on an important test or the child choosing to harm themselves due to a lack of involvement from the adults around them.
  • The most obvious example of bullying occurs usually in a school setting.  Think about showcasing bullying outside the school setting, perhaps in a mall, in the child’s neighborhood, in a park, or online.   
  • Try to avoid typecasting bullies as bullies and victims as victims. Kids are rarely if ever one or the other and sometimes, as a defense mechanism, the victim will begin to act out and may even bully others.

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Signs that a Child is Being BulliedScreen shot 2012-06-22 at 4.38.29 PM
  • Sudden decrease in school attendance or skipping certain classes
  • Decline in quality of academic performance
  • Difficulty concentrating in class and easily distracted
  • Wants to take a different route to school or different transportation to school
  • Sudden lack of interest in school-sponsored activities and events
  • Seems happy on weekends but unhappy and preoccupied or tense on Sundays
  • Uses “victim” body language: hunches shoulders, hangs head, will not look people in the eye, and backs off from others
  • Suddenly prefers the company of adults
  • Frequent illness or fakes illness (headaches, stomach aches, pains)
  • Nightmares and insomnia
  • Comes home with unexplainable scratches and bruises
  • Suddenly develops a stammer or stutter
  • Angry, irritable, disruptive, aggressive, quick-tempered, and fights back (but always loses)
  • Cautious, clingy, nervous, anxious, worried, fearful, and insecure
  • Suddenly starts bullying other students, siblings, or children in the neighborhood
  • Becomes overly aggressive, rebellious, and unreasonable
  • Sudden loss of respect for authority figures

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The 16th Annual PRISM 
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