To stop bullying, you need to be aware of it
Learn the signs and educate your kids
Bullying is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance,” according to the United States Department of Health & Human Services official anti-bullying website.
Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn.
The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts. In the past few years, there have been steps sicchool administrators, teachers, parents, students and even law-enforcement offers have taken to prevent this ugly occurrence.
Parents are the first line of defense, and they should talk with their children about what to do when faced with a bully or when they witness bullying.
The first thing to remember is that bullying happens everywhere.
Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places even as the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood or on the Internet.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An imbalance of power: Kids who bully use their power — such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity — to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
The different types of bullying include:
- 1. Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things, including:
- Name calling.
- Inappropriate sexual comments.
- Threatening to cause harm.
- Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships such as:
- Leaving someone out on purpose.
- Telling other children not to be friends with someone.
- Spreading rumors about someone.
- Embarrassing someone in public.
- Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions, including:
- Hitting, kicking, pinching.
- Tripping, pushing.
- Taking or breaking someone’s things.
- Making mean or rude hand gestures.
Here are some suggestions about how to prevent or stop bullying from happening.
- Intervene immediately. It is OK to get another adult to help.
- Separate the kids involved.
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
- Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
- Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
- Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without adult help.
- Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
- Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
- Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.
- Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
- Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
Get police help or medical attention immediately if:
- A weapon is involved.
- There are threats of serious physical injury.
- There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
- There is serious bodily harm.
- There is sexual abuse.
- Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion — using force to get money, property or services.
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