Confronting Peer Mistreatment Derby Middle School
Student Survey May 2010 Students and staff were given a survey in May of 2010 to address Peer Mistreatment. Behaviors that were most commonly observed were… Indirect use of biased language (ex: that’s retarded) Swearing at someone Talking negatively behind someone’s back Starting or spreading rumors (True or False) Negative facial expressions.
Student survey continued Behaviors that were least commonly observed were… Name calling based on ethnic or religious background Touching or grabbing private parts of other students’ bodies Name calling based on gender Name calling based on disability Name calling based on family income
Survey Continued Students were also surveyed about what behaviors they felt adults should take action on. Behaviors high on the list indicated that students want the behavior to be stopped. Examples include Threatening physical harm or violence Name calling based on disability Name calling based on race or ethnic/religious background Punching, kicking, or jabbing Threatening others with words or actions
Startling Facts about Peer Mistreatment Per the AMA, “Bullying can damage kids as much as child abuse and drug addiction.” Loneliness and poor peer relationships are common struggles for both the bully and the victim. Peer mistreatment is a learned behavior. Peer mistreatment can happen at any age and with either gender.
What is the motivation? Reasons for Peer Mistreatment. Lack of communication skills Desire for power Revenge Search for control in their own life Their own personal frustration (not able to self- soothe) They are mistreated themselves, or are experiencing abuse Jealousy Having an external focus of control (blaming others for their own behaviors) Finding satisfaction in hurting others
Profile of a Peer Mistreater Impulsive Easily frustrated Not able to access personal coping skills/ anger management is weak Lack of empathy Difficulty following rules Attention seeking Watching significantly more violence on TV Less positive role models Academic issues Less supervision at home/inconsistent parenting
Profile of a Victim Passive (will not retaliate) Physically weaker Low self-worth/long for acceptance Hopeless/helpless attitude Lack of self defense, social skills (like humor, being quick with come backs, and conflict resolution skills) Socially isolated Sensitive Conscientious Anxious
Gender Differences Boys tend to use physical or verbal aggression to mistreat. Girls tend to mistreat with indirect means such as social aggression. Girls are more likely to mistreat in a group setting. Girls are more likely to involve both boys and girls in their mistreatment against a victim. Boys identify their behaviors as mistreatment more often than girls.
Mistreatment we have dealt with at Derby Cyberbullying Facebook, Facebook Chat, E Facebook, G Chat, IM, Photoshop. Texting Words/Pictures Cafeteria/Recreation Lunch Tables, Cliques, Friendships, Sports. Hallways Booking, Physical Disruptions, Rumors.
Advice for students Respect for yourself and others Contribute to a healthy and safe learning environment Use empathy and extra effort to include others Take a stand for what is right Encourage creative and peaceful problem solving Follow all school rules Tell an adult/ask for help ASSERT yourself (I statement) When appropriate, use humor to de-escalate a situation Walk away in order to avoid a situation Use positive self-talk to maintain positive self- esteem
How parents can help The parents’ primary responsibility is to listen, validate, and to help problem solve towards a resolution. Parents who choose to deny that the problem exists or who avoid dealing with it in hopes that it will just go away are doing a grave disservice to a child who lives in the climate of fear created by mistreatment. Model healthy relationships and problem solving skills for your children.
If your child mistreats others, what can you do? Take the problem seriously Listen carefully and check out the facts Resist the tendency to blame yourself Consequent your child appropriately for mistreating behaviors Explore the reason for your child’s negative behaviors Teach and model appropriate, nonviolent problem solving strategies and solutions Teach and model empathy Work to build a positive relationship with your child Reward your child for positive, caring actions and for peaceful problem solving
If your child is a victim, what can you do? Listen carefully to your child’s report of being bullied Do not blame the victim Get the necessary information-- who, what, where, when, and how often Educate your child about Peer Mistreatment Brainstorm and practice strategies with your child to avoid victimization Boost your child’s self-esteem by praising him or her for confronting the problem Encourage your child to make friends in school and to get involved in school activities Determine the seriousness of the situation and contact appropriate people
Raising Caring Children Model appropriate behaviors Appreciate and reward caring behaviors Use nonphysical methods of discipline Teach about mistreatment and the importance of taking a stand against it Be involved in your child’s life Monitor your child’s involvement with violence in the media Children who feel loved and cared for are able to turn around and demonstrate empathy and caring towards others
What are we doing at Derby to assist in the development of caring youth? Duck Sense Richard Paul, speaker/ventriloquist teaches positive behavior support strategies by motivating students to be part of a proactive team that consistently promotes and rewards respect, responsibility and personal conduct Cyberbullying Assembly The honorable Judge Jessica Cooper spoke separately to parents and to students about the ramification of Cyber Bullying Illuminart Productions A theatrical performance, by trained high school students who serve as role models for dealing with potential middle school issues O.J. Anderson Uses his sense of humor to build a relationship with the students then speaks to them about how harmful bullying can be
Continued… Michael Fowlin Assembled exciting programs on the issues of race, discrimination, violence prevention and personal identity. Friendship Groups Counselor Mediation Praise Positive Behaviors Upstander vs. Bystander The Peer Support Movement. Silent Majority Caring Majority A2 Character Education Clips Mediacast Clip