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Teenage Bullying What Parents Need to Know. Objectives What is bullying? How does Harrisonburg High School handle bullying? What can parents do about.

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Presentation on theme: "Teenage Bullying What Parents Need to Know. Objectives What is bullying? How does Harrisonburg High School handle bullying? What can parents do about."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teenage Bullying What Parents Need to Know

2 Objectives What is bullying? How does Harrisonburg High School handle bullying? What can parents do about bullying?

3 What is “Bullying?” According to the HCPS Student Handbook: –Students shall not make any verbal or physical threat of bodily injury or use of force directed toward another person for the purpose of extortion or for any other reason

4 What is “Bullying?” Students, either individually or as a part of a group, shall not harass or bully others. The following conduct is illustrative of bullying: Physical intimidation, taunting, name calling and insults; Comments regarding the race, gender, religion, physical abilities or characteristics of the targeted person; Falsifying statements about other persons; Use of technology such as e-mail, text messages, or web sites to defame or harm others

5 In Most Bullying Situations… –Harm or hurt is intended, rather than the result of a mistake or negligence –A power imbalance exists between the victim and the perpetrator –The perpetrator enjoys carrying out the action –The perpetrator repeats the behavior, often in a systematic way –The victim is hurt physically or psychologically, and has a sense of being persecuted or oppressed (Youthlight, Inc., 2010)

6 Why Do Some Kids Become Bullies? Most bullying behavior develops in response to multiple factors at home, school, and within the peer group. Bullies come from all backgrounds. The frequency and severity of bullying is correlated with the amount of adult supervision a child receives. Children who observe parents or siblings demonstrating bullying behavior are more likely to become bullies. Bullying gives individuals a sense of power and importance.

7 Possible Effects of Bullying Interrupted identity formation Poor self esteem Feelings of powerlessness Hopelessness Inability to trust Poor relational skills Loneliness/Isolation Anger Frustration Feelings of rejection Helplessness Depression Teen Pregnancy Substance abuse Self-injury Eating disorders Suicidal Ideation Delinquent behavior Homicidal ideation Poor academic performance Stress/anxiety Separation Anxiety ( Youthlight, Inc., 2010)

8 Warning Signs of Bullying Unexplained bruises, scratches and cuts Damage to clothes and belongings Fear of going to school Crying before, during, and/or after school Difficulty sleeping Frequent upset stomach Lack of appetite and weight loss Depression and anxiety School grades dropping and incomplete school work Having few friends and anti-social behavior Refusal to say what is wrong (from: Ken Rigby’s Bullying in Schools and What to Do about It, 1996.)

9 If You Suspect Bullying… Talk with your child. –Direct Questions I’m worried about you. Are there any kids at school who may be picking on you or bullying you? Are there any kids at school who tease you in a mean way? Are there any kids at school who leave you out or exclude you on purpose?

10 If you Suspect Bullying… Subtle Questions –Do you have any close friends at school this year? Who are they? –Who do you hang out with? –Who do you sit with at lunch/on the bus? –Are there any kids at school who you really don’t like? Why? Do they pick on you or leave you out of things?

11 What Can Parents Do? Encourage your student to talk to an adult they can trust, if s/he won’t talk to you. Encourage your child to remove himself or herself from situations where s/he may be alone-- stay where other adults are present. Encourage your child to seek help and report bullying incidents to someone s/he feels safe with at the school. Have discussions with your child about privacy and boundaries with sharing information with peers. Monitor your child’s cell phone and computer use (texting, Facebook, etc.)

12 What Can Parents Do? If you become aware of bullying behavior about your child (or another student): –Validate the child’s feelings and concerns. –Let the child know s/he has made the right choice by letting you know. –Ask your child how s/he tried to stop the bullying. –Ask your child what they want to do about the situation. Empower your child to be assertive. –Contact the student’s school counselor or administrator or report off-campus harassment/threats to the police if needed. –Save texts/e-mails or other messages that are harassing to show HHS staff or police. –Do not advise the child to “fight back.” This could result in serious consequences, and does not typically solve the problem.

13 How Does HHS Handle Bullying? There is a wide-range of behavior that could be labeled bullying. When a report is made, counselors and administrators use their professional judgment to assess the situation and take the necessary actions.

14 How Does HHS Handle Bullying? Proactive Strategies: –High level of adult supervision in the hallways before school, after school and between classes –Shortened length of time between classes –Cell phone policy –Blocked social networking/e-mail sites

15 How does HHS Handle Bullying? Possible outcomes of reported incidences include: –Mediation with students (if students desire) –Counseling for anyone involved –Involving an administrator(s) to further investigate situation –Involving the school resource officer –Contacting parents/guardians –“No Contact” agreements –Schedule changes –Restricted privileges –Suspension The action taken depends on the severity of the bullying.

16 HHS Contacts Counseling Center Mrs. Amy Powers, Director Mr. Tim Meyers- A-E Mrs. Lauren Kershner F-L Mr. David Hoover M-R Mrs. Rachel Linden S-Z Administrators Dr. Perry Pope, Interim Principal Mr. Jay Supko, A-G Mrs. Sonya Bullard, H-O Mr. Michael Eye, P-Z Mrs. Monica Johns, Student Services Coordinator Officer Antoine Sinclair, School Resource Officer

17 Questions? Thank You for Attending!

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