Indian Ridge Bully Busters
Bullying typically occurs when few adults are on hand to deal with the problem, and when victims are reluctant to report what has occurred, both out of fear of possible repercussions and because they're simply not convinced that adults will be able to make the bullying stop. Even when adults are aware that bullying is occurring, the net result is that adults end up intervening in only four percent of bullying incidents. Wondering what you can do to help stamp out bullying? Here's what the experts suggest:
1. Make it difficult for bullying behaviors to take root by fostering a climate of empathy in your home. Don't tolerate cruelty in any form, whether in real life or in the form of nasty jokes on sitcoms or other forms of entertainment. Let your child know that he has a right to insist that others treat him with respect and dignity.
2. Make sure that the no-bullying policy in your family applies to grown-ups as well as kids. You can't criticize your child for bullying her friends or her little brother, and then turn around and use bullying tactics on her.
3. Keep an eye on your child's choice of entertainment. Limit your child's exposure to violent video games, lyrics and TV programs, as well as violent toys such as guns—basically anything that glorifies violence or suggests that violence is an acceptable means of solving problems.
4. Keep an ongoing dialogue with your child about bullying. Discuss any bullying stories that happen to be in the news. That way, if your child encounters any bullying problems in his own life, he'll be more likely to open up and talk to you about those problems.
5. Encourage your child to make friends. Bullies are more likely to target children who are loners, so having friends can provide a measure of protection against bullying.
6. Teach your child the importance of body language. A child who exudes confidence and who appears to be in control is less likely to get picked on than a child who sends off less confident body signals.
7. Be alert to the warning signs that your child is being bullied. Children are often reluctant to tell teachers and parents that they are being bullied, either due to embarrassment or a fear of reprisal, so it's important to be on the lookout for the warning signs of bullying.
8. Explain the difference between tattling and telling to your child. Make sure that your child understands that there's a world of difference between tattling (telling on someone simply
because you want to get that person in trouble) and telling (reporting a serious problem to an adult). Kids need to know that it's okay to report instances of bullying to parents and teachers.
9. Encourage bystanders to blow the whistle on bullies. Bystanders have an important role to play in discouraging bullying. Bullying behavior typically stops within 10 seconds if another child intervenes. Given that there are bystanders on hand in fully 85 percent of bullying instances, peer intervention is perhaps the most powerful weapon available to help combat bullying.
10. Find ways to hold bullies accountable. When parents get involved and insist on restitution—that the bully find a way to make things right for the victim—bullying becomes a much less attractive proposition for the bully. Bullies need to know that the adults in their life will not tolerate such behavior and that they will be held accountable for their actions.
PREVENTING BULLYING IN YOUR CHILD’S LIFE (Part 2)
I informed you that bullying typically occurs when few adults are on hand to deal with the problem, and when victims are reluctant to report what has occurred, both out of fear of possible repercussions and because they're simply not convinced that adults will be able to make the bullying stop. Bullying is when someone repeatedly and purposefully says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself. I also suggested many different things that parents could do to help stamp out bullying.
1. Bully Proofing/Caring Community Meetings are an essential tool used here, and throughout the school district to improve school climate, address bystander and bullying behaviors, and create caring school communities. Our Psychologist will have worked with each grade level, for a series of five sessions, by the end of the school year. Lessons will be adapted from the research based and district supported curriculum Bully Proofing Your School - Teacher’s Manual and Lesson Plans, by Carla Garrity, Ph.D., Kathryn Jens, Ph.D., William Porter,Ph.D., Nancy Sager, M.A., Cam Short-Camilli, L.C.S.W. In addition, during the technology rotation for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students the technology teacher will be providing lessons on cyberbullying.
2. This school year, Indian Ridge Elementary will also be implementing Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS). The PBIS team is working collaboratively with the faculty and staff to develop and implement action steps to establish and maintain a positive and safe school environment. We will be using the acronym R.I.S.E. (Respect, Include, Safe, Engage) as a means of teaching expectations to students. Your child will be given a passport describing the expected behaviors in various areas throughout the school. Each student will also have their own kite as a support for demonstrating, maintaining, and showing personal growth in meeting school expectations.
