Bullying wristbands are meant to help students show solidarity and express their refusal to tolerate bullying. However, wearing the wristbands can backfire. Keep reading to learn about the history of anti-bullying wristbands and tips to prevent bullying.
Bullying is a serious problem in many schools. Bullying occurs when someone uses various means to physically or emotionally intimidate or humiliate someone else. Bullying does not have to be physical; in many cases it is mental or emotional, making use of words and other tactics meant to exclude another and make him or her feel bad. There are have been numerous attempts to stop bullying in schools, in an effort to increase the safety of the school environment. However, it can be difficult to address this problem.
One of the things that was tried in Britain (and also, on a more limited scale in the U.S.) was the use of bullying wristbands meant to help students through a show of solidarity. The yellow Livestrong bands for cancer awareness became a fashion trend, and many others began using silicon wristbands of different colors to raise awareness of different causes. The bullying wristbands are of the same mold. It is possible to make a fashion statement, while sticking up for a cause. And the anti-bullying wristbands were supposed to do just that. In order to give them some cachet, celebrities like Bono from U2 and soccer start David Beckham wore them.
The bullying wristbands were supposed help students show that they would not be bullied, and that they would stand by their friends and help prevent their friends from being bullied. However, in the U.K., the plan backfired. The Guardian reported that many students wearing the bullying wristbands became victims themselves. Bullies thought that those wearing the wristbands would make good targets. So, instead of helping students, the wristbands simply marked out more victims for bullies.
You do not need a wristband to help stop bullying, though. Efforts to stop bullying really need to start with student efforts, with support from teachers and parents. If you want to avoid a bully, it is often a good idea to consider some of the behaviors that discourage bullying. Here are some things you can do to reduce the chances that you will be the victim of a bully:
- Show confidence: Bullies rarely pick on people who show self-confidence. If you can be self-confident in your manner and your way of speaking, then you are less likely to be a victim.
- Hang out with good friends: Bullies usually do not go after those who are protected by good friends. Make good friends that can be with you before and after school, and during class breaks.
- Walk away: You do not have to stick around and be victimized. Try to walk away. It is best if you can move in the direction of some authority figure who can intervene in the situation.
It is also important for parents and teachers to encourage kids to avoid becoming bullies. Talking about the problems of bullying, and taking bullying seriously and ensuring that there are consequences for bullying behavior can help cut down on bullying in schools.