Tag Archive | Stop 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.

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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Sue Scheff: Bullying Busters or Bystanders

As the news continues about the rising rates of bullying, parents need to take a stand.  Determine if your child is being bullied or possibly a bully.  Has your child witnessed another child being teased?  Is he/she a bully bystander or will they be the one that busts them (tells the teacher or person in authority)?

The U.S. Department of Education cites the following ways in which bystanders and peers of victims can be negatively affected by acts of bullying:

  • They may become afraid to associate with the victim for fear of lowering their own status or of retribution from the bully and becoming victims themselves.
  • They may fear reporting bullying incidents because they do not want to be called a “snitch,” a “tattler” or an “informer.”
  • Some experience feelings of guilt or helplessness for not standing up to the bully on behalf of their classmate.
  • Many may be drawn into bullying behavior by group pressure.
  • They may feel unsafe, unable to take action or a loss of control.

Bullying has become a vicious trend that although is not new, it is escalating as it spreads into cyberbullying.  We are hearing about more children suffering with depression and committing suicide that may have links to them being bullied or teased in school or outside of school.

To find out more parent tips visit Connect with Kids Bullying Bystanders.

Be an educated parent, learn all you can about bullying.  Talk to your children and encourage them to do the right thing.

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Sue Scheff: Myths of Bullying

As school is back in, some kids dread walking the hallways or riding the bus.  Bullying is a growing and serious problem among kids and teens.  Years ago, the cliché “sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you,” couldn’t be more wrong.

Words can not only hurt you, they can emotionally scar you for a very long time.  Stop BULLYING Now offers a vast amount of information to help educate parents, teachers, and kids about the effects of bullying.

Let’s start with the ten myths about bullying:

1. Bullying is the same thing as conflict.

Wrong. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Often, bullying is repeated over time.

Conflict involves antagonism among two or more people. Whereas any two people can have a conflict (or a disagreement or a fight), bullying only occurs where there is a power imbalance-where one child has a hard time defending himself or herself. Why is the difference between bullying and conflict important? Conflict resolution or mediation strategies are sometimes misused to solve bullying problems. These strategies can send the message that both children are “partly right and partly wrong,” or that, “We need to work out the conflict between you.” These messages are not appropriate messages in cases of bullying (or in any situation where someone is being victimized). The appropriate message to the child who is bullied should be, “Bullying is wrong and no one deserves to be bullied. We are going to do everything we can to stop it.”

For more information, see the tip sheet entitled, Misdirections in Bullying Prevention and Intervention.

What does work? Research suggests that the best way to deal with bullying is through comprehensive programs that focus on changing the climate of a school and the social norms of the group. For more information, see the tip sheet entitled, Best Practices in Bullying Prevention and Intervention.

2. Most bullying is physical (involves hitting, shoving, kicking).
Physical bullying may be what first comes to mind when adults think about bullying. However, the most common form of bullying-both for boys and girls-is verbal bullying (e.g., name-calling, rumor spreading). It is also common for youth to bully each other through social isolation (e.g., shunning or leaving a child out on purpose).

3. Bullying isn’t serious. It’s just a matter of “kids being kids.”
Bullying can be extremely serious. Bullying can affect the mental well being, academic work, and physical health of children who are targeted. Children who are bullied are more likely than other children to have lower self-esteem; and higher rates of depression, loneliness, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. They also are more likely to want to avoid attending school and have higher school absenteeism rates. Recent research on the health related effects of bullying indicates that victims of frequent bullying are more likely to experience headaches, sleeping problems, and stomach ailments. Some emotional scars can be long-lasting. Research suggests that adults who were bullied as children are more likely than their non-bullied peers to be depressed and have low self-esteem as adults.

Children who bully are more likely than other children to be engaged in other antisocial, violent, or troubling behaviors. Bullying can negatively affect children who observe bullying going on around them-even if they aren’t targeted themselves. For more information, visit Why Should Adults Care About Bullying?

