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How to host a conversation on bullying in your community

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1 How to host a conversation on bullying in your community
4/9/2017 9:16 PM How to host a conversation on bullying in your community Michelle Alfred Vice President of Leadership Pinellas County Council PTA/PTSA

2 What is Bullying A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Dr. Dan Olweus, creator of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program ( The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is a long-term, system-wide program for change involving program components at four levels: School Level, Classroom Level, Individual Level, and Community Level.

3 Key Elements of Bullying
Imbalance of Power Intent to Harm Repeated Behavior Rough Play Real Fighting Bullying Usually friends; often repeated (same players) Usually not friends; Typically not repeated Typically not friends; Generally repeated Balance of Power Power relatively equal Unequal power No intent to harm Intentional Harm Affect is friendly; Positive, mutual Affect negative; Aggressive, tense, hostile affect Aggressive and differs for victim and aggressor three important components; always 3 key elements present: 1. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength. 2. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. .3. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Repeated can mean throughout a single school day, it doesn’t have to be the same type of bullying, and it could be by different persons (followers). Bullying is not normal play. Probably not go away on it’s own, usually becomes more serious if ignored

Types of Bullying PHYSICAL VERBAL CYBERBULLYING RELATIONAL AGGRESSION Bullying can take on many forms. Direct: Physical-harm to another person or another person’s property. Hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping, pushing, taking or breaking someone’s things. Verbal-taunting, teasing, name-calling, or threatening to harm Indirect : Cyberbullying: using technology to intimidate or harass another person, Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or s, rumors sent by or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. Relational Aggression-harm to another’s self esteem or group acceptance: leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors about someone, embarrassing someone in public

5 Is My Child Bullying Others?
A student who bullies is someone who repeatedly hurts another person on purpose. TYPES OF BULLIES Proactive: seek internal feelings of power and control, behave in a deliberate manner. Reactive: feel threatened, emotional and impulsive, feel aggression is justified. Extrovert: openly harass and use force to get their way Introvert: conform to rules, seek power through manipulation Passive: participate but do not take the lead role in bullying incidents A single student who bullies can have a wide-ranging impact on the students they bully, students who observe bullying, and the overall climate of the school and community. The child who bullies has a 1 in 4 chance of having a criminal record before the age of 23. If we don’t stop bullying during the school age years, boys will have a greater risk of bullying their significant others, while girls will be at a greater risk for bullying their children.

6 Warning Signs A child who bullies others MAY exhibit some of these behaviors.
Frequent name calling and put downs Lack of empathy for others Desire to have power over others Disrespect for authority and rules Easily offended or angered Have unexplained extra money or new belongings There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying—either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Both boys and girls bully. Boys generally engage in direct bullying such as physical aggression and threatening. Girls tend to resort to indirect bullying including spreading rumors, exclusion, and using relationships to hurt others.

7 What Can I Do As a Parent? Stay calm
Focus on how to help your child learn positive behaviors Make it clear that bullying behaviors are unacceptable Use consistent, respectful discipline; hold your child responsible for hurtful behavior and help your child understand the consequences of their actions Help your child see other points of view; teach empathy for others Spend quality time with your child and be a positive role model The word “bullying” often conjures up an image of a schoolyard scene, with a big, intimidating student towering over a small, cowering child. That’s just one face of bullying—and of children who bully. Another face of a bully might be…your own child. Many parents are surprised. Often they have no idea that their child is harassing other children. But there are things you can do to change the behavior. Students who intentionally bully others should be held accountable for their actions. Let him or her know that bullying will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Be the model. Kids see and hear everything you do. Adults must consider what they say and do before it is said or done. Help your child learn different ways to resolve conflict and deal with feelings such as anger, insecurity, or frustration. Try to reinforce positive behavior at home and teach your child to be kind, considerate and respectful to others, even those that look or seem different from them. Also teach your children to be patient with others.Encourage your child to be friendly to everyone in class and not pick on others simply because their friends are doing it. Use consequences to teach. Consequences that involve learning or building empathy can help prevent future bullying. For example, the child who bullied can: Lead a class discussion about how to be a good friend. Write a story about the effects of bullying or benefits of teamwork. Role-play a scenario or make a presentation about the importance of respecting others, the negative effects of gossip, or how to cooperate. Do a project about civil rights and bullying. Read a book about bullying. Make posters for the school about cyberbullying and being smart online.

