Tag Archive | Bullying

10 Ways To Be An Upstander

Bullying and cyberbullying is an issue that everyone is concerned about.  From verbal abuse to online harassment, words can be used as lethal weapons.

On the same measure, words can be used to build people up too!

Your words matter, keystrokes count — how will you use them?

10 Ways you can become an upstander by School Climate:

  1. Learn more about mean, cruel, and bullying behavior. Educate yourself and your community with the resources on BullyBust.org. For example: Why do kids bully? Where does bullying take place most often in your school? What are the effects of bullying? How can we prevent it? Understanding this information will help you if you are bullied, and will help you to stand up to bullies if a friend or classmate is being bullied.
  2. Help others who are being bullied. Be a friend, even if this person is not yet your friend. Go over to them. Let them know how you think they are feeling. Walk with them. Help them to talk to an adult about what just happened. (Just think for a moment about how great this would be if someone did this for you when you were being picked on or hurt!)
  3. Stop untrue or harmful messages from spreading online or in person. If someone sends a message or tells you a rumor that you know is untrue, stand up and let the person know it is wrong. Think about how you would feel if someone spread an untrue rumor about you. Don’t laugh, send the message on to friends, or add to the story. Make it clear that you do not think that kind of behavior is cool or funny.
  4. Get friends involved. Share this site (and other related sites) with friends. Let people know that you are an upstander and encourage them to be one too. Sign the Stand Up Pledge, and make it an everyday commitment for you and your friends.
  5. Make friends outside of your circle. Eat lunch with someone who is alone. Show support for a person who is upset at school, by asking them what is wrong or bringing them to an adult who can help.
  6. Be aware of the bullying and upstander policies at your school and keep it in mind when you witness bullying. What are the school’s bully prevention policies? Are there also policies that “catch” kids “being good”? How can you support school rules and codes of conduct support students and adults doing the right thing? If there isn’t a policy, get involved or ask teachers or front office staff to speak about how you can reduce bullying.
  7. Welcome new students. If someone is new at your school, make an effort to introduce them around and make them comfortable. Imagine how you would feel leaving your friends and coming to a new school.
  8. Refuse to be a “bystander” and be a role model to others instead! If you see friends or classmates laughing along with the bully, tell them that they are contributing to the problem. Let them know that kind of behavior is not okay in your school.
  9. Respect others’ differences and help others to respect differences. It’s cool for people to be different—that’s what makes all of us unique. Join a diversity club at school to help promote tolerance in your school.
  10. Develop an Upstander/ Prevention program or project with a teacher or principal’s support that will help reduce bullying and promote socially responsible behavior in school. Bring together a team of students, parents and teachers who are committed to preventing bullying, and create a community-wide project to raise awareness, share stories and develop helpful supports. Learn more about how to start an Upstander Alliance at www.bullybust.org/upstander and access free support to sustain your team.

10 Ways Technology has Made Bullying and Cyber Bullying Worse

cyber-bullyingWhen we were growing up there were bullies.  Nobody liked to be bullied, but it was a fact of life that you had to deal with kids that weren’t very nice.  Now, schools are so anti-bullying that anything that even slightly seems like bullying is taken very seriously.  At least when we were growing up they didn’t have Facebook to upload embarrassing videos to that would ruin a person’s life.

Check out 10 ways technology makes bullying worse.

