Category: Bullying

7 Things Your Town Can Learn From Blairville’s Approach To School Bullying

Blairville’s Approach To School Bullying

Bullying is an unfortunate part of society and is seen in almost all aspects of society. While it has a certain effect when performed by adults in a workplace, it can be particularly harmful to children… primarily when it occurs in a school setting. Nonetheless, it remains a persistent menace that most jurisdictions and institutions have been unable to eliminate entirely from their schools.

However, one city has managed to develop a holistic approach to school bullying that has proven to be somewhat of a success. This article will highlight seven things you can take away from their approach to bullying, hopefully enabling your town to reduce or even eliminate it as much as possible. It will also include some general tips on how you, as a parent, can keep your children safe from the harmful effects of harassment and give you peace of mind that they will not become victims or perpetrators of harassment.

Develop And Enforce Clear Anti-Bullying Policies

As the King said in Alice in Wonderland, “Begin at the beginning,”! While this might sound slightly facetious, perhaps the first and most effective strategy any town can take is to develop its own anti-bullying policies and take measurable steps to enforce them. Lots of towns like Blairsville have taken a proactive step in this regard, meaning that families moving to Blairsville should be assured their children will be secure from the effects of bullying. However, many towns and school administrations will view this advice as having a meeting and creating a small list of points that need to be followed. However, if you want your policy to be effective, it must be wide-ranging, compassionate, and delve into the core issues that have made bullying so pervasive. An actionable and effective policy must include the following elements (some of these are discussed in more detail later):

  • Establish a zero-tolerance policy toward bullying
  • Develop strategies to prevent bullying before it occurs
  • Ensure all staff are trained to recognize the signs of bullying
  • Provide education on the effects of bullying
  • Utilize restorative justice practices
  • Create a system of consequences that is both consistent and fair

Furthermore, you must ensure that all stakeholders are aware of your new policy and take proactive steps regarding its enforcement. While your town must establish what it considers fair punishment, it could range from a slap on the wrists for minor infractions to the risk of job loss or expulsion for repeat offenders.

Educate Students, Teachers, And Staff About Bullying Prevention

While creating a policy is a significant initial step, it will be rendered moot without the proper education. School administrators must prioritize getting all relevant stakeholders to know about the procedure and what actions each individual must take.

  1. Students: Due to their nature, students need frequent explanations regarding bullying, including the consequences if they are bullies and the support they can receive if they are victims. You can set up a daily or weekly assembly and hammer home these points at the start or end of the meeting.
  2. Teachers: Educators must learn how to spot the signs of bullying and have an understanding of how to confront the bully and help the victim. This is trickier than it sounds, so you might want to hire outside help to support your teachers, particularly regarding the growing but esoteric threat of cyberbullying.
  3. Staff: Bullying isn’t only limited to student-on-student interactions. It can happen in almost any workplace, including between staff members of the school itself. By letting everyone know what kind of recourse they have, you can encourage a less toxic environment.

Encourage Open Communication Between Students, Parents, And School Administration

If open communication is not fostered in your institution, bullying will become more prevalent and begin to fester. This makes it more challenging to confront when you finally choose to get a handle on it. Therefore, you should encourage communication among all facets of your school, from the students to the governing bodies. By enabling all participants to speak freely (within the bounds of good taste), you can understand where the problems are emerging from and take preventative or corrective action. Depending on your current status, this could involve a massive overhaul of how you do things. Nevertheless, the first step is to have an open-door policy where students and teachers can easily find the right people to speak to without hindrance or delay.

Implement Proactive Measures Such As Peer Support Programs And Conflict Resolution Training

Bullying takes many forms and can be hidden as well as in plain view. Regardless of how it is conducted, you need to take proactive measures to nip it in the bud if you want to eradicate it from your school. This could be in the form of peer support programs, religious events that teach compassion to your fellows, and confit resolution lessons.

