- Slides: 35
A song for victims • Don't Laugh At Me • Don't Laugh AT Me Baby Jay • Bully: It's a video game!
What is bullying? a single incident or pattern of significant severity involving a written, verbal, electronic or physical act intended to: • • Physically harm a pupil or damage the pupil's property; or Cause substantial emotional distress to a pupil; or Interfere with a pupil's educational opportunities; or Be severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to create an intimidating or threatening educational environment: or • Disrupt the orderly operation of the school.
Imbalance of power • Bullying shall also include actions shown to be motivated by an imbalance of power, based on a pupil's actual or perceived characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs, or motivated by the pupil's association with another person and based on the other person's characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs.
Imbalance of power • A key component of bullying situations: imbalance of power between the bully and her victims. • This power can be real or perceived, and may involve gender, culture, race, social class, etc. • Mediation doesn’t work in dealing with most bullying incidents.
How widespread is bullying? Reporting laws and definitions vary from district to district and state to state. However: • 7, 000 incidents of bullying occur in U. S. schools per year. • Bullying affects at least 1 of 3 public school children. • Students rank bullying a bigger problem than HIV, drugs, and racism in their schools.
In New Hampshire: • No accurate data is currently being kept by the Department of Education • NH Youth Risk Behavior Survey (CDC, 2009) – 22 % of all High School Students had been bullied in past 12 months • 20% of HS Males • 25% of HS Females • 27% of 9 th Graders » Usually occurs most often in Middle schools – no data.
Boys & girls bully differently • Boys: • More physical: hitting, pushing, etc. • Cause more property damage. • More often engage in sexual harassment. • Girls: • Engage in more relationship bullying. • Bully by exclusion. • Are becoming more violent.
Bullying: Consequences to victims • • Depression Risk of suicide Post-traumatic stress Effects may last 5 years or more
What do we know about bullies? • Likely to become antisocial adults. • More likely to be involved in domestic violence and child abuse. • Likely to have children who become bullies. • Likely to commit crimes. • More likely to drink and smoke.
If your child is bullying others • Discipline him or her. • Help him/her accept responsibility for the bullying. • Help him or her make amends. • Get mental/emotional help. • Expect good deeds. • Teach your child how to be a friend.
Bullying and the law • No Federal Law makes bullying illegal. • State laws have tried to add clarity. • NH HB 1523, Passed May, 2010: – Clear definition of bullying and cyber-bullying. – Reporting and recording. – Training. – Protection from retaliation.
Where is bullying most likely to occur? Wherever teacher/adult supervision is lacking: • School restrooms • Locker rooms • Stairwells • Bus • School grounds • Classrooms
10 myths about bullying Myth #1: Bullying is a normal part of growing up. Reality: Bullying is not normal. It is a violation of a child’s rights. It is fraught with emotion and can be dangerous.
10 myths about bullying Myth #2: Children who get bullied are “wimps” and should learn to fight back. Reality: Being bullied is not a sign of weakness. Bullies are often emotionally troubled and fighting back can be dangerous. Help your child develop a bullying plan!
10 myths about bullying Myth #3 Bullies are just kids with low self-esteem. They are just trying to be in charge. Reality: This myth has caused a lot of problems and generated some bad programs. Actually, most bullies are narcissists with high self esteem.
10 Myths about bullying Myth #4: Children just have to learn about bullying on their own. If parents get involved it makes it worse. Reality: Adults are protected by harassment laws in their workplaces, and most adults don’t have to face bullying alone. Parents should be caring and wise when they intervene, but no one should have to face bullying alone.
10 myths about bullying Myth #5: Bullying just toughens you up. Reality: When has stress, harassment, exclusion, violence, or trauma ever just “toughened you up? ”
10 myths about bullying Myth #6: If you just ignore a bully, he or she will go away. Reality: Bullying research has shown that ignoring the behavior often results in increased attention from a bully who is anxious to get a response.
10 myths about bullying Myth # 7: We should just teach our kids that “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words shall never hurt me. ” Reality: Words hurt. They can cause lasting damage to a child’s emotional state.
10 myths about bullying Myth #8: With all the attention, schools and youth programs have gotten much better at dealing with bullying. Reality: Although schools and programs have become aware of bullying, incidents haven’t decreased. Only about four percent of reported bullying incidents result in adult involvement.
10 myths about bullying Myth #9: Bullying is a big-school problem. Reality: Bullying happens in rural, urban and suburban areas both in schools and out of schools. It is the responsibility of anyone who cares about young people.
10 Myths About Bullying Myth #10: Kids don’t tell adults about bullying. Reality: Careful research on reporting has shown that when young people have caring, concerned adults in their lives they not only want to talk about bullying, they will talk about it.
Signs that your child may be a victim of bullying • • • Exclusion from parties and social gatherings. Afraid of going to school or walking alone. Not ever bringing friends home. Headaches, stomachaches, or other complaints. Lack of a good friend to do things with.
Signs, continued • • • Missing or damaged belongings or clothing. Sudden loss of interest in school. Staying close to adults while fearful of peers. Depressed, lonely, sad, irritable. Unable to sleep. Need for extra money.
If you think your child is a victim • Have a conversation. • Really listen to your child. - Take time. Limit distractions. Build trust. See it from your child’s point of view. Gather information. Be approachable. Be patient.
If you find out your child is being bullied • • Don’t overreact. Assess the injury or damage. Decide together whom to contact/inform. Reassure your child, but make only those promises you know you can keep.
If you find out your child is being bullied • • • Partner with your child in making decisions. Be supportive. Encourage your child not to retaliate. Teach assertiveness, not aggressiveness. Develop a full bullying plan (see handout). Get outside counseling or help.
If you find out your child is being bullied Collect these facts: • • Who was involved? What exactly was said and done? Where did the bullying happen? When did it occur? Were adults present? Were video cameras? Were there bystanders?
Signs of severe stress in bullying victims • • Depression Changes in appetite Difficulty sleeping Personality changes • • • Substance abuse Suicidal thoughts Hopelessness Fatigue Self-injury
Signs your child might be being cyber-bullied If your child is: • • • Upset after being on the computer of phone. Clearing the screen when you come in the room. Secretive about Internet activity. Spending unusual hours on computer. Avoiding conversations about the Internet. Showing signs of stress or depression.
If your child is being cyber-bullied • Have your child tell the person to stop immediately. Cut off all contact. • Try to block the bully from accessing your child. • Tell your child not to access the bully. Monitor his/her electronic interactions. • Contact school officialspolice if necessary. • Document and print interactions.
There are no innocent bystanders • 1. Assistants: join in the attacks on the victims either physically, verbally, or electronically. • 2. Reinforcers: act like an audience and although they don’t attack the victim, support the bully’s behavior by encouraging him or her. • 3. Outsiders are aware of the bullying but do nothing lending silent approval. • 4. Defenders try to comfort the victim, take the victim’s side, report the bully or intervene.
Making your community’s schools safer • Model good social skills yourself. • Advocate for safer schools & better laws. • Work with your school parent-teacher organization. • Talk to students. • Volunteer. • Start a discussion.
For more information Dr. Malcolm L. Smith, Family Life and Family Policy Specialist UNH Cooperative Extension www. extension. unh. edu The Family Education Collaborative www. ywcanh. org