Bullying, Cyber Bullying, and Other Things You Need to Know
|Bullying, cyber bullying, and school violence has become a pervasive problem in schools around the country. As parents, we need to be aware of the signs and provide an outlet for our children to discuss these issues with us. All we can do is be attentive, observant, and engaged in the lives of our children. The information contained here should help you better identify and understand the signs associated with bullying and give you a method to deal with the situation.The first and most important thing to do as a parent and as an advocate for your child is to encourage the reporting of any bullying, cyber bullying, or abuse incident to a principal, counselor, teacher, or parent. Impress upon your child or their friends that bullying and abusive behavior is not to be tolerated and that they have the power to change things by reporting such incidents.
Keep in mind, schools are severely limited in what they can do. An outright claim that a child is bullying another child will often times be dealt with in less than a satisfactory way. It becomes an issue of perception. Was a child really bullying? Was a child really bullied? Are two children just not communicating properly? Remember, children are expert at hiding things, especially things that may get them in trouble. In some schools, parents have threatened legal action to prevent their child from being labeled a bully. Schools are generally reluctant to label children bullies for this reason. Thus, the behavior may even stop for a period of time if a child is reported for bullying. However, in a true bullying/stalking situation, the behavior almost always resumes. In instances such as this, it is best to document whatever you possibly can. The more proof of an action you have, the better off you are a concerned parent.
This is not an issue of destroying lives or reputations. It is an issue of saving lives and protecting children. As painful as it may be to know your child is bullying or being bullied, remember, it is your responsibility to address the situation in a way that is best for all parties involved.