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What you can do to stop bullying

Bullying is a serious problem with long-lasting effects that can be the root cause of criminal behavior, academic failure, and lack of self-esteem later in life.

By GreatSchools Staff

When a California teacher caught a class bully in the act of punching another student, she immediately sent the bully to the principal's office. The bully's punishment was a one-day suspension which he spent sitting in the school office, where other students could see him. The student learned his lesson and never bullied again, and the bully's victim learned that his school was a safe place where bullying and violence would not be tolerated.

The best way to combat bullying, says the mother whose child was the victim of this bully, is having a school community where the message is clear: Bullying simply is not tolerated.

Teachers, students and administrators are all very aware of the policy. If an incident occurs, the teachers respond immediately. The students know that the behavior is unacceptable, that there are trusted adults they can confide in and that there will be consequences.

Debra Chasnoff, a San Francisco-based filmmaker who has produced a video for schools in which bullies and the bullied tell their stories, advocates a kinder, gentler approach. "Just focusing on tough discipline isn't enough. Schools should place a priority on building community. Teachers who can get kids to know and trust each other, to empathize with each other, will have fewer problems in the classroom and on the playground. You are less likely to turn on someone you know as a fellow human being."

What are the signs that my child is being bullied?

Look for:

  • Torn clothing
  • A loss of appetite
  • Lack of desire to go to school
  • Mood changes

What are the signs that my child is a bully?

Look for:

  • Impulsive behavior
  • A desire to always be in control
  • Showing little or no empathy for others

What are the long-term effects of bullying?

Melissa Smith, a California mother, recounts what can happen when bullying is not stopped. Her son was the victim of a gang of five elementary school bullies who continually verbally abused him. For four months her son tried to ignore them and always walked away. Finally, the gang left him alone. But her son continues to suffer from a lack of self-esteem, has had trouble making friends, and years after the bullying incident, is now in counseling.

Bullying, commonly thought to be a problem for boys, is just as prevalent among girls. It often takes the form of intentional verbal abuse or malicious gossip by several girls ganging up on one girl. Jessica, an overweight sixth grader in Canada, recounts the torment of being continually teased by three girls she previously considered her best friends: "How many times do you feel so bad that you want to change schools, leave all the actual friends that you do have or just lock yourself in a room forever?" she asks as she recounts her story of being bullied.

Characteristics of bullies

  • Tend to have problems at home
  • May be the victim of aggressive behavior or abuse at home
  • Receive inconsistent discipline and/or poor supervision at home
  • Tend to be aggressive, self-confident and lacking in empathy

Characteristics of victims

  • Tend to be quiet, passive children who don't have many friends
  • Tend to be smaller in size and/or physically weaker than the bully

The problem of bullying is widespread and is often cited as a contributing factor in the recent cases of school shootings. According to the National Resource Center for Safe Schools in Portland, Oregon, 30% of American children are regularly involved in bullying, either as bullies or victims, and approximately 15% are "severely traumatized or distressed" as a result of encounters with bullies. Researchers agree that children who bully in childhood are more likely to become violent adults and engage in criminal behavior; victims of bullies often suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem and depression as they grow into adulthood.

When is it teasing and when is it bullying?

One of the common myths about bullying is that it is just a normal part of childhood. Everyone gets teased now and then without a great deal of harm, but bullying, characterized by repeated, intentionally hurtful acts, can have long-term consequences for the bully and the victim. These acts can be physical, verbal, emotional or sexual, and there is generally an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim.

Statistics on bullying

According to Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2007, a report issued by the Justice Department and the Department of Education, in 2005:

  • 28% of students, 12- to 18-years-old, reported that they had been bullied sometime in the prior six months.
  • 11% reported that someone at school had used hate-related words against them.
  • 9% were bullied by being pushed, tripped or spit upon.

Other studies indicate that:

  • 60% of students identified as bullies in grades 6 to 9 had at least one criminal conviction by age 24.
  • Bullies are at even greater risk of suicide than their targets.
  • About two-thirds of students involved in school shootings say they had felt persecuted, bullied or threatened by others.
  • School-based intervention programs can reduce bullying by 30% to 50%.

What can I do about bullying?

The most important thing you can do is listen to your child. Ask about how things are going at school. Ask if your child has had any experience with bullies or has seen other children experience bullying. Often children are too embarrassed or scared to bring up the topic on their own. You can bring it up by discussing sympathy and respect for others, asking such questions as "Why do you think she said those hurtful things?" or "How do you think it feels to be bullied?"

You'll want to have a discussion about how to handle bullying situations and warn your child never to resort to violence, even as a reaction to a bully. Stan Davis, a Maine school guidance counselor and trainer in bullying prevention, advises encouraging the majority of students who are not victims or bullies to stand up to bullies, to ask adults for help and to reach out as friends to isolated students.

You may be tempted to intervene by confronting the bully and his parent yourself, but most experts advise against doing so. If you confront the bully, you will only verify for him that your child is a weakling. Many bullies come from homes lacking in parental involvement, so confronting the parent might not prove productive. Besides, it will probably be difficult for you to talk to the bully's parent in a calm and rational manner and that might only exacerbate the problem.

Your instincts may tell you to let the child learn to handle the situation himself, but in actuality he may need an adult (either a teacher or a parent) to intervene when bullying takes place because of the imbalance of power. Alert your child's teacher or principal when bullying occurs and work with your school to make sure the atmosphere is safe and that there is effective monitoring. Ask to be notified should your child be involved in a bullying incident. To really know what goes on at school and to help create a positive atmosphere, volunteer to be a playground supervisor or a classroom assistant.

Four myths about bullying

  • Victims are responsible for bringing bullying on themselves.
  • Bullying is just a normal part of childhood.
  • Bullies will stop if you just ignore them.
  • Victims need to learn to stand up for themselves.

