A bully is not all inclusive. Bullies are many. Boys, Girls, Grown Ups.
Its widespread and can happen anywhere. It should NOT be accepted as "kids just being kids" or kids just fooling around, any should never be accepted as a phase.
What are different forms of bullying?
2. Imbalance of power
3. Intent to harm
Bullying can take on the form of many things:
Everyday in our country kids wake up and are afraid to go to school. They can suffer anxiety, depression and increased episodes of sadness and lonliness among other things. Some kids are very good at hiding this but inside they are hurting. These feelings can last well into adulthood. Bullies tend to bully those who may act different and look different. Bullies seldom bully when no one else is around, they want an audience, they want to feel powerful.
Bullying should never be tolerated. Too many times a bully will say if you tell, you are a tattle tale. This drives even more fear into our kids. Teach your children to tell a trusted adult, mom or dad, grandparents, a teacher. We cannot fail our kids. Education is key and we have to continue to raise awareness about this very important issue. To put our heads in the sand and act like its not going on is irresponsible and could be considered illegal.
I recently proposed a bully box at our school. The idea is so simple. You provide a box, something like a Valentines Box that can remain confidential. You could either have short forms to fill our or blank pages of paper. Kids could use the bully box as an outlet if they are being bullied, saw someone bully or even "think" they may be being bullied. The papers could be looked at by an administrator to "weed out" issues like my friend would not sit with me at lunch or those girls won't play with me today. They then could be passed on to the social worker. The social worker and administrator could now know something that they may not have known about before. If this kind of system helps just one person, it is a success. Lots of times there are some kids who know a person is being bullied. This could also help them communicate what they are seeing happen. Being able to express this kind of thing is so important and kids may not want to go to a teacher because they don't want to be labeled a tattle tale. Its a terrible cycle. I don't know if the bully box will be implemented. It could be called anything if they don't want to use the word bully. What do you think?
If the bullying gets worse and you need additional help, consider the following if:
Someone is at immediate risk of harm because of bullying.....Call the police 911
Your child is feeling suicidal because of bullying.....Contact the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Your child’s teacher is not keeping your child safe from being bullied.....Contact local school administrator (principal or superintendent)
Your school is not keeping your child safe from being bullied.....Contact the State School Department
Your child is sick, stressed, not sleeping, or is having other problems because of bullying..... Contact your counselor or other health professional
Your child is bullied because of their race, ethnicity, or disability and local help is not working to solve the problem.....Contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office on Civil Rights