October is National Bullying Prevention Month
What is Bullying?
Bullying is when a person seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone who is perceived as vulnerable. Bullying can also be when someone uses their power to control someone else with unwanted aggressive behavior.
Why do people bully others?
This can vary from person to person but bullies can be deeply insecure and feel they can take what they want.
Some bullying tactics include: threats, insults, intentional exclusion, spreading lies, and intimidation.
Warning signs for parents to look out for may be unexplained injuries, lost/destroyed belongings, frequent or faking sickness, problems sleeping, frequent nightmares, changes in eating habits, decline in grades, decreased self-esteem, and sudden avoidance of friends. It is very important to talk to your child so that you are able to listen for and be aware of the warning signs.
Ways that parents and schools can prevent bullying:
-Help kids understand bullying
-Keep open lines of communication
-Encourage kids to do activities that they like (not what someone else is telling them to do)
-Be an example of how to treat others with respect and kindness
When parents and schools respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Schools are encouraged to build a safe school environment by creating a community-wide safe school prevention plan. For example: have students make signs to post around the school that promote anti-bullying.
What can students do if they are bullied?
-Look at the kid bullying you and calmly ask them to stop. If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and find a trusted adult. Also, avoid the places the bullying usually happens.
All states have anti-bullying legislation to protect against the harassment that happens in schools. Sometimes bullying overlaps with discriminatory harassment, which is covered under federal civil rights laws.
Sponsored by the DCCPTA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee