Report Bullying Here
What is bullying?
Bullying is when a person is exposed repeatedly, and over time, to the negative actions of one, or more persons. This person usually feels that they have some sort of power over the other person (physical, emotional, social). Listed below are four types of bullying and a few ways to cope with each:
Physical- pushing, hitting, kicking, biting, taking possessions from, or hurting someone's body in any way.
Parents can help by encouraging your child to:
- Report immediately
- Not fight back
- Look the person in the eye, tell him to stop, and walk away
- Avoid going where this usually happens (when possible) and let an adult know where this tends to happen
- Try to avoid getting visibly emotional (raise voice, cry, run, anger outbursts, etc.). People who bully love to make you lose control!
- Run if in danger
Emotional- harming another person's self worth by name calling, insulting, gestures, eye rolling, staring, threatening, intimidating, challenging in public, using put-downs, or hurting someone verbally in any way.
Parents can help by encouraging your child to:
- Act like it doesn't bother him/her
- Ignore it
- Agree with him/her
- Say something funny
- Change the subject
- Tell him how you feel and you wish he/she would stop
Role Play the "comebacks" above, an if none of them work, report the bullying. Make sure your child knows 3-4 comebacks by memory.
Social- harming a person's group acceptance by gossiping, spreading rumors, playing tricks on, insulting their race/gender, arranging a public humiliation, undermining relationships, trying to ruin their reputation, excluding someone, or trying to disrupt someone's friendships in any way.
Parents can help by:
- Letting your child know it's not his/her fault
- Holding her accountable when he/she bullies others
- Avoiding giving a solution--instead, help him/her brainstorm a strategy
- Asking, "How does he/she treat the other students?"
- Encouraging him/her to try out his/her strategy, and if it doesn't work, he/she might consider new friends
- Helping him/her to remember that the most important thing is to act like it doesn't bother him/her
Electronic- harming someone through the use of text messages, phone calls, chat rooms, emails, photos, Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram, blogs, or any other type of electronic means.
Parents can help by...
- Having rules and consequences for misuse of electronic devices
- Not installing cable TV or computers in your child's room
- Installing monitoring equipment and filtering software (www.websafety.com and www.safefamilies.org)
- When cyber bullied, send a firm, non-threatening message asking for all communication to stop
- Saving and printing out evidence of any cyber bullying
- Send a copy of cyber bullying to the school and other parent(s)
- Turning in all threatening electronic contacts to the police
- Having your child sign an Internet/cell phone use contract (sample at www.safekids.com)
- Teaching: Ignore, Sign Off, Block, Report
- Helping your child learn to communicate without the use of electronic devices by solving problems face to face
- Setting a good example
Important Note: It is not considered bullying when students tease each other in a playful/friendly way. Also, it is not bullying when tow students of about equal strength/power (could be physical or social power) argue or fight. To be considered bullying, 1) the behavior occurs repeatedly and over time and 2) there's an imbalance of power in some way.
What should I do if my child is being bullied?
1. If your child gives you indication that he/she is being bullied, believe your child and record the information. Remember to write down where and when it happened, who was involved, and the type of bullying that took place.
2. Take the initiative and talk with your child. Ask for specifics and write them down. If a child doesn't volunteer information easily, ask open-ended questions like "Tell me about your day".
3. Contact the school immediately. Share your written log of the bullying incident with the teacher or administrator. Ask the teacher to discuss a plan to stop the bullying behavior (in addition to a safety plan if there is a retaliation by the child who is bullying).
4. Role play scenarios to develop more resistance skills at home. Concentrate on non-verbal cues such as stance, voice inflections, eye contact, etc. Ask the school counselor for help with "comebacks".
5. Investigate if your child is more of a passive or proactive target. Have you heard that your child sometimes annoys, provokes others, or has a short temper (proactive), or is he/she shy, sensitive, physically weaker, has a low self image, becomes easily upset (passive)? If it's proactive, sometimes you can help your child change certain things that make him/her more of a target. Even if your child is a "proactive target" it doesn't give others the right to bully him/her, though.
Please do not do the following:
- Confront the child who is bullying and/or the parents
- Ask your child to stand up to the bullying with physical force
- Blame your child for being bullied
- Keep the bullying a secret
- Let your children hear you talk negatively about his/her school, teachers, or administrators.