What Can My Child Do If Bullied?
Bullying is defined as one person, on more than one occasion, using verbal or physical harassment to make another person feel scared or intimidated. This may be done by a group or by an individual. Bullying occurs among boys and girls of all ages, from all backgrounds, and for many reasons. Many bullies have themselves been victims of bullying.
How to Act
Many children are afraid of being bullied in middle school, and it’s a growing problem in schools. Fortunately, our school and district have rules in place for preventing and managing bullying. Teach your child what to do if a bully targets him/her. KidsHealth.org suggests telling kids to try not to show their anger in front of the bully, because that will just make the bully feel powerful. Children should ignore the bully and walk away if they can. They should also tell an adult they trust what is happening. You can emphasize to your child that it is not being a tattletale to tell an adult about bullying. Also let your child know that it is not a good idea to fight or bully back. It could lead to discipline for your child. It is also hard to know how the bully will react. If there is a particular time or place when your child often faces a bully, suggest that he/she try to enlist a friend to be there with him/her. Bullies are less likely to target a pair.
Talk to Someone
Victims of bullying almost always feel alone and afraid to tell anyone about it. This only adds to the cycle of bullying. Students who have been bullied can talk to any staff member (teacher, campus supervisor, office staff, custodian, or administrator) to seek help and protection. Victims of bullying are encouraged to talk to their parents. A student report to an administrator should include any information about witnesses to the bullying. School officials cannot help when they do not know.
Reassure your Child
If your child is bullied, they will feel alone and powerless. When parents discover this, they often overreact and become very protective. Although this is normal, it is not always productive. Parents who become angry may further alienate their child. Victims worry about what others think and that the bully will find out. Stay calm and remember that this is about helping your child know what to do to stay safe and free from bullying. Be supportive and encourage your child to talk to school officials.
Once bullies are identified they are warned to leave the victim(s) alone and to stop all contact. Further incidents will result in more disciplinary action, including home suspension (see the Student Conduct Code). Physical injury, even on the first offense, is dealt with differently and according to the conduct code.
The following poster is taken from Pinterest, the work of Trudy Ludwig, and Signe Whitson L.S.W.