What should my child's school be doing to address bullying?

Look for a positive, supportive atmosphere where students know that bullying will not be tolerated, where students know they can go to adults for help, and where there are clear consequences for bullying. An ongoing commitment to promoting this kind of school environment is key. An effective technique used in many schools is to have each class develop its own code of conduct.

Here's the code of conduct that one class wrote:

  • We don't want any hitting, punching or kicking.
  • We don't want any name-calling or put-downs.
  • We include everyone when we do group activities.
  • We help others when they are bullied.

Teachers and staff should be on the alert and should intervene when they see bullying occur. They should be aware that bullies often try to operate in places that are not in direct public view, such as school bathrooms or locker rooms. Some schools hold assemblies to present the topic of bullying, but these one-shot efforts have not been proven to be as effective as a consistent, ongoing school-wide effort to combat bullying.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

05/24/2012:
"My son was bullyied at his school and when he went to the teacher she did nothing, then on another occassion he went to the vice principal who told the bullies off, the next day it continued until he went to the principal who told my son off for not going through the proper channel. My response was simple I went to see a solicitor who wrote a letter to the school addressing their legal obligation and then a letter to each of the parents advising that legal action and restraining orders would be obtained unless they could pull their children into line. Needless to say, I have got a restraining order on not the child but the parent who physically objected to his child being warned to curb his vicious tongue. Don't take this crap! My advice is if the school isn't doing its job to all students then seek legal advise against all in volved. "
04/30/2012:
"My daughter is in 12th grade. We retired from the military and moved to Houston in the middle of her 11th grade yr. It was very hard for her to fit in (not growing up with these kids and not being from the same city). The "mean girl" behaviors started within the next 6 months up until the present. The vice principals have gone strictly by the books when dealing with these issues (NO EMOTIONAL INVOLVEMENT). Not always a good idea. Every case is different. You have those kids that fight and then there are the children that have to fight to survive when there is no help present. My daughter's first physical attack was in the cafeteria at the end of her 11th yr. A girl slapped her in the face. The vice principle said that my daughter should have chosen to sit somewhere else in the room knowing that this girl and her friends didn’t like her. She was also told that they were out of the video camera's range so it was her word against my daughter's. Mind you...this girl was know! n for fighting other students. At the time, my daughter was sitting with another group of people. No detention for that girl! Since then my daughter's car has been egged, keyed and shaving cream was used at one time. She's been talked about on facebook and twitter. On 4/13/12 she was attacked right in front of the school building. A torn retina of the right eye was the result. Her car was keyed again during this assault. My daughter was given 2 day in-school suspension b/c she hit the girl back in self -defense. In the police report the girl admitted to pursuing my daughter around the building to that location where she attacked her. The girl was sent back to class after a report was written. My daughter was kept in the office (I was told...for her safety sake until I was able to pick her up). Again...no cameras located in the front of the school! On 4/25/12 my daughter was again attacked, this time in the hallway by another girl. And again, the one camera in that location! was unable to capture the incident (it was out of range). Too! k her to the ER where she was diagnosed with a detached retina. The principle called me today to let me know she will be serving a two day in-school suspension b/c there were licks thrown by both girls. There is a zero tolerance of fighting in Klein ISD, meaning your child absolutely cannot hit back in self-defense! Because my daughter hit the girl to get her off of her and there was no one around at the time...my daughter now has the label of a trouble maker. I feel helpless...so helpless. These school rules need to be revised. Punishment for the attackers must be increased! My daughter's spirit has been broken. She's not talking, she’s shutting down. She doesn’t feel safe at school. The vice principals don't seem to notice that there is a serious problem. Until a student comes into the school with a weapon b/c they are tired of being beat up or a student commits suicide b/c they can’t take it anymore…then it will be on the news and the school make this a prior! ity…or will they? In the mean time…..what can we do for our children? "
04/19/2012:
"some kid turned me upside down and shook all my lunch money out my pockets "
04/19/2012:
"who cares if im gay you dont have to pick on me "
04/16/2012:
"thank you "
04/3/2012:
"we need to stopbulling it is something that can be deadly and we need to put an end to it "
03/27/2012:
"Is bullying repetitive? Is there usually more than 1 victim of the same bully? All staff members should know the complaint, because the same name, will help teachers ID the real bullies. And normal kids can go from baby steps, to a "I like school" again walk.. . "
03/20/2012:
"good article, just words don't knock those bullies down, it is so frustrating, when the adults in charge of the school says, boys will be boys, how ancient thinking is that? my grandchild started junior high and repeatedly is bullied, he does not want to go to school, has started scraping his hands with coke bottle tops, and biting his fingernails, a nervous wreck, having to deal with the constant bullying, and visits of the parents and police to this school. Nothing seems to be working, I am about ready to take him out of this school. what a loser of a school who won't protect the children. Iowa LA junior high J.I. Watson "
03/6/2012:
"If a bully touches you or tries to hurt you physically, then hurt him back punch him where it hurts and tell a teacher. It doen't matter why its self defense just dont cause a fight or look for a fight. "
03/6/2012:
"ther is a kid in bridgeport school ohio,she has slapped a person.cussed at people,started a rumor that a new student was gay.gossips about everyone.begs kids for theyre food all the time.and when she doesnt get her way she starts more rumors about the person that doesnt agree with her.but yet the school is letting her join the cheerleading school what is wrong with this picture that is like saying its ok to do what you do but here be a cheerleader will give you days suspension.but yet another kid got saturday school for moving a lunch.what is wrong with this school to ok behavior like this. "
02/14/2012:
