How To Be Bully-Proof This School Year: Tips For Kids With Autism
How to Help Make Your School Bully‐Proof
On September 23, 2010, a 13-year-old who had endured years of bullying at school committed suicide.The day before that, an 18-year-old university student committed suicide after an act of cyber-bullying, and a few days later a student at another college who'd been bullied also took his own life.
On average, 160,000 students a day avoid school out of fear of bullying. Have you ever felt taunted or threatened at school? Or if you are a parent, do you worry about the physical and psychological well-being of your child while you are at work? As a school official, are you concerned about creating a safe and accepting environment for your educational community? Bullying's increased national attention has sparked fresh ideas and new approaches. Just recently, for example, the state of Massachusetts passed legislation that makes school bullying illegal.How can everyone contribute to eliminating bullying? Read on to get a head start.
If you're a student, initiate a club that promotes tolerance and respect.Work with teachers and administrators to create school-wide activities. Hold assemblies and make them both informative and fun (go multimedia!).
Create campaigns that encourage other students to report bullying.Most often, both victims and witnesses are too intimidated or ashamed to come forward.
- Brainstorm with your school counselors on ways to helped bullied students take control of their situation.
- Make informational fliers, innovative videos. Help students to understand what bullying is, use examples of lesser understood bullying techniques to highlight problem areas that your school might be experiencing or exposed to (such as online bullying).
- Give the students tools to work with to actively spot and prevent bullying rather than just information.
Use social networking to your advantage.Block those bullies!
- Encourage students to think carefully about whom they let into their online circle of friends. Don't add people as friends just because they insist; if a student doesn't feel comfortable having these people as part of their online group, trust that feeling and leave them out.
- Encourage students to learn how to be .
- Provide information on how to block harassing people or remove unwanted posts from social networking sites.
Establish a student-run and peer-mentored “hotline.” This may be as simple as creating a group of advocates who take turns being “on call” through a chat program at designated times.
Rally your student body around one common cause that helps to develop togetherness and sharing.Find exciting, positive projects that appeal to many. Maybe it’s the first ever video yearbook. Or a large community service activity.
Create a website serving as a bully-free portal that includes information about and access to all of the programs, clubs, and services available at your school.Interconnectivity is key! You could also develop a reference page with links to support groups, websites, books, and videos related to bullying.
- Provide clear information on what to do if a student is a victim of bullying, and who they can contact immediately.
- Don't forget to provide information for those doing the bullying too. They wouldn't be bullying if they had healthy self-esteem and giving them options to seek counseling and change can be helpful for everyone.
If you're a parent, make a habit of talking to your child about his or her day at school.Get the details in an inviting and engaging way. Ask not only about schoolwork but also about friends and extracurricular activities. Remain informed about his or her social relationships. Get to know your child’s friends and their parents.
Keep an eye on your child’s Internet activity.While all children need some amount of privacy, especially teenagers, the World Wide Web can be a dangerous and lonely place if your child is being cyber-bullied. There are a number of software products available for this. Several online businesses will not only monitor cyber-traffic, but also submit regular activity reports to parents.
Establish or become active in a parents’ alliance group.This might be part of your Parent Teacher Association or it might be a separate group. Connect with a national organizationand network beyond your immediate community.
Collaborate with teachers and administrators on policies and procedures that address school bullying.Establish a collective approach that helps you to hold your school officials accountable for incidents of bullying. It is often easier to confront bullying with the support of a team or group than to try to go it alone as a parent.
If you're an administrator, develop and execute a thorough anti-bullying plan that includes:
- An established and well-publicized policy statement containing the definition of bullying, its dangers, and its consequences.
- Mandatory awareness programs for students and staff.
- Protocols for urgent response.
- Ongoing professional development for your school’s staff.
- Community-building strategies.
Create a real-time, online networking system among school officials and staff devoted to reporting school bullying.
Support your students’ anti-bullying efforts not only with words but with resources and action.Authorize an assembly, provide funds, or participate with your students. Embrace your school community!
Teach your kids and their friends how to stand up for themselves and to look out for one another.
- There is strength in numbers. Even if they get a black eye (a serious matter warranting immediate intervention), those standing up to it will most likely get respect as well.
- Let your kids know that it's important to get help from the authorities (school or otherwise) when someone is bullying.
- Support your kids if they get in a bullying-related fight.
- You need to stand up for yourself if you get bullied. Even if you get hurt even more because of it, you'll be respected, and other kids will help you take your next stand. All bullies are cowards, the second you hit them with a punch back, they're done. Violence is not a good answer, but may be the last option. This should only be a LAST resort!
- If you're a student at the school, and you see somebody being bullied, remove them from the situation. For example: If you see a girl having her clothes insulted, go over to the bully, say, " I don't think her clothes are ugly!" Then turn to the girl and say "Come on, lets go to lunch." Just remove the victim from the situation.
- Even if you find out that your kid is doing the bullying, this is a time for straightening things out, not for avoiding the consequences. A bullying child needs as much focus as a bullied child, in order to teach them better ways of resolving their frustration, dislikes, and need to dominate.
- Students reporting on students for bullying needs to be monitored and substantiated by adults as this can also be used as a form of bullying. False reports are as damaging to the victim as any other type of bullying.
- Bullying is serious and can lead to dire consequences if ignored. Raising children to believe they can, and should, seek support to deflect and stop bullying is an essential part of child-raising and teaching. Don't ignore the topic even if your child seems fine.
Video: BULLYPROOF Kid Wins Schoolyard Fight With PERFECT Armbar! (Gracie Breakdown)
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