Provide Ongoing Training For Teachers And Staff To Recognize And Address Bullying Behavior

Something as serious as bullying is not a static event, and you can’t expect it to disappear by simply creating a policy and leaving it be. Instead, you must ensure that all staff training is ongoing and encapsulates the entire spectrum of bullying, from the obvious to the less so, such as cyberbullying. Only by doing this can you slowly rescue the insidious effects that bullying has on everyone involved.

Take Reports Of Bullying Seriously And Respond Promptly With Appropriate Disciplinary Action

If your school is a passive receiver of bullying reports and opts to take things at a more sedate speed, you will quickly discover all other aspects of your anti-bullying policy will fall apart. You need to take all reports, regardless of severity, seriously and endeavor to follow through on threats of disciplinary action. This could involve a multi-step process of punishment that becomes increasingly more serious as the threats increase in number, severity, or both.

Continuously Evaluate And Adjust The School’s Approach To Bullying Prevention

Over the last 20 years, bullying has changed dramatically, and institutions that fail to keep pace risk having all their hard work become irrelevant. Consweutnly, you must take a proactive approach to the subject and attempt to keep up with how the world is changing. For instance, cyberbullying simply didn’t exist 20 yeast ago, but it’s now one of the most significant threats to students worldwide. Moreover, as students gain access to an ever-increasing amount of data, including misinformation, new threats will emerge that could begin to divide students along political and religious lines like never before. If you don’t take this seriously, you risk your school falling into chaos.

How You Can Prevent Your Child From Becoming A Victim Or Perpetrator Of Bullying

The actions taken by a school or district are only one part of the equation, and as with most things, compassionate education starts at home. Therefore, as a parent, it is your responsibility to be there for your child when bullied, teach them how to avoid becoming victims, and take corrective action if your child appears to be bullying others.

How You Can Prevent Your Child From Becoming A Victim Or Perpetrator Of Bullying

Teach Your Child To Respect Others And Be Kind To Everyone, Regardless Of Differences

As the nation becomes increasingly divided along various lines of thought, it is more essential than ever to teach compassion and kindness regardless of differences of opinion, views, or race. In spite of the fact that your child’s school should be doing this already, real one on one compassion can only be taught by parents. Although it can be difficult to see past some differences, you need to be a role model to your child and tell them that while they might not always agree with another point of view, they must respect the fact that everyone is different.

When Your Child Witnesses Bullying, Encourage Them To Speak Up And Report It

It is vital to not only be there for your own child, but you must also educate them on the importance of reporting bullying when they see in occurring. By ingraining this responsibility from a young age, you can encourage them to do the right things when the opportunity arises. They don’t have to get involved directly with the issue and risk their own reputation or physical well-being. Still, they should be confident they can report it anonymously to higher authorities before things get out of hand.

If Your Child Is Being Bullied, Teach Them To Stand Up For Themselves Appropriately

This tip can be slightly contentious, especially if you don’t teach them the correct ways to stand up for themselves. You shouldn’t take this advice as constituting fighting back, but you must tread the line carefully between teaching your child to be too passive or aggressive. You don’t want them to get in trouble, but they must also know when and how to stand up for themselves. One option could be enrolling your child in a martial arts school where they will learn conflict-resolution skills and techniques to subdue even the nastiest bullies.

Monitor Your Child’s Behavior And Intervene If You Notice Any Signs Of Bullying Or Aggressive Behavior

Most parents don’t want to hear it, but there might come a time when their child is the bully, and they need to take corrective action to stop it from spiraling out of control. Some key indicators include:

  • An aggressive personality or demeanor
  • Lack of compassion for others
  • They have aggressive friends
  • They are constantly in trouble at school for various reasons (although this might also indicate other issues aside from bullying)
  • They have been bullied in the past and might choose to take out their friction on others
  • They are aggressive toward their siblings
  • They spend an inordinate amount of time online

While none of these are guaranteed to diagnose if your child is a bully, they can provide a good indication and enable you to dig a bit deeper. If you discover your child is a bully, you need to take a step back and consider your options, some of which might be pretty unsavory.