"It sad when school shown the bully her there will be essentially no real conseguence for the bully actions, (loosing recess, send her to another class room class for a short time in past has notWorked) Nothing has been done to resolve whatever is causing her to harm others. Nothing is being done to correct her; teaching her a healthy way to redirect her anger. Nothing this school done in the past has help. And once again the school has repeat the same punishment and hope for the best. It has come to my attentine the actions taken are the only prescribed by this district. Sad! Now I understand why the teacher feel like there hands are tie. I though there were laws that school and teacher had to turn a child in. And for someone to come check out the child and the child home? I can not believe this child parent is not willing to get this child help she needs. Sound to me this parent could use feel parenting class too. It is sad day that a school and teacher not step up and see the bully needs help. And the child that is being Assault& Hassassment needs to feel safe at school. And they know id they come to you. That you will do something to stop the bullying. Stop turn your head at look what this child is going!!! This school has failed them both! "
02/13/2012:
"Today, at recess time at my son school. I was shielding 2 girls from a boy, who just beyond out of control. He's starring at the girls with cold eyes ( can't tell what he was feeling. the eyes are just blank not much emotion on it) while I was using my body to shield the girls. he tried to yanked the hair of one of the girl. and tried to grab them. ( these are a 1st grade student) and the girls are twin and pretty tiny. Suddenly he yanked one of the girl and grab on her both arm and squeze her. the other twin is scared and started to cry and screamed. I told him to stop and he wouldn't . then I tried to open his fingers to free the girl and he did. and he just run to chased the other twin and a boy tripped and he kicked him at his stomach and face. then I ran to them ( about 2 feet from me) and at that time I grab his both hand and hold it. he tried to break free but I hold it tight because I was afraid for the other children. I don't know what to do with this situation I wa! s screaming for some other adult to help me. at that moment I saw his aide and I still not let go, I waited till the aide walked closed enbough and grabbed him from me. I walked the girls to the office and her arms was red with fingers marks on it. I knew that this boy is a special need children. he have his own aide following him around. Anyway, what I don;'t get and still processing in my head is, why this thing that is so unfair is happening at school. we do not agree on bully. We say no to bully. we raise our voice when a children bullies others especially a children who bullied a special need children. but why when the opposite happened, we are silence and tolerate it? This is not the first time that happen at school. "
02/6/2012:
"My child is in the 9th grade and was a cheerleader. She was being bullied by another cheerleader, a junior, who has a record for being a bully. I went to the coach and she told me she's known that girl her whole life and that's just her personality. She even bullied a make student teacher do much he quit! What a joke! The coach is a bully too for condoning this behavior. I went to the principal and she just couldn't believe what I was telling her. Needless to say I pulled my child off the team and now more of the girls are bullying her because she quit. She just couldn't take it anymore. My next move is to transfer schools and hope that helps. "
01/31/2012:
"My child has been bullied for 3 years and has told the principal. Everytime the bully has denied it. HE has had witnesses but as soon as they are confronted they get scared. I am tired of it . I finally told my son its time to defend himself.. My son is sick to his stomache with fear . This is a horrible thing and I believe that if your being bullied it comes to a point where you just have to put the fear of GOD in the bullier by giving him a taste of his own medacine. RIGHT or WRONG "
01/17/2012:
"I just read this article and all the advice is excellent, however, what happens when the school administration does not do their job and stop the bullying? Our family had this problem and now our daughter, the nice girl, the pretty girl, the good girl is at home being taught on the internet while the bullies still are in the school and our tax dollars are paying for their education and the wages of the same administration that could not provide a safe atmosphere for our child. I was thinking that maybe, since the school system seems to be failing and there are more and more bullies that maybe the government should close the schools and the students could all be taught at home. That would certainly save hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries alone. Especially in the small towns where the administration doesn't get involved but have no problems collecting a paycheck. Sounds like a good idea to me. I think if the teachers, principals and superintendants thought their jobs were going to be eliminated they would step up and protect the innocent kids. "
01/4/2012:
"Hey the one about taking off the shoe to get a pencil. You go to Smith middle school. The gym teacher does not bully by taking off their shoe. Shes nice. She only makes you take off the shoe so next time you would remember to bring a pencil for your self. When people need a pencil in the class half the class does not have the pencil so a lot of shoes are there. BUT none of them remember ever of getting a pencil for them selves. Even in other classes people borrow pencils but never give it back or either lose it. So basically that teacher is not mean she is just disciplining you. "
12/20/2011:
"I'm a senior in high school and have been bullied since 4th grade. 75% through my junior year I finally had enough and fought back against my bullies in an attempt to obtain attention from the school administration. I got suspended for 3 days and my bully got 1 day. After that I was so fed up with the system that I requested a transfer. Since then I've had no problems. At my new school, bullying is not tolerated at all and the consequences are very severe (expulsion). Transferring was one of the greatest things that I ever did. It's been 9 months since I left and sad enough, the bullying continues at my old school. I was just notified by an old friend that there have been 4 students that have had to leave the school to prevent further damage from bullying. And more are looking to transfer and follow the path that I did. One girl was bullied over the Internet and printed all of the things that were said over Facebook and gave it to the principal. Nothing was done to punish! the bullies and now she has to be home schooled. I don't understand. I feel partially responsible because I didn't do more to stop the bullies. What should be done to change the school admin's outlook on bullying??? I want to write letter to the school board but will it do any good??? "
12/1/2011:
"Good Advice and Information... "
11/21/2011:
"I was a bully victim by students and teachers. My problem was never helped until I just talked back. If someone you know or love is being bullied tehn take action. Just don't let them suffer. "
11/21/2011:
"What if your school refuses to stop bullying? To many kids in our area has dropped out of school and/or has committed suicide, and the school still isn't doing anything. "
11/9/2011:
