Prior to the opening of school, the staff participated in a workshop on bullying. They were trained in what is and what isn’t bullying, and reviewed the signs that suggest bullying is taking place.
Although we haven’t seen much bullying here, we want to remain vigilant. We know that approximately 30% of students in public schools, almost one-third of kids in grades six through 12, experience bullying. Bullying ranges from name-calling and teasing to threats, lies, pushing, and hitting.
We know that bullying can leave a lifelong legacy of depression, low self-esteem, and behavioral problems. We recommend the following:
–Plan a response. Offer your child different approaches, such as ignoring the bully. Or try a response that may catch the bully off guard, such as, “Why would you say something like that to me?”
–Report the bully. If your child pleads with you not to report bullying to the teacher, consider talking to the teacher anyway. Ask that your child not be identified and that the bully be better supervised.
If your child is doing the bullying, talk with him or her about how that makes other kids feel. Get your child involved in projects that require helping and cooperating with others.