8 Is My Child Being Bullied?
A student who is repeatedly exposed to negative actions from peers in the form of physical attacks, verbal assaults, or psychological abuse. About 1 in 5 children has been a victim of bullying How long would you guess an act of bullying takes? An average of 37 seconds. How many children do you think have been a victim of bullying? A recent U.S. study shows that 17 percent of all students reported having been bullied "sometimes" or more often. This amounts to about one in five students. 2/3 of the kids who committed school shootings were victims of bullying.

9 Warning Signs A victim of bullying MAY exhibit some of the following behaviors.
Lonely, withdrawn or isolated Lacks social skills Has few friends Sudden changes in school performance or attendance Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares Unexplained scratches, bruises, or damage to clothing/property Nervous, anxious, worried, fearful Suddenly starts bullying others Look for changes in the child, but keep in mind not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs. Students deserve to feel safe at school. Physical and emotional safety in schools is essential to the learning environment. Bullying impacts the learning environment which can result in negative outcomes for students such as: missing school, dropping out and school violence. It can also lead to serious emotional problems such as depression, anxiety and possibly suicidal thoughts.

10 Reasons Victims Do Not Tell Many children who are bullied will not report what is happening
Ashamed of being bullied Embarrassed that they cannot handle the bullying themselves Afraid of retaliation Do not believe anyone can help Do not believe anyone will help Have been taught bullying is part of growing up and will develop character Believe ratting on a peer is unacceptable Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. Bullying can be a humiliating experience. Kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them, whether true or false. They may also fear that adults will judge them or punish them for being weak. Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them. Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand. The number one reason children do not report bullying is that they do not believe that adults will do anything. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale. It’s important that we teach children the difference between “ratting, snitching, tattling” – which is done to get someone in trouble, as opposed to “reporting” – which is done to get someone out of trouble.

11 What Can I Do As a Parent? Let your child know that you are pleased they have told you and that it is not their fault Reassure your child that you will help him/her Investigate the situation by asking questions Avoid confronting the child who is bullying or his/her parents Develop a safety plan with your child that includes trusted adults your child can turn to for help Spend quality time with your child and be a positive role model Contact the school as soon as possible Listen and focus on the child. Learn what’s been going on and show you want to help. Assure the child that bullying is not their fault. Keep in mind the child’s perspective, it is important that if they feel they are being bullied, you need to take it as if they are – and not just dismiss it without investigating. Know that kids who are bullied may struggle with talking about it. Consider referring them to a school counselor, psychologist, or other mental health service. Give advice about what to do. This may involve role-playing and thinking through how the child might react if the bullying occurs again. Work together with the school or organization to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. Ask the child being bullied what can be done to make him or her feel safe. Be persistent. Bullying may not end overnight. Commit to making it stop and consistently support the bullied child.

12 Cyberbullying Cyberbullying is bullying through , instant messaging (IMing), chat room exchanges, Web site posts, or digital messages or images send to a cellular phone or personal digital assistant (PDA) Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Dan Olweus definition definition Cyber bullying, like traditional bullying, involves an imbalance of power, aggression, and a negative action that is often repeated.

Cyberbullying Cyberbullying has some rather unique characteristics that are different from traditional bullying. CONCERNS EMOTIONAL HARM 24/7 SELF ESTEEM ERODED FEAR OF REPORTING SENSE OF SAFETY VIOLATED Emotional Harm 24/7: Most children who use traditional ways of bullying terrorize their victim at school, on the bus, or walking to or from school. Although bullying can happen elsewhere in the community, there is usually a standard period of time during which these children have access to their victims. Children who cyber bully can wreak havoc any time of the day or night. Self Esteem Eroded: Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source. Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent. Fear of Reporting: Fear that their computer or phone privileges will be taken away will stop victims from reporting cyberbullying. Often, adults' responses to cyberbullying are to remove the technology from a victim - which in their eyes can be seen as punishment. Sense of Safety Violated: As bad as the "bully" on the playground may be, he or she can be readily identified and potentially avoided. On the other hand, the child who cyber bullies is often anonymous. The victim is left wondering who the cyber "bully" is, which can cause a great deal of stress.