  1. Facebook: Embarrassing pictures and videos can be uploaded to Facebook in a matter of a few seconds and ruin someone’s life forever.  Kids do not understand the damage that something like that can do to a person.  People have actually committed suicide because of events like these.
  2. Cell phones: Growing up we did not have cell phones.  Kids these days have the ability to take pictures at a moment’s notice and sometimes not in the most appropriate places.  Nude pictures of students in the shower or in the locker room have also caused suicides.
  3. Texting: Kids can bully by texting now.  They can text everyone else at the same time something bad or embarrassing about someone else.  They can also send pictures over their phone to everyone on their contact list.  Bullying like this can make someone’s life miserable.
  4. Flip cameras: These cameras are used to shoot quick videos at close range and can be uploaded to the Internet.  Kids that want to bully just have to take embarrassing videos of a student and share them with everyone.  Or a video can be sent to a parent as well that would get them grounded or in trouble.
  5. You Tube: A lot of good things have happened to people by posting a video on You Tube, but a lot of bad stuff has happened too.  People love to be the first one to dish the dirt on someone else.  They witness a fight they grab their cell phone and upload it to You Tube.  Or they set someone up and post what they think is a funny video to You Tube, but it’s actually very embarrassing.  People don’t think they are bullying when they do this stuff, but they really are.
  6. Gaming systems: Many online gaming systems allow conversations between the players.  Teens have reported that someone pretending to be them said mean things or embarrassing things to another person.  This kind of bullying is hard to stop and hard to track.  It does however cause a lot of problems for today’s teens.
  7. Blogs: There are teens that create blogs that post the latest gossip about people and will say nasty things about people.  Teens feel that they are anonymous and that no one can tell who is doing the bullying, but there are ways to track down who’s doing it and there are some big consequences.  If the bullying leads to a suicide the teen who is behind the bullying can be brought up on charges and sent to jail.  Lesser sentences are losing privileges to use a computer for 2 years.  Try doing your homework without a computer these days.
  8. Chat sites: Other sites online have chat rooms where teens can go and chat with their friends online.  People can go into these chat rooms and make up a user name and start saying bad things about kids in that chat room.  Many times there is a chat room that the students frequent because all their friends go there so when someone bullies in a chat room a lot of that kid’s peer group could be reading it.
  9. E-mail: Bullies steal identities and will sign into an e-mail account and send damaging e-mails pretending to be that teen.  Inappropriate messages to a female teacher or a nasty message to the principal are all things that can really get that child in trouble and they didn’t do anything.  Remind your child to keep passwords absolutely private.
  10. Instant messaging: Bullies will try to send nasty instant messages threatening to do something to a teen when they see them next.  Or tell them that they are going to make sure that they don’t get something they want at school like a part in the play or a solo in choir.  Bullying can take many forms even if it’s just telling someone that they did a terrible job on their audition or they overheard someone important say that they did a terrible job.  Anything like that is going to put undue stress on that child.  Make sure that your child is aware and being safe.

Source:  Full Time Nanny

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Teacher Bullies: Yes, Teachers Can Be Guilty Too

Bullying—for years it has been the reason for fake illnesses, the mysterious need for extra lunch money, and more recently the tragic motive behind some suicides. Bullying is a serious issue.  No wonder a whole month is dedicated to shedding some light on the issue. But while most energy and time is spent lecturing students about bullying, recent headlines prove teachers could actually benefit from a good lecture or two themselves.

From the teacher who was caught on tape taunting a special-needs student, to the teacher who was filmed unloading on a student and saying “I will kick your a** from here to kingdom come,” to the coach who told one of his basketball players he was destined to become a future welfare recipient,  it’s evident that teachers can be bullies too. In fact, according to research, 2% of all children are harassed by their teachers at least once during their academic careers.

It’s not certain why some teachers choose to abuse their authoritative power and belittle/humiliate their students in class, but it happens more frequently than parents would like to believe.  And since teachers are older, stronger, and seen as “scarier,” the effects a bully teacher has on your child may be much worse than a bully his or her age. Don’t let your child be a victim. Follow these tips below to learn how to handle these sorts of situations.

1. Talk to Your Kid About School. Whether it’s immediately after picking up your child from football practice, at the dinner table, or when casually watching TV together, always try to ask about your child’s day at school. Some children are more open about the good and bad days and will tell you if they’ve been harassed by a teacher; others will try to keep it all in. If your child happens to do the latter, try to pick up on cues that your child may be distressed.

Encourage them to openly talk with you but don’t try to push too hard. If you finally catch wind that your child’s teacher is the problem, assure your child you will resolve the issue. * Note: While some children may be more than happy for you to take charge and get involved, others may beg you not to. Assure your child that you will handle it in a tasteful manner, but verbal abuse is never ok and you cannot let their teacher’s behavior carry on.

2. Set up a Personal Meeting With the Teacher. Your next step would be to set up a private meeting strictly between you and the teacher. While you may be heated, it may be wise not to start the conversation too aggressively (don’t confront the teacher right off the bat). Instead, try a different approach. Comment on how you’ve noticed your child seems to feel really anxious and stressed about coming to his or her class lately and see how the teacher reacts. Do they seem uneasy?

Listen to the teacher’s explanation of why he or she thinks your child now has this odd behavior. If you don’t like the answer, then you can take your complaint to a higher figure such as a principal. *Whatever the case, try to keep your composure (no threatening), and make sure you keep written documentation of what was said during every encounter you’ve had with school staff and administrators.

3. Make a Complaint with the Superintendent.Lastly, if the principal does not resolve the issue, then go straight to the head honcho—the district’s superintendent. He or she should definitely be able to accommodate you and take the matter seriously. If the issue still remains, then consider transferring your child to a different school and file an official complaint with the state licensing board—there is no reason the teacher should be able to continue to educate (and possibly bully) other children.

Byline:

This is a guest post from Jacelyn Thomas. Jacelyn writes about identity theft prevention for IdentityTheft.net. She can be reached at: jacelyn.thomas@ gmail.com.

