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WHAT IS BULLYING? AND I want to thank each of you who are taking the time to watch this presentation. Bullying is one of the biggest challenges facing.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT IS BULLYING? AND I want to thank each of you who are taking the time to watch this presentation. Bullying is one of the biggest challenges facing."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT IS BULLYING? AND I want to thank each of you who are taking the time to watch this presentation. Bullying is one of the biggest challenges facing schools today. We all want our school campuses to be safe places where each child has a chance to reach his/her potential. Today we will discuss the topic, “What is bullying?” and “How Do we stop it?”

2 HOW TO STOP IT Defining bullying is important, but only the first step in reaching our real goal, which is to stop bullying. We will explore what bullying is, and how students can help themselves stop bullying and what to do when assistance is needed from an adult.

3 WHAT IS BULLYING? Intentional, repeated, hurtful, acts, words or other behaviors. Such as name-calling, threatening, and/or shunning, Committed by one or more children against another child. Three key words are used to define bullying; Intentional, repeated and hurtful. Many people today are quick to label any misbehavior as bullying. However, this is not helpful and in facts makes it more difficult to dealing with the very real problem of bullying. Bullying takes many different forms and is sometimes committed by a group, but can be just one child against another. We will explore this as we go through this presentation.

4 Intentional May not start as intentional
Could have been meant as a good natured joke You never know when someone is particularly sensitive about an issue Look out for things getting out of hand Let friends know if they are going overboard One litmus test for bullying is the offense is intentional. Occasionally students make comments about other students that inadvertently cause them pain. Sometimes these comments are innocent or were just intended as a joke, but hat the unintended consequence of causing pain. Obviously when a cruel comment is made with the intent to cause grief or sorrow it is inappropriate and is one component of bullying. Due to differences among people and varying degrees of sensitivity we encourage students to not make jokes directed toward other students regardless of intent. Good natured jokes can be made without using fellow students as the punch line. It is also important for all of us to let our friends know if they are crossing the line with someone. Many times a third party can recognize the hurt feelings and help someone understand they are hurting someone’s feelings.

5 REPEATED Most people can “take a joke” once.
Anything gets old when someone continues on with it. Other people join in. It just takes a few people for a person to believe, “the whole school” feels a certain way about them Repeated behavior is also a component of a true bullying action. Walking down the hall, bumping into someone and calling them a name while not acceptable does not by itself constitute bullying. When a action or verbal statement is repeated for the purpose of belittling another student or making them feel uncomfortable it has reached unacceptable levels. Many times students state that “everyone” is talking about them when in fact it may be two or three students. However, it just takes a few people to make a person feel like the whole school is against them. This is where we must help students understand they are not alone and they have someone to talk with so they do not feel isolated. Let me reiterate, an action does not have to be considered bullying in order for it to be a disciplinary matter. Many things may not be intentional or repeated to receive consequences, but this presentation is about bullying so we are reviewing what experts write as it pertains to bullying. Behavior that hurts other students is not acceptable whether it is classified as bullying or not.

6 Hurtful What may seem like good natured teasing may be hurtful to others. People will not always let you know when things are hurtful (want to be cool). THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK The last of the three key words is hurtful. Actions that are intentional, repeated, and hurtful are the definition of bullying behavior. We must help our students understand how to avoid bullying actions and teach them behaviors that make them less likely to become a target of bullying. We must educate students to be aware of their actions, how to be aware of the actions of their friends, and then what to do if bullying does occur.

Looks Body shape Sexual Orientation Physical intimidation Physical harm Isolation Bullying can take many forms, but most will fall into one or more of four categories: purposeful taunting, physical intimidation, physical harm, and isolation. We will examine each of these more in depth.

8 Purposeful Taunting Ugly Gay (other slang names) Fat Skinny Retard
Etc…… Unfortunately everyone has some characteristic that someone can use for taunting purposes when the intent if to cause hurt feelings. The list is endless and only limited by the creativity of the person doing the taunting. A person’s financial status, physical characteristics, unique personality, race, gender, and sexual orientation or just a few of the categories. It is important to note that one incident of taunting may be extremely hurtful, and warrant disciplinary action, may not reach the level of continuous pressure many times exerted on teens. It is also important to remember that one bad “nickname” or reference may unfortunately “stick” and can lead to more widespread name calling or taunting. This is why it is important we teach students to not make derogatory comments about other students.

