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BULLYING

SayNoBullying is a serious problem, but it can be prevented or stopped when those involved know how to address it. Many adolescents have experienced bullying, whether they were bullied, bullied someone else, or saw someone being bullied. Although definitions vary, bullying usually involves an imbalance of power, an intent to hurt, and repetition of the behavior. Adolescents who bully use their power to control or harm, and those being bullied sometimes feel powerless to defend themselves. Many schools and communities have anti-bullying initiatives in place; new resources are being developed by the federal government and other institutions to help adolescents, parents and others understand bullying and cyberbullying.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

To bully someone is to verbally or physically do harm for the purpose of gaining some type of control over a person, generally to use them for something, such as money or attention from peers. To achieve this, a bully must be able to control the victim, thus leading him to the act of bullying. The bully is often older than the victim, but this isn't always the case.

SIGNS A CHILD MAY BE A VICTIM OF BULLYING

Some of the signs and symptoms of a bullied child include withdrawing, saying they are ill and wanting to stay home from school, loss of interest in friends or having little or no friends, and loss in self-esteem.

Some children may not show outward signs of being bullied, so it is important to stay informed of what is going on in a child's life every day.

11 FACTS ABOUT BULLYING

    1. 56% of students have personally felt some sort of bullying at school. Between 4th and 8th grade in particular, 90% of students are victims of bullying.
    2. The most common reason cited for being harassed is a student's appearance or body size. 2 out of 5 teens feel that they are bullied because of the way that they look.
    3. 9 out of 10 youth reported being verbally harassed at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
    4. 1 in 4 teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene 4% percent of the time.
    5. A victim of bullying is twice as likely to take his or her own life compared to someone who is not a victim.
    6. One out of 10 students drop out of school because they are bullied.
    7. Physical bullying peak in middle school and declines in high school. Verbal abuse rates remain constant from elementary to high school.
    8. Researchers feel that bullying should not be treated as part of growing up (with the attitude “kids will be kids").
    9. 41% of principals say they have programs designed to create a safe environment for students, but only 1/3 of principals say that students would feel safe at their school.
    10. 57% of students who experience harassment in school never report the incident to the school. 10% of those who do not report stay quiet because they do not believe that teachers or staff can do anything. As a result, more than a quarter of students feel that school is an unsafe place to be.
    11. Schools with easily understood rules of conduct, smaller class sizes and fair discipline practices report less violence than those without such features.

StopBully

CYBER BULLYING

CyberBullyIf you’re like most teenagers, you spend a lot of time on a cell phone or instant messenger chatting with friends and uploading photos, videos, and music to websites. You may have online friends whom you’ve never met in person, with whom you play games and exchange messages. Teens’ lives exist in a variety of places such as school hallways, part-time jobs, and friends’ houses. Now many teens also have lives on the Internet. And bullying has followed teens online.

Online bullying, called cyberbullying, happens when teens use the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. Cyberbullying is a problem that affects almost half of all American teens. Whether you’ve been a victim of cyberbullying, know someone who has been cyberbullied, or have even cyberbullied yourself, there are steps you and your friends can take to stop cyberbullying and stay cyber-safe.

HOW ARE TEENS CYBERBULLIED?

Being a victim of cyberbullying can be a common and painful experience. Some youth who cyberbully:

  • Pretend they are other people online to trick others
  • Spread lies and rumors about victims
  • Trick people into revealing personal information
  • Send or forward mean text messages
  • Post pictures of victims without their consent

When teens were asked why they think others cyberbully,
81 percent said that cyberbullies think it’s funny.

Other teens believe that youth who cyberbully:

  • Don’t think it’s a big deal
  • Don’t think about the consequences
  • Are encouraged by friends
  • Think everybody cyberbullies
  • Think they won’t get caught

HOW CAN I PREVENT CYBERBULLYING ?

Teens have figured out ways to prevent cyberbullying. Follow in the footsteps of other quick-thinking teens:

  1. Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages
  2. Tell friends to stop cyberbullying
  3. Block communication with cyberbullies
  4. Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult
  5. Speak with other students, as well as teachers and school administrators, to develop rules against cyberbullying
  6. Raise awareness of the cyberbullying problem in your community
  7. Share anti-cyberbullying message with friends

Remember
Don’t forget that even though you can’t see a cyberbully or the bully’s victim, cyberbullying causes real problems.
If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online.
Delete cyberbullying .... Don’t write it. Don’t forward it.

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO STAY CYBER-SAFE ?

Remember that the Internet is accessed by millions of people all over the world, not just your friends and family. While many Internet users are friendly, some may want to hurt you. Below are some ways to stay cyber-safe:

  • NEVER post or share your personal information online (this includes your full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents’ names, credit card number, or Social Security number) or your friends’ personal information.
  • NEVER share your Internet passwords with anyone, except your parents.
  • NEVER meet anyone face-to-face whom you only know online.
  • Talk to your parents about what you do online.

 

WHEN SHOULD A PARENT OR ADULT INTERVENE ?

HelpKidsIf a child successfully stands up to a bully, do not interrupt. Instead, praise the child for his efforts afterward. Then, let the bully know that you will not tolerate that behavior. If the child cannot do it on his own, then intervene further. This might include physically separating the children. Be sure that any intervention includes letting the bully know you will not allow his behavior and let him know that actions will be taken to prevent it. If the situation occurs at school, a parent should only come to the school to intervene if it is clear that teachers are not controlling the situation. However, never confront your child's bully, as you will be doing so out of anger. Instead, talk to teachers and staff to form a plan.

Remember,
One of your most important responsibilities as a parent is to make sure your child is in a safe place.
If you feel your child is not being protected and is not safe, do not leave your child in that environment.
Do what you need to do to place your child somewhere he or she feels safe.