Thank you for this special contribution by Jacelyn Thomas.

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Gay Teens and Bullying: A Deadly Combination

One in six students will be assaulted so badly at school that medical care will be required. If this were true of the overall student population, Americans would be up in arms and would not rest until the problem is solved. However, since the students being assaulted are homosexual, less attention is paid and fewer solutions are offered. It doesn’t take an online PhDto recognize that schools need to address this serious problem much more directly.

One in six lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered students faces these horrendous assaults based upon his or her perceived lifestyle. Sixty-one percent of LGBT students report not feeling safe at school and 44 percent report being physically harassed based solely upon their perceived sexual orientation. Comparatively, about 25 percent of heterosexual teens report being bullied at school.

Bullying in any form affects students’ ability to concentrate on schoolwork, but all too often LGBT students go to school fearing for their physical safety. This takes such a large emotional toll that sometimes students believe the only way to resolve the turmoil of their lives is to commit suicide.

Between July and September, 2010, four young men — Justin Aaber, age 15; Billy Lucas, age 15; Seth Walsh, age 13; and Asher Brown, age 13 — all committed suicide. These boys’ families said they had been harassed and bullied for being homosexual. Every year many young people like these kill themselves as a result of anti-homosexual bullying. The true number of victims may never be known because they often don’t feel comfortable confiding in adults about the harassment or the reason behind it.

Another tragedy occurred in September, 2011. Jamey Rodemeyer was a 14-year-old boy who’d been harassed at school and online for more than a year. Jamey had received some notoriety for posting a video on the It Gets Better website about how eventually, the harassment and intolerance for being a homosexual would stop, and that young people who are being bullied, particularly for their perceived sexuality, should not give up. Sadly, Jamey’s own stress proved too much for him to bear.
Since the school shootings of the mid-’90s at Columbine, Pearl, Mississippi, Jonesboro, and other places, schools around the nation have put additional emphasis on preventing bullying and stressing tolerance among students. However, the harm done by bullying related to sexual orientation often isn’t addressed in these lessons.

In a 2009 study by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight alliance, only 18 percent of teens who responded to a survey reported the anti-bullying programs in their schools addressed the issue of being bullied for perceived sexual orientation. Experts on bullying believe that if the specific behavior that needs to be addressed isn’t mentioned by name, then it probably won’t be changed. Schools want to remain neutral about sexuality issues for fear of public backlash, but so long as students aren’t explicitly told bullying on the basis of sexuality specifically is unacceptable, such harassment is likely to continue.

California’s anti-bullying program does address anti-homosexual behavior specifically. This law drew considerable fire and controversy because religious and other conservatives believed promoting tolerance of homosexuality is wrong and actually pushing a supposed gay agenda. Nevertheless, in July of 2011 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a new bill that requires California schools to teach about the contributions of sexual minorities. Although not the direct objective of the bill, many anti-bullying advocates hope students will grow more tolerant of the LGBT community through awareness of their historical accomplishments.

Every day, students in America are being bullied because of their perceived sexual orientations. The result is all too often physical harm, whether from assaults by others or at suicidal students’ own hands. America still has a long way to go to ensure liberty and justice for all, even among schoolchildren.

Special contributor:  Elaine Hirsh – She is kind of a jack-of-all-interests, from education and history to medicine and videogames. This makes it difficult to choose  just one life path, so she is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about all these things instead.

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Do Anti-Bullying Programs Work?

As school will be opening, unfortunately we may start hearing about the ugliness of bullying and teasing of kids.  Many, if not most, schools have employed an anti-bullying policies and programs.  But what happens if they don’t work?

A special guest post from Blair Wagner of A Way Through helps sort through this dilemma.

 

Do you know your school’s bullying policy?

Why Anti-bullying Programs Miss the Mark

As I direct my focus to a new school year about to begin, I reflect back on the past school year and the approaches I’ve seen schools take to address school bullying among their students and their staff.  The one that really misses the mark is starting an anti-bullying program.

It is common for us to see something we don’t like and to join an anti-[fill in the blank] campaign.  We talk about, write about, and complain about how bad it is.  Our focus is on resisting the thing we don’t like, in this case bullying.  We push against it.  And that’s the problem.

What We Resist Persists

There’s an old saying: What we resist persists. Put another way, when we are negative about an issue, we perpetuate or spread negativity.

When we jump on the anti-bullying bandwagon, our attention, energy and focus are on the negativity of bullying. From this place of negativity, we lack emotional access to positive solutions. The anti name has a persistent negative influence.

As an alternative to a dooms day attitude or an angry approach, a more effective option is to recognize the bullying we see.  Name itBe curious about it.  Look at it from several angles.  But don’t stay stuck there.

