Dear American Girl,
My brother is being bullied at our school. I want to help him, but I don't want to be bullied, too. What can I do to help my brother?
Here's your advice:
Remember that he's your brother. Even though you're afraid and unsure, you should stand up for him anyway. He needs you right now, and you could show him that you're willing to push your fears away to help him.
-Gemma, age 12, Virginia
Talk to your parents. They can chat with your brother's teacher—he or she might have a solution to stop the bullying. At the same time, you won't have to face the bullies yourself.
-Regina, age 11, the Philippines
Stand up to those bullies and say something such as, "Hey, that wasn't very nice!" or "Can you please leave my brother alone?" Be firm yet polite. Good luck!
-Alyssa, age 9, California
Take your brother aside and talk to him about the bullying. Come up with a plan together. Maybe you can walk with him on a route where he tends to run into bullies, or offer to visit the guidance counselor with him.
-Janelle, age 11, Colorado
When you stand up for someone, the bullies might see you as a strong person and leave you alone. People might respect you more if they notice that you're willing to defend your brother.
-Katherine, age 13, Alaska
The next time that you see people bullying your brother, say, "Don't pick on my brother. How would you feel if someone bullied you?" If kids continue to bully him, tell a trusted adult.
-Olivia, age 11, Florida
Give your brother some pointers. Tell him to ignore the bullies, teach him a few phrases to say, or encourage him to speak to an adult.
-Eden, age 9, Washington
Try to pump up your brother's self-confidence. He might be feeling down on himself. Remind him of his talents and his good qualities. It sounds as if he could use a cheerleader!
-May, age 13, Illinois
A few weeks ago, my brother was being bullied, so I stood up for him. I told the bully, "Leave my brother alone! School isn't a place for bullies—no place is!" I felt so good after I helped my brother, and he was grateful, too.
-Katie, age 8, Wisconsin
One thing you can do is to call a family meeting to discuss the bullying. Talk to your parents and siblings and work out a solution together.
-Shirley, age 10, New York
My brother was teased, too. I decided to talk to my brother's teacher in private. I told her that I wanted to be anonymous because I didn't want to draw attention to myself. The teacher ended up putting a stop to the teasing, and now my brother is bully-free.
-Lacie, age 11, Georgia
When your brother is being teased, say to the bully, "It bugs me when you tease my brother. I wish you would stop." But if the person is bigger or if there is more than one bully, find a teacher or another adult to help.
-Natalie, age 10, Washington
Standing up for your brother could make you feel good, so if the kids do turn on you, you can ignore them because you know you've done the right thing. It could be that they're just panicking because they feel as if they're losing their power. Whatever happens, you and your brother might grow closer from the experience as well.
-Amelia, age 13, Ohio
If you want to help your brother, find your bravery. Don't be afraid to stand up to those bullies. Even if you are teased, your brother will be glad that you had the courage to help him.
-Leah, age 11, Georgia
I have been bullied a lot at school, so I can see this problem from your brother's perspective. The best things you can do are to be supportive of your brother and extra nice to him, too. Don't worry about being bullied. Your real friends will know that you are trying to help your brother. I wish you and your brother well.
-Genevieve, age 13, Pennsylvania