1) I was only teasing.
This is the classic excuse that most bullies will use when they are accused of verbal abuse. Teasing usually happens between friends. Verbal abuse happens to weaker students who are unable to stand up for themselves. If you know that the two students who are involved in the incident are not friends, you can be sure that it was not just teasing. Also, teasing becomes bullying when it happens often and over a period of time.
2) I did not mean to hurt him.
Bullies will almost always try to downplay their actions. Most of the time, their intent is to emotionally hurt or physically cause pain to their victims. Acting like they did not mean to do it or trying to comfort the victim once they have been caterpillars ploys that bullies like to incorporate.
3) He pushed me first.
Between two students of the same size and social stature, maybe that could occur. But, between the captain of the football team and the student who is hardly aware on campus, it's doubtful. It's highly unlikely that a smaller, weaker student will push or try to intimidate someone who is bigger.
4) His face flew into my fist.
Well, problem solved. Kids will actually say this and expect us to believe them.
5) He tripped and fell by himself.
Many students trip and fall every day at school. But, if you have a student complaining that another student is tripping them or pushing them down, then it's probably happening. A question that educators can ask themselves is this: How many times a day / week are students reporting that this behavior is taking place? If the behavior is being reported more than a few times a week, the alleged bully is probably guilty.
6) Someone pushed me into him.
Blaming others is what bullies do so well. Bullies at the elementary level love to push their classmates when they are in line. Since elementary students are in line a lot, this happens quite often. Acting like someone pushed them into another student will be the first excuse that bullies will use if they are accused of pushing another student. Put the bully at the front or the back of the line and keep a close eye on them.
7) She thought I was talking about her, but I was not.
Relational bullying among girls is a huge problem. Manipulating friendships and spreading rumors are how girls generally bully each other. This is somewhat of a comical excuse because if the accused bully denies say anything, it will be quite easy to find ten or more girls who will admit that the bully did say something.
8) They deserve to be bullied because they are ugly, fat, do not wear the right clothes, etc.
No one describes to be bullied. Period. Bullies will try to justify their actions by blaming the victim. This is similar to racial discrimination.
9) Everyone bullies.
No, they do not. Only a small percentage of students are bullies. Bullies will say this to try and place the blame on others. Their attitude is that if others are doing it, then it's okay.
10) I did not do anything.
This may be the easiest thing for students to say when they know they are in trouble. When a student says, "I did not do anything," it almost always means, "I'm guilty." The phrase I did not do anything has become such a part of children's vocabulary, it almost automatically comes out of their mouths when they are accused of something.