14 Common Forms of Cyberbullying
Harrassment Denigration Flaming Impersonation Outing and Trickery Posting Pictures - Morphing - Rating Happy Slapping Harrassment: Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages Denigration: Sending or posting gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships. Flaming: Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language. Impersonation: Breaking into an or social networking account and using that person's online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others. Outing and Trickery: Sharing someone's secrets or embarrassing information, or tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information and forwarding it to others Posting Pictures: Morphing, using photoshop or other software to alter a photo then sending or posting it online. Rating, asking for scores/comments for photos posted online usually these are altered as well. Happy Slapping: This is usually a set up situation where an unsuspecting person gets slapped or hit and someone takes a picture or video of it happening and posts it online.

15 Cyberbullying Tips for Parents Create rules for internet use
Educate yourself and your child Know what your child is doing online Learn the language Don’t allow solitary surfing Don’t rely solely on technology to protect kids Know your child’s accounts, profiles, IM screen names, etc. Keep home computer in easily viewable places. Periodically check on what your child is doing. Watch out for secretive behavior. It’s a danger sign if your child rapidly switches screens as you approach the computer or attempts to hide online behavior by emptying the history file. Help them be smart about what they post or say. Tell them not to share anything that could hurt or embarrass themselves or others. Once something is posted, it is out of their control whether someone else will forward it. Tell kids to keep their passwords safe and not share them with friends. Sharing passwords can compromise their control over their online identities and activities. However, you, as the parent should have this information. – federal government’s online safety website to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. Great information on how to talk to your kids about online safety. Check your child’s cell phone – keep charging stations in central location for everyone. Warning signs for Cyberbullying are similar to those of traditional bullying, in terms of emotional effects discussed earlier.

16 Cyberbullying Tips for Kids Keep personal information to yourself
Never post a picture Always use a neutral username Don’t give password to anyone but parents Tell an adult if cyberbullying occurs Keep anything sent by the person who is cyberbullying Online predators use open ended questions to entice kids to answer questions and draw them out. For example: The predator might say, “My dad has to work nights – does yours too?” or “I go to a school with a stupid name, it’s Orange Grove, what’s your school name?”

17 STOP CYBERBULLYING Save messages and pictures as evidence.
Send one message clearly stating “Do not contact me again or I will contact the authorities.” Contact the ISP, forward offending messages and request the account be terminated. Notify the website and request removal Trace phone number and contact phone company Contact your local law enforcement office Do not interact with cyberbullier, other than one firm clear message. Block the sender.

18 What Can Your PTA/PTSA Do?
Host a Connect For Respect Event Obtain a copy of and understand your school district’s bullying or harassment policy; including reporting procedures. Work with your School Administration/School Resource Officers to educate and inform students, parents and teachers on the school districts’ policies and prevention programs. Share resources and educational materials on bullying. There is no federal law that specifically applies to bullying. Each state addresses bullying differently. Go to – to find the anti-bullying laws and policies for your state. 41 states have both laws (in their state education codes) and policies (to provide guidance to districts and schools) in place to prevent bullying and protect children. 8 have only laws 1 has only policy in place Resources from this workshop can be found at

19 Host a Connect For Respect Event
Develop Goals and Objectives Determine the Type of Event. Select a Date and Time. Determine a Location. Consider the Needs of Your Community. Develop an Agenda and Invite Guest Speakers. Communicate About Your Event Develop Materials to Hand Out at Your Event. Host Your Connect For Respect Event. Evaluate Your Event Plan for the Future. Goals, guide your work and keep you on task. Objectives are the outcomes you hope to reach. This should be determined based on your local needs. Community-wide, school-wide, classroom discussion. What will be best for your audience. Consider space needs, resources such as chairs, tables, microphones, and that it is easily accessible. Make everyone feel welcome, will you provide childcare, food, has there been a major event that has increased awareness or concern in your community. Think about what topics you want to address and how you will cover them: speakers, students, your school district, parents, etc. Marketing the event: posters, flyers, PTA newsletter, local radio and newspapers Give people something to take home. Pamphlets, brochures, flyers about what was shared. Go to National PTA’s website at for more information.

20 Resources of Interest Website Resources on Bullying and Prevention
Parent Surveillance Sites Translating Web Talk CDC – Center for Disease Control and Prevention NCPC = national crime prevention council

21 How to host a conversation on bullying in your community
Michelle Alfred Vice President of Leadership Pinellas County Council PTA/PTSA

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