Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is Your Child Being Bullied?

Don't be blind to signs that your child might be being bullied.  Below is an article from Greatschools.com, written by a mother of a middle school boy and their experiences with bullying:

The Illinois mother of a seventh-grade boy writes, "I am currently involved in stopping bullying behaviors that are directed at my son. Last year, in his 6th grade year, he was being bullied and I did not know. He had constant headaches, wanted to stay home often, did not want to walk home from school (6 blocks away) and I did not put the scenario together. I took him to the doctor for headaches and thought he just did not want to walk home. When I discovered this year that he was being bullied last year, I was hurt. I felt like I was not a good parent and that my husband should have caught the signs. This year I am not the same mother. There is a bullying prevention program called Olweus that the school has adopted. But no matter how great the program, the child must be willing to tell. Children have a code of silence that is developed through fear and not wanting to tattle. My son is telling me what is going on this time and I have him report it to the teacher. I follow that conversation up because some teachers will drop the ball. I have the assistant principal involved and if it is not resolved immediately, I will involve the principal and then the legal system (press charges) if needed. Our children should not be victimized at school. Schools must have a safe, nurturing, educational environment. Sometimes I wonder at outbreaks of violence in schools around the country and what could have happened differently if the parents were more involved in their children's lives, not only at home, but in school also. How do you stop a bully? It has to be a joint collaboration between parents and the school."

There must be policies and procedures in place that students can safely report bullying.  Students must understand that bullying will not be tolerated and there will be harsh consequences for bullying.  Role playing and discussions about exactly what is considered bullying must be part of the curriculum.  It is a serious problem that no child should have to put up with.  Ask the principal or guidance counselor how bullying is handled at your child school and look for signs if you feel your child is suffering from bullying. Make sure your child is aware of the help available if being bullied. 


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