It is the goal of the Jourdanton Independent School District to change the norms around bullying behavior and to restructure the school setting itself so that bullying is less likely to occur or be rewarded.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
- Talking about hurting someone
- Spreading rumors
- Leaving kids out on purpose
- Attacking someone by hitting them or yelling at them
TYPES OF BULLYING?
Bullying can take on many forms. As part of the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire, students are asked if they have been bullied in any of these nine ways:
1.Verbal bullying including derogatory comments and/or bad names
2.Bullying through exclusion or isolation
3.Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and/or spitting
4.Bullying in the form of lies, gossip or rumors
5.Having money or property damaged or taken
6. Being threatened or forced to do things
There are things you can do if you are being bullied:
- Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.
- If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
There are things you can do to stay safe in the future, too.
- Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
- Stay away from places where bullying happens.
- Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.
What Should I Do If I Think My Child is Being Bullied?
Listen carefully to what your child tells you about the bullying. Ask him or her to describe who was involved and how and where each bullying episode happened. Learn as much as you can about the bullying tactics used, and when and where the bullying happened. Can your child name others who may have witnessed the bullying?
- Encourage your child to report the bullying or report for them. Email or call your child's principal or counselor.
Never tell your child to ignore the bullying. What the child may "hear" is that you are going to ignore it. If the child were able to simply ignore it, he or she likely would not have told you about it. Often, trying to ignore bullying allows it to become more serious.
- Don't blame the child who is being bullied. Don't assume that your child did something to provoke the bullying. Don't say, "What did you do to aggravate the other child?"
- Empathize with your child. Tell him/her that bullying is wrong, not his/her fault, and that you are glad he or she had the courage to tell you about it. Ask your child what he or she thinks can be done to help. Assure him or her that you will think about what needs to be done and you will let him or her know what you are going to do.
- Do not encourage physical retaliation ("Just hit them back") as a solution. Hitting another student is not likely to end the problem, and it could get your child suspended or expelled or escalate the situation.
- Check your emotions. A parent's protective instincts stir strong emotions. Although it is difficult, parents are wise to step back and consider the next steps carefully.
Contact your child's teacher, counselor or principal.
- Parents are often reluctant to report bullying to the school, but bullying might not stop without the help of adults. Call or set up an appointment to talk with your child's teacher, the counselor or principal. Give factual information about your child's experience of being bullied including who, what, when, where, and how.
- Ask the counselor or principal to talk with all adults who interact with your child at school (teachers, secretaries, librarians, bus driver, etc.) to see whether they have observed students bullying your child. Emphasize that you want to work with the staff at school to find a solution to stop the bullying, for the sake of your child as well as other students.
- Unless you know them well, it is not usually helpful to contact the parents of the student(s) who bullied your child. This is usually a parent's first response, but sometimes contacting the bully's parents makes matters worse. School officials should contact the parents of the child or children who did the bullying.
- Commit to making the bullying stop. Talk regularly with your child and with school staff to see whether the bullying has stopped. If the bullying persists, contact school administrators again.
Help your child become more resistant to bullying.
- Help to develop talents or positive attributes of your child. Suggest and facilitate music, athletics, and art activities. Doing so may help your child be more confident among his or her peers.
- Encourage your child to make new friends. Help your child meet new friends outside of the school environment. A new environment can provide a "fresh start" for a child who has been bullied repeatedly.
- Teach your child safety strategies. Teach him or her how to seek help from an adult when feeling threatened by a bully. Talk about whom he or she should go to for help and role-play what he or she should say. Assure your child that reporting bullying is not the same as tattling.
- Ask yourself if your child is being bullied because of a learning difficulty or a lack of social skills. If your child is hyperactive, impulsive, or overly talkative, the child who bullies may be reacting out of annoyance. This doesn't make the bullying right, but it may help to explain why your child is being bullied. If your child easily irritates people, seek help from a counselor so that your child can better learn the informal social rules of his or her peer group.
Make sure your child has a safe and loving home environment where he or she can take shelter, physically and emotionally. Always maintain open lines of communication with your child.
Tips for Parents to Stop Cyber Bullying
- Teach children never to respond to offensive or threatening e-mail.
- Save messages and contact local law enforcement authorities, if appropriate.
- Contact the service provider to report abusive online behavior.
- Filter or block unwanted messages.
- Refuse to forward cyber-bullying messages.
- Block communication with cyber bullies.
- Report cyber-bullying incidents to a trusted adult.
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