`Bullies: Fighting Back` - Bullying Between Girls | VideoJody Kerzman | 2/10/2011
And the way girls bully, can be especially harmful, because girls bully by using hurtful words. Girls bully by spreading rumors, gossiping, backstabbing and teasing. But while words hurt, the silent treatment can be even more painful to a teenage girl.
So why do girls bully? And why are they so mean?
Ivy Bergstrom knows what it`s like to be bullied. "Last year a girl I barely knew decided she was going to insult me and call me a freak," said Bergstrom, Simle Middle School eighth-grader.
While they were just words, they still hurt.
"It did hurt. It`s not like that feels great," added Bergstrom.
Bergstrom is not alone. Studies show that bullying among girls is actually more common than bullying among boys. And the ways girls bully is different from how boys bully.
Simle Principal Russ Riehl said: "What we see with boys is more the traditional type of bullying. They might get physical on occasion posturing, those types of things. Generally its pretty short lived."
With girls, on the other hand, it`s harder to detect. It generally last longer.
"Words hurt girls, where if you call a boy a name, it might just go right off his back," said Bismarck Police Department School Resource Officer Jeff Azure. "Girls seem to be hurt a lot more by just the words and they don`t forget it."
The typical girl bully is popular, well-liked by adults, does well in school and can even be friends with the girls she bullies. But deep down, many girl bullies are insecure, and suffer from low self esteem.
"At this age, one of the best ways to feel better about yourself is to put someone else down," said Riehl.
Simle eighth-grader Carissa Martin: "Sometimes it`s to make ourselves feel better. Sometimes we`re angry and we vent our anger that way. Sometimes it`s just, you know, you want to be mean. Some days you`re just feeling that way. Other times it`s because they were mean to someone you know and you want to get them back."
But there are better ways to deal with frustration and anger. It begins at home.
"Research says we are the single most significant people in their lives in terms of determining how they`re going to act and behave," said Melanie Heitkamp, license social worker.
Because kids, especially girls, who have good role models at home are less likely to be bullies.
But while much of the responsibility to stop bullying is on parents` shoulders, schools and even police departments say they also have a role to play.
Many have started bully education programs, and one school is even using cell phones to combat bullying. We`ll talk more about those efforts, tomorrow.