"I found out monday that my 12 year old granddaughter was threatened at school by another student, so scared she was afraid to go to school. I don't know the whole story but I do know that the school looked into it and determined there is no threat or danger. I believe he actually threatened to kill her. So what as a grandmother can I do ? Just wait until she is hurt ? I know the kid is suspended but I believe it is for some other incident. I'm worried about her safety I don't feel the school handled it properly. How can she be so scared and then they basically tell her you'll be fine....do they not watch tv watch the news ? Thank you for your time. "
11/7/2011:
"Let me ask this question. Girls can wear skirts at knee length and everyone knows this rule. Why is their not a standard rule on bullying? What happened to this girl in Garland is horrible. The student should be kicked out of school and that should the standard. The rule! We are at school for one reasy, to learn !!!!!!!!!! "
11/2/2011:
"Yes, Teachers do bully... My 7th grader tells me all the time what teachers do to the other children... One teacher makes the child take off their shoe in order to get a pencil from her. I think this is humiliation for someone that maybe does not want others to see a hole in their sock or their shoe smells... This is an act of being a bully! "
10/20/2011:
"I am a parent of a daughter attending toni and guy academy in Idaho there are two girls that have literally been bullying her daily including text messages, she has gone to the instructor who told her to deal with it. she went to a main person in the office who breached the confidentiality by spreading the conversation she is receiving no help, it has caused health issues as well I am extremely angry and would like to know more on what she can do to stop this. Thank you "
10/13/2011:
"If your child is being bullied immediately enroll him or her in a martial arts class. Preferably one which teaches real world situations. I suggest Krav Magaw. No amount of community building, counselling and the like will alter the fact that screwed up parents produce screwed up kids. Bullies do not continue bullying the kid who knocks their teeth out. "
10/11/2011:
"I was bullied a lot in middle and high school. My father was a bully himself, his best child-rearing tactic was intimidation. No beatings, but he would get in my face and jab his finger at me when I wouldn't cooperate. Very traumatizing, when you're a timid little kid and grown man is leaning down in your face and shouting. My father taught me to put up with aggression, so that's how it was. The bullies at my school were mostly spoiled rich kids whose parents let them do as they liked. Most of them did well as adults, because somewhere along the way, they got in trouble, and the judges weren't interested in their excuses. No here's the worst part: I became a teacher when I was in my early 20's, and I was HORRIBLE to the kids. I was a monstrous bully to the special ed kids I taught, and my main tactic was...you guessed it-INTIMIDATION!!!! I was eventually forced to resign, and after three years, I realised why I was wrong. I changed completely, and when I went back to to teaching, I never raised my voice or made any threats. It was wonderful. I learned to lead by example, not my getting in the face and saying "do as I say, or else." The intimidation, now that part I save for when I deal with abusive parents. "
10/10/2011:
"I was a victim of bullying in Pelham High in the 80s. It started my first day there and didnt end until my Jr year. After enduring 2 years of this I was probably within a week of becoming an arsonist. I believed if the school burnt down that it would be over. And yes, I had been to the in school councilor, the vice principal, told my parents, tried even going so far as to as the bully's "WHY?". That went over really well btw. I ended up going to a psychiatrist to help with my depression, lack of sleep and fear of even going to school due to the attacks and found out that the in-school counselor had TOLD the very CLASSMATES I was being attacked by that I had been to a shrink! I was mortified! Everyone.. even my so-called friends now looked at me like I had two heads! So things got worse, a lot worse. I endured 3 years of this hell. Considered suicide, considered arson, wondered how much it would cost to hire someone to attack my attackers. The day I discovered I c! ould transfer in my Jr/Sr year to Alvirne High I was so happy. I went from a "C/D" student to a straight "A" student with high honors in a year. Tells you what a difference a school change can make. On a twisted bit of fate... one of the girls that had been one of the big sources of my agony I found out had died in a car crash in her 20s. The saddest part, I think I actually laughed. The emotional scars last a lot longer than a couple years. Im 40 now and I still hate that school and the entire town it sits in. "
10/6/2011:
"hey that will really work "
10/3/2011:
"As a counseling grad student and English teacher at a large California high school, I was surprised by the cut-and-dried story that began this article. I seriously doubt that the bully caught in the act of punching another student "learned his lesson" after a one day suspension. For teenagers coming to school with a unique matrix of problems that disempower them, abusing one's (physical) power over someone else actually makes the bully feel better because he or she feels more "in control", despite the inability to control so many other facets of life. This article seems to approach the problem of harassment purely proactively. "BUllying is simply not tolerated" sounds a lot like the "Zero Tolerance" policy for drugs and alcohol at high schools everywhere. We will not tolerate this from you, students, ..... A very one-dimensional approach to the human beings in our care. Several other elements to weave into a school's culture and climate include community building, from orientation and meet ups before school, a school ambassadors program for new students and transfers to connect with and receive tours from, leadership retreats for a cross-section of students (not just the elected leaders, but those seen by staff to have leadership potential), weaving of themes related to bullying into the curriculum. Bullying in Chemistry (volatile reactions, solutions that break up compounds), Biology (huge implications for what animals do - see Richard Podolsky's video on stressed out baboons, in which he notes that when stressed, we bully each other in similar ways, the notion of survival of the fittest and the strongest being admired as the head of an animal family, yet among humans, the strength of the mind in lieu of physical strength is perceived as weakness), English (novel themes too many to mention, but if Scout can stand up against a drunk lynch ! mob to protect her dad, we can certainly analyze her approach, which was to find a thread of commonality between herself and one of the bullies, which reminded him - Mr. Cunningham - of his humanity), Just as "an ounce" of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the proactive building of a school community, based on mutual respect for diversity, is much more effective than an authoritarian "We don't tolerate that behavior here at our school," dictum from adults. "
09/2/2011:
"We moved into a much larger area about 10 months ago. My 13 year old was having trouble fitting in as she put it. I have recently seen the way she is being treated and we are leaving the area because of it. I have met with the Superientendent of schools, prinipal as well and the BULLY is now coming by my home and harssing my daughter in our front yard. I fear for her safety and we are moving because of it! THIS IS SAD AND RIDICULOUS! "