9 Social Media One of the biggest challenges today in terms of bullying is social media. Years ago it took a long time for rumors or names to be passed among friends but not it is instant and widespread. A single facebook post can spread like wild fire and we seen by hundreds in a matter of minutes. Due to the importance of social media to teenagers the spreading of rumors on social media can be devastating. It is important to teach students the importance of digital citizenship and how to avoid being a victim on social media. It is also important to make them remember that once a post is out there, it is there for good. Schools deal with many issues that arise from social media use at home and honestly, the courts and school policies are having trouble keeping up with the ever changing world of technology. However, one thing is certain, any post that mentions something that may take place at school is certainly something school administrators are permitted to use for school disciplinary action. It is also important to remember that harassing communications is a crime and parents many times feel like law enforcement is warranted when the harassment is serious and is worthy of legal action.

10 Physical Intimidation
Scared to walk down a certain hall. Scared to go in a restroom. Stealing items from someone. People are going to “jump” you. This is the stereotypical type of bulling most people think of when we hear the word. Physical intimidation is as old as human civilization but still a frightening event when one finds himself the victim. Students may feel scared to go into a restroom or to his/her locker. We have an adult assigned to monitor each restroom at each class change and adults assigned to hallways. We do not want any student to feel scared at school. The vast majority of time the threat is for intimidation purposes and physical harm is unlikely, all threats are taken seriously. Threats are many times subtle or implied but can still cause fear and anxiety. The vast majority of time a student may avoid a physical altercation if that is their intent. As a school we try and offer students a way to avoid physical conflict by having adults present. Unfortunately not preventive measure is 100% effective but we encourage students to let an adult know anytime they feel physically threatened.

11 ISOLATION Walk away when they see you coming.
Don’t allow you to join in conversation. Try to make it “un-cool” to hang out with you. Isolation is one of toughest forms of bullying to combat due to its subtle nature. Many of the insults are implied and barely noticeable by anyone other than the intended target. These type of situations are usually done it whispers and looks and may be difficult to combat. Social media also plays a role in isolating students. Effective lines of communication between students and parents are key in this type of situation. Students must be taught how to handle so called friends who try and “steal” their mutual friends. One thing that makes this difficult for students is that a group may start as friends and jealousy may arise or two friends wanting to date the same person and a wedge may be driven between friends and sides must be chosen. Some of this behavior is a normal part of growing up, but it can quickly escalate to levels that can cause great harm. Everyone must be on the lookout for this type of behavior and intervene when necessary.

12 PREVENTION Avoid Being a Victim
Prevention is the key. The old adage is certainly relevant here, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care.” Please make sure you understand that this does NOT mean that it is the victims fault the bullying is occurring. This is the farthest thing from the truth and is not in any way implied. However, research has consistently shown that certain behaviors do increase the likelihood that one student will be chosen as a victim over another. A very good book entitled, “Weakfish” was published several years ago by a expert in bullying prevention and compared bullies to predators that look for “easy prey” for their bullying. Just like women are taught strategies to make them less likely targets for muggers as they walk to their cars, students must be taught how to make themselves less likely targets for bullies. This doesn’t mean they will never be bullies or that they did something wrong, but we can help our children learn how to increase their odds of being able to live without being a victim of harassment of bullying.

13 Keep Your Cool People who bully are looking for a response.
The more emotional the better they like it Don’t be a reality show participant. Respond in a “bland” manner Bland is not fun Unfortunately we live in a world where drama and vulgar displays of human nature are rewarded on reality shows. Forgive me if I sound a little harsh, but bullying and harassing behavior are many times celebrated in today’s media. Jerry Springer was one of the first to realize that millions could be made by giving socially inept people a stage and letting nature take its course. Unfortunately many people love to watch people completely lose it and fuss, cuss, cry, or all of the above when confronted by someone. Many times amateur Jerry Springer’s set the stage and hope a good show evolves. We must teach our children how not to become a guest on the Jerry Springer show. Someone that shows discretion, or lack of emotion and refuses to give into their instinct to lash out and join in do not make good guest and will never see airtime. While this sounds simple we all know that controlling one’s emotions when insulted or hurt is anything but easy and may be one of humanities longest running challenges. This is why students must constantly be encouraged not to be a victim of this type of behavior. Students must be shown proper ways to “release their emotions” that will not contribute to more hurtful behavior. Great relationships with parents, pastors, counselors, and teachers is essential to help students learn this very important behavior.

