Warning Signs

Bullying and harassment are taken seriously by the School District of Philadelphia, and will not be tolerated.

No single factor puts a student at risk of being bullied or bullying others.  However there are specific warning signs which parents should be aware.  You can help your student by learning how to identify behavior that might indicate your student is being bullied, or is behaving as a bully. Identifying behavior before it is brought to an adult’s attention helps school administrators do their part in keeping classrooms safe. In some cases, your student may not be comfortable,or aware of their behavior, to reach out to an adult, so recognizing signs can help students who haven’t reached out to a parent or teacher for help.

Warning Signs for Children Who Are Bullied


· Frequently complains of illness (e.g., headaches, stomach aches, etc.)

· Has anxiety when encountering peers

· Sudden change or loss of appetite

· Has scars, scratches, or bruises with no logical explanation

· Frequently has damaged or missing belongings


· Skips class or skips school altogether

· Has changes in school work (e.g., poor grades, incomplete assignments, etc.)

· Has difficulty concentrating and remaining on task

· Does not enjoy going to lunch and/or recess

· Lack of interest in school-related and extracurricular activities


· Has very few or no friends

· Likes to be around adults rather than other children

· Has difficulty standing up for him/herself

· Often complains of other children teasing, picking on, or laughing at him/her

· May frequently irritate others (even adults)


· Is unhappy, depressed, and/or moody

· Shy, quiet, passive, withdrawn, and/or timid,

· Has poor self esteem

· Often anxious, nervous, cautious, worried, and/or fearful

· Has thoughts of suicide and possibly even homicide


Warning Signs for Children Who Bully Others

· Enjoys feelings of power and control

· Constantly seeks the attention of others (even negative attention)

· Likes to dominate others

· Gains satisfaction from hurting others

· Has a bad temper; gets angry easily; impulsive

· Has little or no compassion for others when they are hurt; lacks empathy

· May have difficulty making and keeping friends

· Frequently disregards rules and gets in trouble

· Good at talking him/herself out of trouble, manipulative

· Disrespectful, hostile, or aggressive towards adults

· May be popular with other children

· Has average or above average self-esteem; overly confident

· Has poor supervision and parental involvement at home

· Has harsh physical discipline at home

· Has trouble taking responsibility for his or her own actions; often blames others

· Hangs around peers with accepting attitudes towards violence