08/18/2011:
"If there is anyone looking for helpful solutions to bullying go to www.stopthebullytoday.com "
04/26/2011:
"My 10 year old has been bullied this whole year. I started her out in one school where she was being bullied, but the bully told the principle that she wad the victim, sadly my daughter ended up being suspended twice. My daughter had been chased down while walking home from school and hit with a very large stick school did nothing the bullies mother even chased down my daughter to curse at her. So I transferred my daughter to a new school in the district and unfortunately she is still being bullied by a group of boys. I have informed the school of what is going on but nothing is done about it except for staff telling my child to.ignore them and to sit back down. Should I get an attorney. The school district is in Fort Smith, AR. And both schools are part of the Fort Smith public school system"
03/31/2011:
"Haha this is nothing, I've been verbally bullied for a year and a half now at school and out. I've moved away from my home, into a horrible community where I'm hazed physically, emotionally, and verbally abused by surrounding bullies/students. I've thought if suicide, I've cried on the walk home for weeks straight, and I've been depressed, having no self esteem, and feel of worthlessness. These articles say you can stop bullying, but there all stories from the 90s. Now, you can be tormented 24/7, school isn't the limit. There's so much technology, you can be contacted and bullied and not be able to do A thing about it."
03/16/2011:
"My daughter is being bullied by a group of girls who don't know they are being bullies. My daughter comes home crying and I talk to the principal, her teacher, and the girls' moms but they haven't been helping me with my daughter's situation. My daughter has tried counseling but that hasn't helped her by talking out her feelings, and some boys are starting to yell at her because she is not good at sports. My daughter is wanting to move to a new state or go to a new school in a different town and at this point I really dont know what to do!"
03/15/2011:
"If you happen to be a bully and someone takes thier own life because of it be prepared to have conquences to that action. bullying needs to stop now. If the teachers wont listen or the school principal then i recommend getting a lawyer and suing the school for failure to take action. "
03/7/2011:
"I'm a student and i always get bullied along with my two other friends. Everyone always picks on us. It came to a point that we couldn't handle it no more which we made an appointment to our principle with our parents stating everything that a group of people are doing to us and we even had evidence. There not just bulling us there cyber bulling us too. The principle din't care that much about it because her daughter was in the group that was bulling us. Of course if its her daughter she's not going to do anything about it. It just bothers me that their not going to do anything about this just because one of the people from the group is the principles daughter and the other one is that she has a perfect record, all the teachers love her, and she never gets caught doing something bad. When the five of them bully us they won't do nothing even though the teachers are watching and if they do they pull us out and get us in trouble, not them but us. And were the ones who get send ! down to the principles office for being out of control. I just want all of this to stop but no one is really taking us seriously. I think that my friend sooner or later is going to explode and do something seriously. That is why i'm looking for help. I want them to stop all of this since my school is not taking this seriously, then that means that i have to ask someone more efficient than them to help us out."
03/7/2011:
"The article is fine but what are we going to do about a School Superintendent, namely, Dr. Julie Carbajal, Superintendent, Flour Bluff Independent School District of Corpus Christi, Texas, who indulges in corporate bullying? It doesn't matter how many articles or how good they are, when bullying is promoted and practiced on students by the highest levels of corporation administration, bullying is clearly the way to get your way, the way to govern the way to control. A few of the people in education will make their greatest contribution to education the day they retire. ps In Indiana"
12/13/2010:
"I am a student. A couple years back i became a bully because I felt it was the only way I would ever fit in. I began to especially target a girl named Sam. I had noticed people talking behind her back and joking around about how she had bushy eyebrows. I figured this was my chance to confront her publicly about this. Then people would like me. I did. I embarrased her soo bad and everyone loved me for it. But, when I got home from school that day i didnt feel as good as I thought I would. I continued to bully for another year or so, then I realized I needed to change. This was not who I was. I ended up becoming friends with Sam. Later learning that I was the reason she cut herself. What I had said and done had caused a poor, innocent, beautiful young lady to go to the extent of cutting herself. I made her feel that vulnerable. She told me that at times she wanted to actually kill herself. We need to change this now. Now that I have been on both sides the bully and the bullied! , I know how terrible and fatal this can be. I myself have been sexually harrassed and bullied and I, myself have had the same thoughts Sam did. If we don't do something now, the number of kids commiting suicide and cutting and feeling vulnerable and worthless is going to continue to rise. This is the first real step I have taken, but I am so motivated. I want to change the world! Please help me do this!"
12/6/2010:
"I live in the country..oops state of Texas. Texas does not believe in kicking kids out of school. I didnt find out until later that my 12 year old daughter was getting beat up by a 15 1/2 year old boy in 7th every week. Once she came home with a scar on her eye and glasses broken stating she got hit with the basketball in gym class, another occasion she was bent over stating the gym teacher made them do 200 crunches. It never occured to me she was getting beat up until I found her journal. She talked a lot about dying in her journal. Anyway, I found out later that 4 girls had transferred because he harassed and beat them up and the only punishment is 2 weeks to a max of 2 months in an alternative school. They would also approve for me to transfer her to another school but I would be responsible for transportation. My question is...Who are the reall bullies?"
11/4/2010:
"i think that the one myth, saying that victims need to learn to stand up for themselves, isn't a myth. It's true. They don't necessarily need to do this by themselves, but they need to do it.they shouldn't put up with the bullying."
10/26/2010:
"All this talk is very nice but if your school is not proactive, this will never stop. They all talk a good game @ the beginning of the year, but the reality is that they all wish they had had the guts to follow their dreams (apparently, not teaching)& just want t get through the day & go home.The victims can't speak up or the bullying gets worse.The teachers & staff @ OBJ & particularly the students disgust me.Would you send me information on any programs that deal w/bulling. I can't believe schools have let this go on so long."