14 FRIENDS People who bully typically look for those who are alone.
Friends are those who will stick up for you when others are saying things about you. Real friends do not feel the need to tell their friends everything someone else says about them. Many times a good friend will defend the good name of their friend and walk away and not feel the need to run to the offended person and tell them things that would never cause them harm if they weren’t told. Many times trouble is caused when so called friends run back and forth telling each student what terrible things the other person said about them. Many times the “friends” are unaware of the trouble they are causing and must be educated in proper social interaction. Unfortunately, sometimes the students are just Jerry Springers in training and are trying to set up a “good” show. We must teach our children how to recognize a true friend and how to say, “I don’t care what they say, I am through talking about that” when told how the other person has been running them down. While this isn’t easy it is the easiest way to pour water on the fire. Students must be taught how to pour water on a fire and not gasoline. Students must be taught how to be good friends and how recognize true friends.

15 WHAT TO DO WHEN BULLIED In spite of taking do all the right things bullying can still sometimes occur. Prevention is crucial but when prevention doesn’t work we must teach students what to do next. We will examine what to do when a friend is being bullied and then when you are the victim.

16 When a Friend Is Bullied
Be consistent and step in or enlist other friends Let them know they have someone to talk with Don’t make it worse by adding to the drama Don’t in any way condone the actions You may have to TELL an ADULT Not having “bystanders” or “enablers” is crucial so students must be taught what to do when a friend is a victim. Friends don’t let friends deal with bullying alone. There is a fine line between helping a friend and contributing to the drama. Students must be taught ways to diffuse a situation and give a friend a “way out” of the situation without causing more problems. It may be as simple as saying, “Come on, we can’t be late for class” when a friend is approached in the hallway. When physical intimidation or threats are involved friends must be willing to enlist the help of an adult. We will talk more about this later, but when bodily harm is feared students should never try and deal with this by themselves.

17 How to Help Stop Bullying
BULLYING MUST NOT BE TOLERATED BY ANYONE Treat others with courtesy and respect. Make everyone feel welcome and included. Help others who are being bullied or picked on. Students must be taught to treat everyone with respect. We should never condone belittling another students whether they are our friends or not. When bullying is tolerated and a culture of not tolerating bullying is created the number of students who must endure bullying will go down. It is important to note that the majority of students do not have consistent problems with bullying. However, one person is too many and it takes everyone working together to reduce or eliminate bullying.

18 NO BYSTANDERS Bystanders is a term used in bullying literature for seeing a behavior and doing nothing to help the victime. While the bystander is not an active participant, they are not an active part of the solution. We have all seen the videos of victims being assaulted and people walking by as if nothing was going on or gathering around to watch and not helping. I use this only as example of a bystander. We do not want students engaging other students physically, but when bullying and taunting is occurring we don’t want students to stand by and do nothing. We don’t want students to take on unnecessary problems for themselves and many times just letting an adult know or not actively participating is the right course of action. Creating a culture where everyone wants to be a part of the solution can hopefully diminish the harmful acts.

We must challenge all students to be a part of the solution not part of the problem. As adults this also applies to us. As parents, teachers, and administrators we must “be the adults” and help students find healthy, constructive ways to solve their conflicts.

20 “Unrewarded behavior stops.”
DON’T ENCOURAGE “Unrewarded behavior stops.” If you are not going to intervene……… Walk away Don’t give the bully what they want If intervening is not warranted, the very least is to walk away and not be a part of the audience. Going back to my Jerry Springer example, the contestants by themselves would probably not provide enough entertainment but the audience adds to the reward. Instead of walking out of the building when the garbage begins, they stand up and cheer and start chanting. This only rewards the deplorable behavior and certainly does not help stop it. Psychologist tell us that people act a certain way because there is a reward of some kind attached. A bully who sees himself as the center of attention may get his reward from the crowd gathering around to see him belittle his victim. Removing the audience will many times remove the reward and help stop the behavior.