Once we’ve gotten clear on what we are seeing and where it is coming from, work to clarify what we DO want. We want better social skills, social competence, emotional intelligence, social intelligence, healthy friendships, a positive culture, a positive climate, and positive role models.

A Springboard to Create a Replacement of Bullying Behavior

This positive focus gives us a springboard to create what we want.

Once we know what we want in bullying prevention, our job is to provide structures, training, and ongoing support for our students and for our school staff – all based on a focus of creating what we want, not on stopping what we don’t want.

Let’s replace those anti-bullying posters (of kids bullying or being bullied) with posters representing healthy friendships and acts of kindness. Start social skills training early. Put forth positive examples, language and visuals everywhere to influence your students in a positive way!

© 2011 A Way Through, LLC

Female friendship experts Jane Balvanz and Blair Wagner publish A Way Through, LLC’s Guiding Girls ezine. If you’re ready to guide girls in grades K – 8 through painful friendships, get your FREE mini audio workshop and ongoing tips now at www.AWayThrough.com.

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Ellen Speaks Out: Parents Teach Tolerance, Resources to Help Prevent Bullying

Many celebrities are known by one name.  Whether it is Cher, Madonna or Ellen – we know exactly who they are and what they do.  They are recognizable.

Ellen, who makes people laugh everyday on her television talk show, is using her voice and her celebrity to help spread the word about bullying prevention. There is nothing funny about bullying and she is dedicated to helping those that are being harassed, teased and viciously attacked.

Her website recently launched a resource page for bullying prevention.

Unfortunately, South Florida is no stranger to bullying and school violence.

The following organizations listed on Ellen’s website are all devoted to ending bullying. You can learn more at their websites about the resources each organization provides.
  • The Trevor Project runs the Trevor Lifeline, a 24-hour, national crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for gay and questioning teens. The number is 1-866-4-U-Trevor. You can learn more about The Trevor Project and the other great program they have at their website: thetrevorproject.org.
  • The National Center for Bullying Prevention is helping to promote awareness and teach effective ways to respond to bullying. You can learn more about them at: Pacer.org/bullying.
  • STOMP Out Bullying is focused on reducing bullying and cyberbullying. Find out more on their website: stompoutbullying.org
  • The Matthew Shepard Foundation runs Matthew’s Place, an online community and resource center for LGBTQ youth. The website is: matthewsplace.com
  • GLSEN is also a great organization that is working to eradicate bullying and bias in schools. Their website is: glsen.org
  • The Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools Guide is an approach to addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping, and name-calling in K-5th grades. The guide helps administrators, educators, and parents or caring adults make sure that their elementary schools welcome all students and families. You can learn more at www.welcomingschools.org
  • PFLAG and GLSEN have partnered with the Department of Civil Rights to create the Claim Your Rights program, to help everyone understand that they have the right to safer schools. This resource helps students, parents and teachers report incidences of bullying, particularly when schools deny that bullying exists. You can find out more about this vital resource at: http://community.pflag.org/claimyourrights

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has several chapters located in Broward County.  For the one nearest your, click here.

Be an educated parent, and remember, teach tolerance and lead by example!  Your kids are watching!

Read more and watch video.

Bullying: Take a Bite Out of Bullying – BLUE SHIRT DAY

School is opening in many areas.  Florida is one of the unfortunate states that made headlines last year with the horrific acts of violence against two teens.  Michael Brewer, 15 year-old, who was nearly burned to death after being doused in alcohol and set on fire by other teens and Josie Ratley, 15 year-old, that was savagely beaten and nearly died from her head injuries by another teenager.

It is time to be a State that takes a bite out of bullying.  Whether you are in Clay, Duval or St. Johns County get involved in creating an anti-bullying policy and anti-bullying clubs.

Where to begin:  Contact STOMP Out Bullying and learn more about getting your community involved in bullying awareness and prevention.

Join Love Our Children USA on Monday, October 4th! Make a statement against bullying and cyberbullying and STOMP Out Bullying!

Make October 4th the day that bullying and cyberbullying prevention is heard around the world by wearing a BLUE SHIRT in solidarity to STOMP Out Bullying!

To signify the importance of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week from October 3rd – 9th, Love Our Children USA created NATIONAL BLUE SHIRT DAY. Specifically the first Monday of every October — this year on Monday, October 4th, they are asking kids, teens and adults to participate in NATIONAL BLUE SHIRT DAY by wearing a blue shirt to STOMP Out Bullying.

Whether you order a Blue Shirt from Love Our Children USA or wear your own blue shirt, you’ll be sending a message to everyone to end bullying and cyberbullying.

Do you have your BLUE SHIRT ready?

Read more.