Useful Information

Bullying comes is all forms, including physical, mental and cyber. What is believed to be harmless acts can easily turn into traumatic events, causing severe emotional damage for both the victim and the bully. Over the years, bullying has become a concern among students, parents and educators. This is why many communities are banding together to create programs to help spread awareness. Anti-bullying projects are one way organizations and schools can help promote anti bullying awareness and teach kids why this is wrong and how to prevent bullying from continuing.

When it comes to reporting problems with bullying, honesty is the best policy. Victims who cover up bullying activities are only contributing to the problem. In like manner, students who witness bullying and fail to report these acts to teachers or school staff are only encouraging bullies to continue their abusive behavior. By being open and honest in exposing bullying in their schools, students can help resolve bullying problems.

Dangers of Covering up Bullying

Failure to report bullying can have serious repercussions in a school environment. Covering up bullying is a form of dishonesty and can cause more harm than good. The definition of honesty is to tell the whole truth about a matter. Partial truths cannot be considered real honesty, especially when it comes to bullying. Partial truths do not tell the whole story about bullying situations because important information is usually left out. Telling half-truths will only confuse the facts, making it difficult for teachers and school officials to take action against bullying acts.

Teaching Kids to Be Honest about Bullying

Children who are bullied often have the wrong concept of why they are being bullied. Many believe it’s their own fault due to their looks, nationality, physical or mental handicap or religious belief. These lies need to be addressed so kids can speak out against bullying acts. Victims need to understand that bullying is not their fault, but is due to the prejudices of others.

Once kids realize that bullies are the ones who are wrong, they will have greater conviction to tell the truth about being bullied. Having a good connection with your children will encourage open and honest communications. The closer you are to your children, the easier it is for them to talk honestly with you about bullying and other happenings in their lives.

Raising Awareness of Bullying Problems

Honesty plays a key role in raising awareness of bullying problems. Students and teachers need to have a common definition for honesty when it comes to reporting bullying in order to get positive results. When it comes to bullying, students cannot define honesty in terms of providing just the information they want. Schools need students’ full cooperation in disclosing all the information they have about bullies and their activities so they can make progress in reducing this behavior. Honest reporting by victims and witnesses is essential to eliminating this problem.

Schools can encourage students to come forward in reporting bullying by holding seminars and forums on bullying behavior and discussing options for how students can help in resolving the problem. These options may include:

  • Seeking immediate assistance from a responsible adult when bullying occurs

  • Reporting bullying incidents to school officials right away

  • Standing up for their friends who are being bullied or offering support

  • Not participating in bullying incidents by laughing, teasing or gossiping about them to others

  • Rallying a group of friends to stand up to the bully to put a stop to his tirades

  • Promoting a positive behavior standard where everyone is treated with courtesy and respect

TIPS 

There are so many things you can do to show support and help console a child who is being bullied. Let’s take a look at the top things suggested by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to do when a child is being bullied:

  • Listen to the child

  • Offer suggestions to get the bullies to stop

  • Offer to go with and get help

  • Follow up with the child regularly to see how things are going

  • Spend time with the child

As parents we not only have to fear that our children are being bullied in school, but also have to worry about the fact that it might be our children doing the bullying. There are things we can do while raising kids to help reduce the chances that they will turn into a bully. Here are some tips offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Lead by example

  • Do not bully others

  • Do not talk bad or negatively about others

  • Do not make fun of others

  • Explain why bullying is wrong

  • Teach child how to console someone who is being bullied

  • Show compassion for those being bullied

  • Be an active part of the child’s life

  • Set time limits for technology use

  • Set and enforce consistent rules of behavior

It can be difficult to deal with bullying, or a bully. It is more helpful when a bully's parents and school are involved as well, working to help diffuse the situation. If you are concerned that your child is the victim of bullying, here are some steps you can take to try and help him or her in dealing with bullying:

 

Talk to the school authorities: Discuss the problem with your child's teacher, principal or counselor. A meeting with all three can help everyone know how to help a child who is dealing with bullying. In many cases, bullying takes place in unsupervised areas, such as school buses, bathrooms, playgrounds and other areas that can be hard to monitor. If you know where the bullying is taking place, you can let school authorities know so that they can step up "patrols" in those areas to discourage bullying. 

 

-Teach your child to avoid the bully: Your child does not need to fight back. Encourage him or her to avoid the bully when possible. Suggest that he or she walk away, and go find a teacher or other trusted adult. 

 

- Encourage your child to be assertive: It is not necessary to fight back to defeat a bully. You can teach your child to stand up straight and tell the bully, firmly, to leave him or her alone. In some cases, this type of assertiveness will work. 

 

- Practice with your child: It might be beneficial to have a little bit of role play with your child. This way he or she can practice what to say to a bully, or how to leave a situation that could turn into bullying.

 

- Teach your child to move in groups: A good support system can be an effective deterrent against bullies. Have your child go to school and other places with trusted and true friends when dealing with bullying

FACTS

  • Over half, about 56 percent, of all students have witnesses a bullying crime take place while at school

  • A reported 15 percent of all students who don't show up for school report it to being out of fear of being bullied while at school.

  • There are about 71 percent of students that report bullying as an on-going problem.

  • Along that same vein, about one out of every 10 students drops out or changes schools because of repeated bullying.

  • One out of every 20 students has seen a student with a gun at school

  • Some of the top years for bullying include 4th through 8th graders in which 90 percent were reported as victims of some kind of bullying.

  • Other recent bullying statistics reveal that 54 percent of students reported that witnessing physical abuse at home can lead to violence in school. 

  • Among students of all ages, homicide perpetrators were found to be twice as likely as homicide victims to have been bullied previously by their peers.

  • There are about 282,000 students that are reportedly attacked in high schools throughout the nation each month. 

 

 

Suicide continues to be one of the leading causes of death among children under the age of 14. Bullycide is a term used to describe suicide as the result of bullying. New bullying statistics 2010 are reporting that there is a strong connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide, according to a new study from the Yale School of Medicine. Suicide rates are continuing to grow among adolescents, and have grown more than 50 percent in the past 30 years. 

 

Cyber bullying can take many forms:

  • Sending mean messages or threats to a person's email account or cell phone 

  • Spreading rumors online or through texts 

  • Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages 

  • Stealing a person's account information to break into their account and send damaging messages 

  • Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person 

  • Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet 

  • Sexting, or circulating sexually suggestive pictures or messages about a person

Many parents are concerned that their child might be a victim of a child bullying. Some of the signs that a child is being bullied include:

  • Becoming withdrawn 

  • Showing fear when it is time to go to school 

  • Increasing signs of depression 

  • Decline in school performance 

  • Speaking of another child with fear 

  • Noticeable decline in how the child sees him or herself 

  • Signs of physical altercations, such as bruises, scrapes and other marks

If you believe your teen or child might be a victim of name calling or bullying, watch out for these signs:

  • Comes home with unexplained injuries or with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings

  • Has change in eating habits

  • Makes excuses not to go to school

  • Has fewer friends

  • Feels helpless

  • Talks about suicide

  • Acts out of character

  • Avoids certain places or playing outside alone

  • Feels like they are not good enough

  • Has trouble sleeping

  • Blames themselves for their problems 

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