10/20/2010:
"I'm so glad to see that this article points out that simply telling a child to ignore the bully does not always work! Bullies are typically relentless and our child ignored him and walked away, along with all the other things everyone usually tells victims to do to stop the bullying from continuing. It doesn't work! The bullies know those things too--schools teach kids how to prevent/cope with bullying--so the bullies know that the victims are using the tactics to try to save themselves from these bullies. Sometimes it can work, but don't assume your child is fine because he/she says he/she walks away or says an 'I feel...' statement to the bully. Go to the teacher and the principal. Our principal doesn't stand for bullying and called in the school police officer to handle this bully last year. Sadly, the bully is in my child's phy ed class and they have to play football. This is an excuse for him to physically harm my child--it's started already. I'm going to see her teache! r today and discuss it. Take care everyone...and remember that two wrongs don't make a right--revenge only makes it worse and then you're being a bully too. And don't ever do anything to harm yourself! You are valuable in this world whether you know it or not! "
10/19/2010:
"Where's the help for the bullies? These children need as much or more help than the victims. My daughter is a 2nd grade bully and it's a result of neurological and emotional problems. We work on her social skills, anger management, respect for herself and others...to name a few. I was hoping to find some insight in this article to help my daughter. You may have noticed the comment that more bullies commit suicide than victims. I'm not surprised now that I have one in my family and see where this is coming from. These children need a safe place and person to talk to too. This isn't all about bad parenting! >From a desperate mother of a 2nd grade girl bully."
09/28/2010:
"wow that is really true bout bullying "
09/27/2010:
"My 12 yr old Grandson- in 7th grade at a new school now and is being bullied by a bunch of students, he is scared to go to school or ride the bus, ignoring doesn't help, doed he go to the counselor or what?"
09/22/2010:
"Unfortunately, it is also the girl that thinks she's popular and a leader. She brings friends in to her gang that are followers. They then do her dirty work and she stands innocent. She doesn't understand why she's involved in the efforts to stop the attacks. She feels she's innocent because she's gotten the followers to do her dirty work. Then the teachers, principals and her parents believe she's innocent. "
07/21/2010:
"i have been bullied sunce 5th grade and im now going into 10th and i had to switch buses and now im switching schools im overweight so its even worse and i have gotten pushed and had death threats where people wanted me dead."
04/28/2010:
"Lousy, this is our son's third year, every year has been just as bad as the first. First: This school has a bully problem, and we have had problems since the first year. We have always taught our son to walk away from other troubled students. It hasn't always worked out for the best. His life was threatened in nineth grade (that student was removed from the school), Now he has been involved in a fight in tenth grade. Two against one. This one is ongoing, we are taking these students to court. Second: Most of the Teachers only care about the day ending. Oh, they make nice when speaking to the parents, but, treat the students like babies, not young adults. Third: The administrators all seem to try very hard, but, a few are pretending. I mean it's almost a bad thing if a student continues to attend the same school. If your student has ever been involved in any type of dispute, the memories of the administrators carry over to each year. To the point where they may pre-judge a student before knowing the full circumstances. Forth: It seems impossible to deal with anyone associated with in this school, it's as if they have a meeting and decied to lie and then they lie to protect their school, but, all the while they'll smile and play nice when speaking with the parent. Fifth: I can't believe anyone rates this school as a '9', it has one of the worst reputations. You can ask five different people what they think about this school and at least three out of five will agree it's a bad school. I always thought it was important for your child to attend the same schools throughout their school years, I was wrong. I went to several different schools and didn't experience the poor attitudes of absolutly everyone at every level that we have had during our son attending Land O Lakes High School. I know my son hates it just as much as I have hated having to be involved with his teachers as well as the staff. The worst part is he has to continue one more year. I hope and pray it gets better for him. "
04/14/2010:
"My daughter started her 9th grade freshman yr with 2 10th grade classes, which took her councilor half of the yr to get her schedule changed to the right classs. During that time she skipped those classes & spent her time hanging out in the bathroom & meeting all the wrong kids. Ofcourse i got those automated phone calls & spoke to her about, she would tell she was in class & they must have made a mistake (me not seeing the signs & trying to recall how it truely is to a teenager) Then i get a call that she was caught under the under the influance, she admitting to smoking weed in the bathroom. She was suspended for 3 days & will have spend the rest of the yr in CEP alternative school. This is not where the story ends.... She has been being bully by a group of girls (name calling, things thrown at her, lunch stolen) i ofcourse told her to ignore them at first, then i was getting calls from her teacher stating she a good student & doesnt have any problems out, i decided to ! make the teacher aware of those other girls & the teacher stated i have never seen anyone bother her but that she would talk to my daughter regarding it. That afternoon i told my daughter that i had told her teacher & she said 'mom, she knows & see's these girls doing this' Yesterday, i pick up my daughter & the councilor comes out & tells me that she walked into the gym & found her crying & that my daughter told her the girls were messing with her & that she would take care of it. Got my daughter in the car & as we drove down the rode, i kept asking her what happend, ofcourse embarrased & scared i finally got her to say they pulled her hair. I turned my car around & headed back to the school before she could say anything else, i left her in the car asked to speak to the principle & then called the police & my husband & then went back to th car to get the full story from my daughter '4 girls surrounded her, pulled her hair, kicked her, pushed her & called her names all whi! le her teacher sat 2 feet away' i always told her never to hit! anyone & she didnt. Being that this is an alternative school they do have police officers on duty all the time, but i wanted one called in. I filed assault charges on all the girls. There was actually 2 teachers & the councilor in the gym where this occurred (1 was 2 feetaway 1 on was standing across the