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Bullying Prevention Strategies for Parents

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1 Bullying Prevention Strategies for Parents
Presented by: Donna Gasiorowski & Sheri Weretka Safe & Drug-Free Schools of Osceola County, Florida

2 Florida Statute: 1006.147 “Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up
for All Students Act” Signed by Governor Charlie Crist on June 10, 2008. Statute states that “bullying or harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution is prohibited”. - By December 1, 2008, every Florida school district is required to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of students and staff.

3 What is Bullying? Bullying means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. It is further defined as unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by a student or adult, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation. (SDOC Antibullying Policy – draft)

4 Types of Bullying Physical: hitting, kicking, shoving, tripping
Verbal: name calling, teasing, taunting, threats Emotional: spreading rumors, social exclusion, ignoring, theft, destruction of property, public humiliation, sexual, religious or racial harassment, stalking Cyber: use of computers, cell phones, other electronic devices

5 Warning Signs that a Child is Being Bullied
Becomes socially withdrawn or exhibits poor social skills. Doesn’t seem to have many friends. Often pushed around, kicked or hit by other youth – doesn’t defend himself/herself. Has a sudden change in school attendance or in academic performance. Difficulty concentrating. Often stands near an adult and won’t interact with other youth. Uses “victim” body language – hunches shoulders, hangs head, won’t look people in the eye, backs off from others.

6 Sudden change in mood or behavior (bed-wetting, loss of appetite, depression, etc).
Frequent complaints of headaches, stomachaches, etc. Unexplained scratches or bruises. Unexplained damage to clothing. Suddenly starts bullying other youth. Refuses to ride the bus or takes a different route to get to school or home. Has a lack of interest in activities he/she used to enjoy. They want to be left alone. Frequently asks for extra money. Is hungry after school. Refuses to talk about events at school.

7 What to Do if Your Child is Being Bullied
First, focus on your child. Be supportive and gather information about the bullying. Never tell your child to ignore the bullying. Don’t blame the child who is being bullying. Don’t say, “What did you do to aggravate the other child?” Listen carefully to what your child tells you about the bullying. Learn as much as you can about the bullying tactics used, and when and where the bullying happened. Empathize with your child. Tell him/her that bullying is wrong and that you are glad he or she had the courage to tell you about it. Do not encourage physical retaliation as a solution.

8 2. Contact your child’s teacher or principal.
Bullying may not stop without the help of adults. Give factual information about your child’s experience (who, what, when, where, and how). Be willing to work with the staff at school to find a solution. Do not contact the parents of the student(s) who bullied your child. Expect the bullying to stop.

9 Help your child become more resilient to bullying.
Help to develop talents or positive attributes of your child. Encourage your child to make contact with friendly students in his or her class. Help your child meet new friends outside of the school environment. Teach your child how to seek help from an adult when feeling threatened by a bully. Make sure your child has a safe and loving home environment where he or she can take shelter. Always maintain open lines of communication with your child.

10 Bullies : Like to dominate other people.
Like to use other people to get what they want. Find it hard to see a situation from the other person’s vantage point. Are concerned only with their won wants and pleasures and not the needs, rights, and feelings of others. Tend to hurt other kids when parents or other adults are not around. View weaker siblings or peers and prey ( “predatory aggression”)

11 Use blame, criticism, and false allegations to project their worn inadequacies onto their target.
Refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. Lack foresight – that is, the ability to consider the short-term, long-term, and possible unintended consequences of their current behavior. Crave attention. (Coloroso, Barbara The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander.)

12 What do I do if my child is bullying others?
Make it clear to your child that you take bullying seriously and that you will not tolerate this behavior. Develop clear and consistent rules within your family for your child’s behavior. Praise and reinforce your child for following rules and use non-physical, non-hostile consequences for rule violations. Spend more time with your child and carefully supervise and monitor his or her activities. Build on your child’s talents by encouraging him or her to get involved in prosocial activities. Share your concerns with your child’s teacher, counselor, or principal.

13 WEBSITES Stop Bullying Now I Safe National Crime Prevention Council
I Safe National Crime Prevention Council Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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