4. Bullying doesn’t happen at my child’s school.
Bullying is more common at some schools than others, however it can happen anywhere children and youth gather. Studies show that between 15- 25% of U.S. students are bullied with some frequency (“sometimes or more often”) while 15- 20% admit that they bully others with some frequency within a school term. The best way to find out about bullying at your child’s school is to ask children and youth, themselves. One good way to do this is by administering an anonymous survey about where bullying occurs, when it occurs, and how often it occurs.

5. Bullying is mostly a problem in urban schools.
Bullying occurs in rural, suburban, and urban communities, and among children of every income level, race, and geographic region.

5 more myths: Click here.

Reference: StopBullyingNow adults page

Watch video and learn why it is so important to learn about bullying.

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Sue Scheff: Inspiring Young Boy – “Bullying No Way”

When people hear the word inspiration you automatically know you are on a positive road and about to be uplifted!  One of my earlier articles was about Teens that Inspire, and through that I was introduced to a now 9 year old inspirational young boy, Jaylen Arnold.

Jaylen Arnold, a Florida resident,  radiates inspiration and continues to help others as well as educate kids and parents alike about one of our country’s most disturbing growing trends – bullying.

Recently Jaylen took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about his crusade and his mission to help millions of children.  Don’t forget to watch his PSA at the end of this article.

Part 1:

1.Why and when did you create www.JaylensChallenge.org ?

My website was created in May of this year. I created it because I wanted to find a way to help kids that were still getting bullied.

2. Tell us a bit about Tourette’s Syndrome? When were you diagnosed with Tourette’s?

I was diagnosed with TS at 3 years old. Tourette Syndrome is this little thingy in your brain that makes your body do tics(move and make noises) when you don’t want it to. You can control your body, my body controls me.

3. Many parents are exhausted of hearing labels; however you are a shining example of perseverance. You reference yourself as an “alphabet” kid – explain that to us?

Well, that’s because I have Tourette Syndrome, Asperger’s, and Obsessive Compulsive. When you have a disability, the doctor’s always write it by your name and they abbreviate it to make it easier. So I have TS (Tourette), ASP (Asperger’s), and OCD (obsessive compulsive) which is a lot of letters of the alphabet!

4.You are determined to be a voice to fight bullying (which I may say you are definitely a voice to be heard). Explain to us how bullying has effected you and how you are helping others learn how to prevent bullying.

When I was copied and laughed at for my tics, it made my Tourette’s much worse because it stressed me and then my Asperger’s was getting all overworked because Aspergers is part of Autism and I was a real mess. My mom took me out of school for a little while and then put me back to my old school where I wasn’t made fun of. I’m teaching kids about bullying because when I went back to the school that made fun of me later and told them about my problems, the kids listened and they said they were sorry. So I just thought and talked to my mom and said “this is easy, someone just needs to tell all these bad kids”. I had seen kids get physically bullied at that school when I went there.

5. You mentioned that public school was difficult for you. Do you feel that we need more education and awareness about bullying in public schools and how to you think we can do this?

ABSOLUTELY!!! Just call my mom or email us through my website. We will COME to your school and teach your kids about bullying and why you shouldn’t do it! Or if mom won’t let me come that far, they will send you all the stuff and we tell you how to do it with the whole school.
 

Click here for part 2 and see his PSA video.

Sue Scheff: Put an end to School Violence

loc_logoNEW YORK, October 8, 2009: Love Our Children USA speaks out on school violence which is a national crisis.

As we near the end of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week (October 4th -10th) Ross Ellis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Love Our Children USA said “I am pleased that so many have responded to our STOMP Out Bullying campaign and BLUE SHIRT Day. Since its launch in October, 2008, over 54,000 kids and parents have made the commitment to STOMP Out Bullying.

And people across the country wore blue shirts to work and to
school. Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego was a sea of blue as almost 2600 kids wore blue shirts to STOMP Out Bullying. But there’s a lot more work to do to keep our kids safe.”

