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    October is National Bullying Awareness Month

     WS/FCS is unifying with families to bring awareness to this growing problem.

     

     What is Bullying?

    ·      The NC School Violence Prevention Act defines bullying as “any pattern of gestures or written, electronic, or verbal communications or any physical act or threatening communication”.

    ·      Bullying is different than teasing because it is:

    o     mean-spirited with the intent to hurt or embarrass the target (victim).

    o     repetitive and persistent; it continues even when the target says, “stop”, and it is NOT one time event.

    o     one-sided; the bully has power over the target

    o     said in a hurtful, mean tone of voice

    ·      Bullying can be presented in different forms:

    o     Physical: hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.

    o     Verbal/Nonverbal: name calling, threats, rude gestures, cyberbullying

    o     Relational: ignoring, spreading rumors, excluding 

    *Help Southwest Elementary School send the message to all students

    that bullying will NOT be tolerated!

     

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     Help! My Child is being bullied!

    What can I do?

     

    • Look for warning signs. Watch for “symptoms” in your child such as reluctance to go to school, anxiety, loss of sleep/appetite, unexplained headaches or stomachaches.
    • Praise your child for telling you about bullying behavior, and take it seriously. Listen to your child, and stay calm.
    • Contact school personnel. We are here to help. Do not try to contact the other student’s parents directly.   
    • Encourage your child to:
      • Avoid the other student when possible. 
      • Use humor. “Yeah, I know…I can be such a klutz sometimes!” This takes power away from the bully.
      • Use a firm voice to say, “Stop it!” Practice this at home.
      • Seek out kind friends.
      • NOT take revenge; he/she doesn’t want to become a bully as well.
      • TELL an adult; it is not tattling. 

    Resources:

               www.stopbullying.gov

               www.stopbullyingnow.com

               www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org(for kids)

               www.bced.gov.bc.ca/sco/elem_callsafe.pdf

     

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    Help! My Child IS the bully!!

    What can I do?

     Take it seriously. It can be very upsetting to find out your child is exhibiting bullying behavior, but know that denial only fuels the problem.

    • Talk with your child. How do you feel about yourself? How do your friends treat others? Is someone bullying you? 
    • Contact school personnelfor a meeting to discuss an action plan, and review it often.
    • Check grades. Is your child struggling academically, and thus acting out?
    • Cut off all violent influences, i.e.: TV shows, movies, video games, music, etc.
    • Teach empathy. How are your child’s actions affecting others? 
    • Set clear expectations and consequences. Make it clear that bullying will not be tolerated. 
    • Role play. Practice appropriate interactions.
    • Be realistic. Remember that behavior doesn’t change overnight. Show your child love and support.
    • Encourage! Catch your child treating peers respectfully and praise, praise, praise!

    Resources:

    www.education.com/reference/article/my-child-is-a-bully/

    www.pacer.org/parent/php/PHP-c109.pdf

    www.byparents-forparents.com/.../help-i-think-my-child-has-become-a-bully.htm

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    Cyberbullying 

    CYBERBULLYINGis similar to bullying, except it occurs through the use of technology. Like bullying, it is repetitive, intended to harm, and cruel, but easier done because kids are distanced from the harm they cause. Some examples of cyberbullying include…

    • Sending mean or threatening emails, IMs, or texts.
    • Tricking someone to reveal personal or embarrassing information and sending it to others.
    • Breaking into someone’s email to send cruel or untrue messages while posing as that person.
    • Using sites to rate peers as ugliest, prettiest, etc.
    • Creating a website to make fun of a peer.

     

    What can PARENTS do???

    • Keep your computer in a busy area.
    • Set up email and chat accounts with your children. Make sure you know their screen names and passwords, and don’t let them share personal information on online profiles.
    • Regularly review their IM “buddy list” with them.
    • Educate yourself on commonly used acronyms used in texts and IMs. These change frequently.
    • Have frequent discussions with your children about cyberbullying.
    • Encourage your children to REPORT cases of cyberbullying, and emphasize you won’t take away computer privileges. This is the main reason kids don’t tell adults when they are cyberbullied.

     

    Resources:

    www.stopcyberbullying.org

    www.cyberbullying.us

    www.ncpc.org/cyberbullying
                                                                                                                                                                Thank you to Amy Loflin
                                                                                                                                             Counselor at Caleb's Creek Elementary School
                                                                                                                                                for allowing the use of the information above