3. Over the last year, we have trained staff and have implemented our “R.I.S.E.” Positive Behavior Intervention Support program. Our training consisted of, developing, and implementing action steps to establish and maintain an effective school environment that exhibits:
- a common approach to discipline
- positively stated expectations for all students and staff
- procedures for teaching these expectations to students
- a continuum of supports for encouraging demonstration and maintenance of these expectations
- a continuum of procedures for discouraging rule-violating behavior
- procedures for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the discipline system on a regular and frequent basic
methods for involving families and communities
5. Faculty and staff have been taught to disstringuish between normal conflict and bullying behavior. Bullying is not the same as normal conflict between children. It might be difficult to tell the difference between playful teasing and bullying. Teasing may be a part of normal conflict and usually involves two or more friends who act together in a way that seems fun to all the people involved. Often they tease each other equally, but it never involves physical or emotional abuse. Bullying is purposeful. Bullies show very little regret, remorse or concern for the victim. Sometimes victims may tell you that the child who is bullying them is their friend. Explaining the difference between normal conflict and bullying is a great conversation to have with students. It is important that we, as educators and parents recognize the difference between bullying, teasing, rough and tumble play, or real fighting.
We need to continue to work as a team to identify, respond to, and STOP bullying as it is happening! We would welcome any other suggestions that you might have.
The “B” word…BULLYING!!
Bullying in schools is as old as any problem that plagues schools, and yet it is now receiving a vast amount of attention. Some schools are sometimes so adamant that it doesn’t exist that they brand themselves as "bully free" institutions. Reality dictates, however, that bullying does exist…I am embarrassed to say that it exists at our school, I’m not proud of it, but I won’t deny it either. In the end, bullies can leave victims traumatized and scarred for many years while the bullies gain more confidence and power.
Children and parents need to learn the difference between normal conflict and bullying. They should learn that normal conflicts are those problems between peers that they can handle themselves. In normal conflict, both parties want to solve the problem, there is equal power shared between friends, and there is remorse. Learning to problem solve normal conflicts between peers is a life skill.
Bullying, on the other hand is a deliberate and purposeful act of making another person feel helpless and fearful. Bullying is an imbalance of peers and typically the peers are not friends. Bullying is also a pattern of repeated negative actions. According to www.bullyinginschools.com, physical abuse, taunting, and exclusion of the victim from popular groups are some of the most common forms of bullying in schools. Victims are often times those students who are perceived by others as insecure, branded as "nerds", lack a circle of friends, and do not speak up. Clearly it is a problem that builds to later consequences; therefore it is important to stop bullies as early as possible.
There are many types of bullying. As previously mentioned, the most common are verbal, physical, and intimidation. Verbal bullying is the most obvious type. It includes name-calling, teasing, offensive remarks, or consistently making the person the butt of jokes. Physical bullying is usually portrayed in the media, as the most overt type of bullying. Any aggressive hitting, pulling or shoving is classified under this type. Intimidation is usually a verbal threat with the purpose of making the victim give in to the bully’s demands. Intimidation is the act of making a person feel threatened, or in danger of physical or mental harassment.
Everyone can contribute to our efforts to stop bullying at our school and elsewhere. Be able to spot the signs of bullying. When you see a child inflicting harm, whether physical or emotional, on another, call their attention to it, or notify the school, so that we will be aware of the behavior. In some cases, interfering is all it takes for a child to stop bullying. Many children, especially elementary children, simply don't know or realize the consequences of their bullying, and don't even think about it. Once it is pointed out, many of them will regret their actions.
If you see them doing it a second time, contact the school again or maybe even the bully’s parents. Treat it seriously if it looks serious. As an adult, you can easily control aggressive actions before they get any worse.
If your child is not a victim of bullying, they are more than likely a bystander. A bystander witnesses the bullying occurring, yet often times does not know what to do or how to intervene to help the victim. Bystanders account for approximately 85% of the school population. Therefore encourage your child to take a stand and refuse to stay silent when they see bullying taking place. Tell them to let an adult at school know about bullying. You can also encourage
your child to invite the victim to play, stand with them when they are being bullied, or even tell the bully that their behavior is not okay. Bystanders have a great deal of power because frequently peers are the most important factor in changing bullying behavior. Statistics show that 57% of the time, bullying stops within 10 seconds when someone intervenes. Empower your child to know that bullying should never be tolerated and that everyone has the right to feel safe in their school.
As always if you or your child have concerns regarding safety, please utilize the district CARE LINE – 720-554-CARE or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is confidential and anonymous. If we can all work together to stop bullying behaviors at an early age, the chances of it worsening would be minimized.