gym on the short side & the councilor who noticed her crying after the fact was interacting with some kids across the way on the long side of the gym). My daughter did not know the name of the 2 teeachers only that one was the gym teacher & the other her history teacher. The asst principle said he could not disclose the name of the the two teachers with talking to the princple first. I explained to him i will file a complaint on the two teachers & that i hold them more accountable then the girls. Triedd to speak to the principle today, & no one called me, so i just showed up & spoke to her secretary regarding a meeting with her about the safetyof my child all the others! that are being forced to endure this torture because we as parents failed to see the signs ofcourse the principle was busy giving tours of this wonderful alternative school. I called the super. over this school & told me i would have to talk & try to resolve my issues with the principle first (the chain of command game) soooo my appointment with her is thursday april 15 at 3:30. And i did send my daughter back, being that due to excessive absences for skipping, i had to go to court & she is on probation for the remainder of the school yr & cant miss any days without having a doctor's excuse. I feel like i am fighting a no win battle but i got to keep going for my daughter's sake. If anyone has any helpful tips in dealing with the school'steachers on filing. A complaint on the teachers & maybe the school itself please let me know, i have almost 2 days before i meet with this principle "
04/9/2010:
"Well i have to agree with the post of 10/7/2009, what was suppose to be a new beginning for my daughter in High School as a Freshman and to worry about being new at this school and trying to figure out what classes or clubs you want to join and stressing not to get lost in school but know that your best friends and other familiar faces will be there for you has turned into a Nightmare. My daughter made friends with these girls since 5th grade they have been together and outings together and applied together to this High School. But after the start of the new year in Sept 09 till present it has been depressing and awful. As a parent some might say i am overprotecting and strict but casually cool at times. I have always allowed my daughter to express herself in music and art something in our strict culture is seen as weird or just plain unacceptable. I have always told her to stand up to what she believes and to defend herself. Since the young age i have alwyas tried to show her that there is an outside world out there and that she can decide what to be in life and what career choices she has in order to live outside this cultural circle I was never allowed to leave. But i guess this has now caused confusion in her mind and she is doubting herself to think that she constantly is being told she is weird. I have been hit hard with the harassment as well after ! she for the first time reacted towards me by telling me to not get involved or it will be worst for her. Although i don't see it physically yet but at first didn't know what was going on. I saw the quick change in her this bullying did. The coming home crying in the shower so i wont notice, the not eating, the waking up in the middle of the night, the hiding behind the building waiting for the bus the not wanting to do nothing. they apparently told her she was not wanted in their circle not liked, she was different and weird. Although she didn't want to say anything to me the first week i noticed that something was wrong when the weekend rolled in she told me everything that had happened during the week and why this was happening, the taunts in the school bus the taunts in school grounds. But she forbid me to get involved and that she didnt want me making it a big deal that would cause more drama and more teases for being a snitch that she needed to deal with it herself and! that she would not allow them to win. She has not missed one ! day not been late. But her grades did drop which is something that I was not happy with. She didn't want me walking her to the school bus anymore like a little girl (her words) but would allow my mother to give her a ride and drop her off like all the others. I kept questioning her everyday how it went anything i ever got was 'ok' 'good' After a month like this i had enough and called one mother in particular who of course i had befriended and asked her if she knew what was going on, she had no idea what i was talking about, and didn't want to get involved all she said where the exact same words i have been reading in the newspapers 'kids are kids and girls are cruel no biggy' i was very hurt that since it was not her daughter going thru this she didn't really care. It has been months now, I see the change in her now, things have calmed down (i think) she still continues to take the bus goes to school everyday, mentions new names all the time, little by little when we are ! having conversations she would spill out information. Come to find out that it is one particular girl who is really negative in the group and is the silent bully the one that stirs up the gossip but doesn't get involve gets others to do her work and cleans her hands onto the next, the one everyone believes because she is so outspoken and the mother is involve as well. I came across this lady who i don't know but came up to me 2 months ago and apologized to me for thinking bad apparently this lady and her daughter have been spreading rumors about both of us around the neighborhood but after noticing that the morning talk was getting out of hand this lady noticed that it was just talk. I can't believe how it got to this. I tried switching bus stops they told me no, the principal is always busy, I see things have gotten better (i think) since she never gave up or literally disappeared. i am proud of her for continuing to standing up by not showing them she is weak but at home! is different, I have a dr. appt this month for her to talk to her in t! he event it is easier. I hope you all dont think im doing more on the blind side as a parent you learn everyday especially with teens. I am keeping an eye and trying to understand after all dont you remember being a teen and wanting the world to understand you. I was bullied all 3 years in Middle School as well but unlike her i never stopped them never had the courage to say anything just endure. the story is long if you want more contact me. i just hope i got to the point. Parents need to know what their kids are up to and some just ignore as long as they stay out of trouble and have decent grades. "
03/23/2010:
"great stuff vry helpful"
01/25/2010:
"I think that the bully should have been suspended"
11/17/2009:
"As one who was majorly bullied back in 1969-1972,I still haven't forgotton the cruel raviges of one Christy H.from 8th-12th grade. She was verbal mean and abusive,and would dig her talon fingernails into the back of my neck,then laugh cruelly.She was one of 'THE' popular crowd,so the teachers turned a blind eye,and a deaf ear. I HAVE forgiven her,and pray she isn't in a positian to torment others,even at 55."
10/7/2009:
"my daughter is a 10th grader this year and some ofher freinds from before are no longer her freinds and they get others not to be her freind, my daughter skipped her last period class to speak to the principal about this,never notifying me (parents) the constant talking about her continues one girl threw a tissue at her in class,principal again notified, a note got put in one of the bullies backpack, they were quick to assume it was my daughter, the principal put all these girls together in a room with no supervision verbal words were exchanged..but where was the principal in all this, how far do you let this go,my daughter a strong willed girl refuses to let them win she goes to school continuassly, i thonk i am worried more, speaking to principal today i am so furios this has gone as long as it has..what do we do"
10/7/2009:
"Bullying, a problem, yes. I believe bullying and peer pressure begins with the the schools and teachers 'activities' that can lower self esteem. Im thinking the teachers cant recognize the harm their certain activities can have on a young mind."
10/6/2009:
"So what is your conclusion? You left me on a cliff-hanger. No help at all"
09/29/2009:
"I think that bullying is not right, because you all have the right to be to yourself, to be in controll of our self. Who is they to call you out your name, who is they to tell you that you are nobody, Who is they to tell you what to do and when to do it or even how to do it. It's time to take a stand and at bullying and make it stop now. what do you want peace or haterd. Take a stand for onece in your life. I was a vitim at being bulled all the time. But now i am taking a stand to what's right!by helping other kids that are being bulled, you could be the next person that i help next!lets put an end to bulling starting today."
09/16/2009:
"My son is 5 years old and he just started going to kindergarten. He has gotten a few bad notes sent home because of hitting and not keeping his hands to himself. Would he be considered a bully? He has so much energy and sometimes I don't know what to do. I'm 23 yrs. old and he is my first baby. The daycare provider says that he is a perfect angel, but of course school is different.Does anyone have any advice?"
09/1/2009:
"First thing, schools need to take a no tolerance stance and have clear, effective discipline protocols in place. The bullies need to have a clear message that their business must stop now! This halts bullying in the immediate term, leaving room for the education efforts on prosocial behavior and bystander responsibility and safe school environment to gradually infuse the school culture. Too many experts are emphasizing the softer side first. Meanwhile bullies continue to get away with it and victims continue to suffer. Our family has had direct experience with lots of school communication and programs to prevent bullying. They just don't work if the school does not emphasize the hard side of enforcement as well."
12/23/2008:
"Parents, watch your children at school, get there without notice and find out. My son had a teacher who started the bulling, I found this teacher addressing my son with an abusive language making fun of him in front of other kids. Parents and teachers look at kids reaction, but nobody find the cause. Kids are treated as criminals, and most of time the bulling start by LACK OF RESPECT from caretaker to the child parents or teachers. This teacher use other children to attack the one he irrationally hates. Yes, teachers are humans and they also hate and destroy self-esteem on children. I discovered the how a hateful teacher can damage a child on early stage. Just on time to to act, and remove my son from this hell, here in Fort Worth Texas."
12/5/2008:
"well my grand daughter was constantly being bullied by a boy until i had enough after her coming home saying he hit her in the mouth , told principal he sat there and said oh he is flirting, and when i insisted this has to stop or i will file police report he actually started getting upset with me saying well if u do it will be out of my hands, so i never filed hoping he would solve this.The bully had alot of pink slips and my grand daughter none..the principal made my grand daughter feel like she was lying and felt with drawn until she decided no i am not the victim and i will prove it she question this bully in frt of principal which this should be his job. proving what book hit her and what color and asked principal to look in the locker and it was the bullies locker they found it..the principal never called me to say i am very sorry i shunned u and didnt believe u i will listen more closely to parents haha right . before all this the principal was going to give my gran! d daughter and the bully pink slips this is caught by one of the teachers who sd no u arent giving her a pink slip for being a victim..."
10/9/2008:
"Bullying is extremely damaging to the bully and the victim. Your article indicated that bullying is often a sign of problems at home; abuse and/or poor supervision at home and lack of self esteem. Bullying needs to be stopped. However, publicly humiliating the bully is not the answer. Helping the bully address his or her behavior and personal or family issues and learn alternative responses will help both the bully AND the victim. Subjecting people to public humiliation rarely improves any one's self esteem. If schools address the bully's problems of abuse and neglect the bully can begin to learn to respect him/herself as well as other students and the cycle of abuse can be broken. "
10/8/2008:
"As a parent of a second grade girl, IN PRIVATE SCHOOL PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE FEAR OF BULLYING, I urge every school to adopt a ZERO-TOLERANCE bully policy. These unfortunate economic times may force my daughter into public school, and bullying is worse for those who come from Christian or Catholic schools and enter public education. I was utterly shocked myself, many years ago, at the behaviors tolerated in public school. My daughter and I discuss bullying each time we watch The Bridge to Terabithia. In response to the movie, she is amazed that children are permitted to behave in such a mean-spirited way at school, and has asked why are there no adults present during recess and lunch breaks to control injust behavior. She is fortunate now, but as corporate displacements continue, she may be forced into the undesired social environment of public school."
10/6/2008:
"No one gives advise when the school does not address the bullying. Could you please further this, as to what to do if your school does not stop the behaviour. "
07/11/2008:
"This wasn't very helpful. What would be helpful are some real ideas on how to help the victims and not focus on the bullies. I am a parent of kids who are bullied and they go to a school that doesn't take bullying very serious. An aritcle on what real and practical things you can do as a parent to try and empower your child would be helpful. Bullies do fail later in life == if you're older, you've seen it. But that doesn't help kids going through bullying. It is painful. Parents of bullies always seem to turn a blind eye to things. Also, younger kids who are bigger are a real target for shorter older kids. Somehow, the schools tend to think that bigger boys (some can be rising around 6 foot in 6th-7 th grade) should be more mature allowing older shorter kids to get away with a lot. I actually looked on your links. They seemed mostly geared for teachers. I am a parent and would be very interested in something I could do to 'arm' my child with good self esteem and tact! ics for bullying. Thank you."
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