21 To tell or not to tell The hardest thing for teenagers to do is to tell an adult. It is against adolescent instincts and certainly against “the code.” Elementary students are taught the difference between tattling and telling and while different words may be used with older students the concept is the same. The key question is, “Is someone in danger of physical and/or emotional harm?” If the answer is yes, then a responsible adult must be told. Informing adults can be done discreetly so as to relieve the fear of being seen a “snitch” or a “narc.” Adults certainly must help keep the identify of the informer confidential and build the trust between adults and children.

IS IT BAD ENOUGH I WANT IT STOPPED? When determining whether or not to tell one must ask themselves if the behavior is bad enough they want it stopped. Sometimes students don’t consider an event a big deal or feel like they have the ability to deal with it by themselves. While dealing effectively with problems is a skill we want our students to posses they must also realize then the problem has reached the level they must enlist help. As stated before, when someone is in danger help must always be sought. IS SOMEONE BEING HARMED?

We want our students to enjoy coming to school and really do want to help. There are ways that students and parents can help us to help our students. We will explore these ways.

24 EVERYTIME! WHAT We Will DO Investigate Protect identity if possible
Talk with accuser and accused Talk with witnesses Protect identity if possible Counsel when needed Administer punishment as needed We ALWAYS deal with reports of bullying seriously. The age of saying is that people were told and nothing was done. I can tell you with certainty that when reports of bullying are given to administrators at Ardmore High School action is taken. This action may not be visible to everyone and may not always result in the outcome desired by the person reporting the behavior but it will be investigated. We will talk with accusers and the accused and any witness available. It is always important when being targeted to look around and see who is standing by that could be impartial witnesses. We will talk to as many people as necessary and try to find proof to be used in the incident. We must make a decision as to whether the incident may justify speaking with counselors or the incident may warrant disciplinary action. Sometimes disciplinary action isn’t taken because there is no proof of any wrong doing. Just because a person goes unpunished one time we encourage students to not stop reporting the behavior. Every student is innocent until proven guilty so administrators must be careful to be fair to everyone and not be used as tools of bullying themselves.

25 What You Can Do To Help Us
Be innocent. a. Don’t call them something as bad as they called you Do what we ask you to do. a. Don’t talk about them or to them Be persistent . a. It may not be solved the first time Here is how you can help us help you. First, be innocent. If a person calls you a name and you call them a name in response, both people are equally guilty. A person can’t participate in a crime and then report the other person’s crime and expect to be totally innocent. Sometimes students will engage in the name calling or taunting and report the other person to administrators in order to try and get the other person in trouble. In order for us to effectively help, the person must be innocent and must also follow our directions. When drama occurs between two people we ask students to not talk to or about the other person. Even when friends come and want to know what is going on the person should not respond. Many times following these two rules will take care of the problem. However, administrators are not 100% effective and the behavior may continue. We ask students not to be discouraged, but to be persistent and keep letting us know. While this is frustrating, it is crucial when the behavior is well hidden and difficult to prove. Eventually the truth will come out and corrective actions can be taken.

26 MY GOAL For EVERY students to come to school feeling safe, and secure, and receive a quality education. They should be free from harassment. Able to reach his/her potential without others interfering. See school as a safe and friendly place. My goal is for every student to come to school feeling safe, secure and receive a quality education. We want students to thrive and have a school culture that allows each person to excel to his/her fullest potential. This is a lofty goal and requires help from everyone associated with a school.

27 Knowing is Not Enough Everyone Must Do What Is Right
Knowing what is the right thing to do is crucial. However, knowing is not enough, everyone must DO what is right.

28 We CAN do this Decreasing bullying is certainly not easy but together we can do this. Parents, students, teachers, and administrators must work together tirelessly to allow our most precious possessions, our students, to live healthy, happy lives while pursuing a quality education. Thank you for taking time to watch this and we encourage you to call the school when you have any questions or concerns.

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