My children recently had UNITY DAY which means together against bullying! I truly feel that raising awareness about bullying is so very important which is why I am writing this post.
Teachers and school administrators
Teachers and administrators should emphasize that telling is not tattling. If a teacher observes bullying in a classroom, he/she needs to immediately intervene to stop it, record the incident and inform the appropriate school administrators so the incident can be investigated. Having a joint meeting with the bullied student and the student who is bullying is not recommended — it is embarrassing and very intimidating for the student that is being bullied. Students and parents need to be a part of the solution and involved in safety teams and anti-bullying task forces. Students can inform adults about what is really going on and also teach adults about new technologies that kids are using to bully. Parents, teachers, and school administrators can help students engage in positive behavior and teach them skills so that they know how to intervene when bullying occurs. Older students can serve as mentors and inform younger students about safe practices on the Internet. Schools and classrooms must offer students a safe learning environment. Teachers and coaches need to explicitly remind students that bullying is not accepted in school and such behaviors will have consequences.
Children may not always be vocal about being bullied. Signs include: ripped clothing, hesitation about going to school, decreased appetite, nightmares, crying, or general depression and anxiety. If you discover your child is being bullied, don’t tell them to “let it go” or “suck it up”. Instead, have open-ended conversations where you can learn what is really going on at school so that you can take the appropriate steps to rectify the situation. Most importantly, let your child know you will help him/her and that they should try not to fight back. Until something can be done on an administrative level, work with your child to handle bullying without being crushed or defeated. Practice scenarios at home where your child learns how to ignore a bully and/or develop assertive strategies for coping with bullying. Help your child identify teachers and friends that can help them if they’re worried about being bullied. Educate your children and yourself about cyber-bullying and teach your children not to respond or forward threatening emails. “Friend” your child on Facebook or Myspace and set up proper filters on your child’s computer. Parents should report bullying to the school, and follow up with a letter that is copied to the school superintendent if their initial inquiry receives no response.
It is important for students to report any bullying to a parent or an adult they trust. Often kids don’t report cyberbullying because they fear their parents will take away their phone or computer. Parents will support their child’s reports of bullying and not take away their phones as a consequence. It is important for kids to remember that bullying is wrong and should be handled by an adult. It may be difficult to not bully back, but as the saying goes, two wrongs don’t make a right. Try not to show anger or tears. Either calmly tell the bully to stop bullying or simply walk away. Whenever possible, avoid situations where there are no other students or teachers. Try to go to the bathroom with a friend or eat lunch in a group. When riding the bus, sit near the front. If you know a student who likes to bully others is in an area where you normally walk to lunch or class, try to use alternative hallway routes. Always Remember, report bullying of yourself or other students to your teacher, coach, principal and/or parent. You are not ALONE!
“For too long, our society has shrugged off bullying by labeling it a ‘rite of passage’ and by asking students to simply ‘get over it.’ Those attitudes need to change. Every day, students are bullied into silence and are afraid to speak up. Let’s break this silence and end school bullying.”