TIPS FOR PARENTS AND EDUCATORS ABOUT BULLYING
DEFINITION: Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional, repetitive and involves an imbalance of power and strength between the bully and the target of bullying. Parents and students are sometimes reluctant to report bullying for a variety of reasons. Denton ISD wants school to be a safe place for all students and is providing a form so that you can report any incidents that appear to fit the definition of bullying. Please ask your teacher for the form and turn it in to the principal’s office.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY CHILD IF HE OR SHE IS BULLIED?
In the event of major issues such as physical assault, call the police for assistance immediately. If bullying is occurring outside of school, interventions that the school can provide may be very limited, but do contact an administrator or counselor so they are aware of problems that could show up in school or at school events. If you think your child is the target of bullying behaviors at school, it is essential that you report that to an administrator or counselor and request to fill out the form as completely as possible so that the school can intervene. In addition to disciplinary plans described in the Student Code of Conduct, campus counselors provide responsive services to help students deal with crisis and guidance for problem solving and decision making. The student resource officer on campus may be another resource to help address safety issues.
WHAT IF MY CHILD IS IN AN ABUSIVE FRIENDSHIP WITH SOMEONE WHO HURTS HIM OR HER?
Both girls and boys sometimes get into friendships with someone who uses that relationship as a way of exerting control over them. That imbalance of power can sometimes lead to relational aggression or dating violence—an extreme type of bullying behavior. The best way for young people to protect themselves from hurtful and unhealthy relationships is to move on to other friendships, knowing that a real friend doesn’t hurt you. Keeping communication open with your child is the most important thing that a parent can do.
WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD DO IF BULLIED AT SCHOOL?
Fighting is never a good way to solve problems. The best deterrent is adult authority. Students who feel threatened at school should immediately ask for help from teachers, coaches, counselors, and/or the student resource officer. Teach your children that reporting school violence or bullying is not “tattling.” Bystanders play an important role in bullying because students who observe and do not report bullying contribute to its existence by providing an audience. Help you child understand that despite what we see and hear in the media, victimization is notentertainment. Please partner with us to help our children learn effective ways of social interaction that demonstrates respect for one another at home, in the community, and in school.
For more information about bullying and what you can do to prevent it, please see the following:
THE BULLY, BULLIED, AND THE BYSTANDER: FROM PRESCHOOL TO HIGH SCHOOL—HOW PARENTS AND TEACHERS CAN HELP BREAK THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE by Barbara Colorso