Bullying Information
Is my child being bullied?  What is bullying?  What to do?

A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more people, and he or she has difficulty defending him or herself.

~Dan Olweus

 Examples of bullying may include:

  • Verbal Abuse 
  • Excluding people from playing with you
  • Physical Abuse
  • Spreading lies and rumors
  • Having things taken from you on purpose
  • Being threatened or forced to do things
  • Racial Bullying
  • Cyber Bullying (text or internet)

 Cyber-BullyingCyber-bullying can range from rude comments to lies, impersonations, and threats. Responses should depend on the nature and severity of the cyber-bullying.

 What Can Adults Do to Prevent and Address Cyber-Bullying?
Adults seldom are present in the online environments frequented by children and youth. Therefore, it is extremely important that adults pay close attention to cyber-bullying and the activities of children and youth when using these new technologies.

Suggestions for parents - Tips to help prevent cyber-bullying:
• Keep your home computer(s) in easily viewable places, such as a family room or kitchen.

• Talk regularly with your child about online activities he or she is involved in.

   a. Talk specifically about cyber-bullying and encourage your child to tell you immediately if he or she is       the victim of cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, or other illegal or troublesome online behaviors.

   b. Encourage your child to tell you if he or she is aware of others who may be the victims of such               behavior.

   c. Explain that cyber-bullying is harmful and unacceptable behavior. Outline your expectations for               responsible online behavior and make it clear that there will be consequences for inappropriate                 behavior.

• Although adults must respect the privacy of children and youth, concerns for your child's safety may sometimes override these privacy concerns. Tell your child that you may review his or her online communications if there is reason to do so.

• Consider installing parental control filtering software and/or tracking programs, but don't rely solely on these tools.

Mesquite Elementary and Performance Academy supports a NO BULLYING policy and addresses all reported acts of bullying. District guidelines, as well as various components of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program are utilized to address bullying at the school site. 

How Do I Know If My Child Is Being Bullied?
There are some warning signs that you can look for if you think your child is being bullied.  If your child shows any of these signs, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is being bullied, but it is worth checking out.  Be concerned if your child:

• comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings

• has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches

• has few, if any, friends with whom he or she spends time

• seems afraid of going to school or walking to and from school

• seems afraid to ride the school bus or take part in activities with peers (such as clubs)

• takes a long, “illogical” route when walking to or from school or the bus stop

• has lost interest in schoolwork or suddenly begins to do poorly in school

• appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home

• talks frequently about headaches, stomachaches, or other physical problems

• has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams

• has a loss of appetite

• appears anxious and/or suffers from low self-esteem

Tips for Parents - What to Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied:
Bullying can be a very painful experience for your child and your family. The school site, and district as a whole, fully support a NO BULLYING policy and will continue to do our very best to address any and all acts of bullying on campus. Following is a list of some additional steps that parents and family members can take to support your child if he or she is being bullied:

• Never tell your child to ignore the bullying.

• Don't blame your child for the bullying. Don't assume your child did something to provoke the bullying.

• Allow your child to talk about his or her bullying experiences. Write down what is shared.

• Empathize with your child. Tell him or her that bullying is wrong, that it is not his or her fault, and that you are glad he or she had the courage to tell you about it.

• If you disagree with how your child handled the bullying situation, don't criticize  him or her. It is often very difficult for children to know how best to respond.

• Do not encourage physical retaliation.

• Check your emotions. A parent's protective instincts stir strong emotions. Although it is difficult, step back and consider the next steps carefully.

• Contact a teacher, the school counselor, or principal at your school immediately and share your concerns about the bullying that your child has experienced.

• Work closely with school personnel to help solve the problem.

• Encourage your child to develop interests and hobbies that will help build resiliency in difficult situations like bullying.

• Encourage your child to make contact with friendly students in his or her class, orhelp your child meet new friends outside of school.

• Teach your child safety strategies, such as how to seek help from an adult.

• Make sure your child has a safe and loving home environment.

• If you or your child need additional help, seek help from the school counselor and/or a mental health professional.

Additional Resources:

U.S.Department of Health and Human Serviceshttps://www.stopbullying.gov/
* The website provides numerous resources for young people (ages nine to thirteen) and adults. Information includes bullying themes for children and youth; tip sheets, fact sheets, and resources for parents, students, school administrators, school and community personnel, as well as health and mental health professionals

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