It is heartbreaking to hear about the fatal beating of Derrion Albert in Chicago, the attack of a 14 year-old boy in New Jersey who suffered from multiple fractures by three 16 year-old boys who kicked and stomped him, and the 12-year-old boy on Coral Springs, FL who faces first-degree murder charges after allegedly stabbing a 13-year-old boy in the back with a kitchen knife. All of this since school began one month ago.

“Violent behavior that robs our children of their childhood, education and at times their lives, and continues a cycle of violence is not acceptable. Parents can no longer live in denial when their children are accused of violent behavior and schools can no longer sweep this issue under the rug, as they’ve been doing this for far too long” said Ellis.

According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resources Center, over 5.7 million children in the U.S. are involved in bullying either as a victim or culprit – or both. That’s 30% of school kids.

A new CCRC survey finds that U.S. children are routinely exposed to even more violence and abuse than has previously been recognized, with nearly half experiencing a physical assault in the study year.

The survey findings conclude that:

•More than 60 percent of the children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly.
•Nearly one-half of the children and adolescents surveyed were assaulted at least once in the past year, and more than 1 in 10 were injured as a result.
•Nearly one-quarter of the respondents were the victim of a robbery, vandalism, or theft.
•One-tenth of respondents were victims of child maltreatment (including physical and emotional abuse, neglect, or a family abduction), and 1 in 16 were victimized sexually.

Violence against children has become a national crisis. It’s not just in Chicago, New Jersey or Miami-Dade, it’s all over the country. While schools have been sweeping this issue under the rug far too long, they must enforce policies and educate students on this subject.

Schools must introduce violence prevention which covers bullying and cyberbullying into their curriculum – insisting that parents participate in school committees to understand the curriculum and bring it into their homes and communities.

And for parents who live in denial saying “My child would never harm anyone” or worse take a “so what” attitude, think again. Kids learn these behaviors at home. Whether it’s a parent who is violent, to a parent who handles conflict in an angry and negative way, a parent who is full of hatred or to a parent who just doesn’t have the time to be involved in their children’s lives … this is learned behavior. What is learned can be unlearned.

Ellis states “Ultimately it’s up to the students to stop the violence and create violence-free communities in their schools and neighborhoods. But they need the support of their schools and families.”

So very often people make comments such as “the kids need to toughen up” or think the violence only happens in poor neighborhoods. Not true said Ellis, “School violence is no longer a right of passage. Our kids are living in a very different world than we did and with the Internet and our youth not understanding the consequences of their behavior, it’s a real problem. Kids think it’s fun to beat someone up and place the video of it on YouTube. And, violence does not discriminate. It can occur in poor, middle income and wealthy neighborhoods.”

It’s time for parents and schools to work together, introduce violence prevention curriculum into all schools across the country and empower our kids to say ENOUGH! No more violence at school or in our communities.

More information about bullying. cyberbullying and school violence prevention and how to help your children and students can be found at www.loveourchildrenusa.org  and www.stompoutbullying.org.
About Love Our Children USA

Since 1999, Love Our Children USA has paved the way in child violence prevention as the national nonprofit leader that honors, respects and protects children. Its mission is to break the cycle of violence against children. Love Our Children USA has become ‘the go-to’ prevention organization for all forms of violence and neglect against children in the U.S. Working to eliminate behaviors that keep children from reaching their potential, it redefines parenting and creates kid success by promoting prevention strategies and positive changes in parenting and family attitudes and behaviors through public education. Empowering and supporting children, teens, parents and families through information, resources, advocacy, and online youth mentoring. Its message is positive ….one of prevention, empowerment and hope. Keeping children safe and strengthening families.

About STOMP Out Bullying

STOMP Out Bullying focuses its efforts to reduce Bullying and Cyberbullying, decrease school absenteeism and truancy, educate against homophobia and racism and deter violence in schools, playgrounds and communities across the country. This campaign’s key purpose is to educate those kids who are being bullied and those who are bullying, that there are choices for them to get help.

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Contact: Media Relations
Love Our Children USA
1.888.347.KIDS (5437) / 212.629.2099
media@loveourchildrenusa.org
 

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