Encourage Your Child To Be Inclusive And Make An Effort To Include Everyone In Their Social Interactions

As your child grows, you must provide them with the tools they will need to become well-rounded adults. One tool is helping them to understand how to include people from all walks of life in their interactions so that everyone feels included. The worst thing you can do is try and force them to do this, so educate them about the importance of it so they will do it naturally.

Encourage Your Child To Be Inclusive

Teach Your Child Appropriate Conflict Resolution Skills To Help Them Manage Disagreements Without Resorting To Bullying

Conflict resolution is arguably one of the most crucial social skills you can teach your kids, and you must attempt it from a very young age. Not only will it assist them in avoiding becoming a bully or being bullied, but it’s also a great skill to nurture as they get older.

Teach Your Child To Be Resilient And To Develop Coping Strategies To Help Them Deal With Difficult Situations

Perhaps the most pernicious effect of bullying comes not from physical harm (which is detrimental in other ways) but from the mental anguish it can cause. In fact, it can even cause suicide when it becomes too much for a child to bear and can affect children of all ages. Therefore, if you can provide advice on how to develop coping strategies and deal with whatever might come their way, you will equip them with the ability to manage no matter what.

Encourage Your Child To Engage In Activities And Hobbies That Build Their Self-Esteem And Confidence

The unfortunate truth is that if your child suffers from low-self esteem, they imminently become a magnet for bullies. You should speak with them to help them overcome their confidence issues and find out what they enjoy. Once you have this information, you can work together to find hobbies or clubs to join, putting them in contact with other like-minded kids. This will cause them to hang around others who share the same interests and provide an outlet when things become too heavy at school.

Foster Open Communication With Your Child To Ensure They Are Able To Confide In You

As with the third point at the beginning of this article, you must endeavor to foster a culture of open communication. When your child feels comfortable confiding in you, they will open up about the things affecting them. This can help you both develop solutions and prevent problems from escalating.

Hopefully, this article has illuminated the issue of bullying in schools and provided a few pointers that other wons have taken on board. By being proactive in your approach, you can prevent escalation and create an enjoinment where everyone feels safe and comfortable, thus fostering a conducive learning environment.

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What to Do if Your Child Is Participating in Cyberbullying

What to Do if Your Child Is Participating in Cyberbullying

Nothing can prepare you to hear that your child has been cyberbullying others. You were probably having a typical day until you got the call. The school or a student’s parent wants to talk to you about what your kid posted online. Your heart sinks — you may even go into some denial. Now you must decide how to proceed.

How do you even begin to address this issue with your child? Most parents are more prepared to help their kids as victims of bullying, not the other way around. Yet, your child needs your love and support just as much on this side of things. Use these tips to help you work through the emotions and repercussions of your child’s choices.

1. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Dealing with your kid participating in cyberbullying will likely bring up some strong feelings. You may experience denial, anger and disappointment, just to name a few. If you were bullied as a child, that might complicate the situation. However, it’s essential to control your emotions — you won’t be able to get to the bottom of things and help your kid if your temper rises.

2. Have a Heart to Heart

As soon as you can calm yourself down, have a chat with your child. Depending on the situation and how the cyberbullying came to light, this conversation may not be a one-on-one. You may need to have the first conversation with a guidance counselor or principal at your kid’s school.

No matter who the talk involves, you must make it clear you’re all prepared to work together to help correct the behavior. You want what’s best for everyone involved and to find out the reason behind the choice to cyberbully.

Watch your language and avoid calling them a bully. Very likely, they’re a good kid who made some bad choices. Discovering their motivation will help you come up with an action plan. However, ensure your child knows having a reason doesn’t make cyberbullying a good choice — there are always other alternatives.

3. Work With a Team

Whether your child’s school discovered the cyberbullying activity or you did, it’s a good idea to get them involved and on the alert. Having more people on your kid’s team can only help them.

If your child’s motives were school-based — like desiring popularity, peer pressure or retaliation from being bullied — the administration might have ideas for consequences or support on campus. They may be able to withdraw privileges or schedule time for your kid to talk regularly with the school psychologist or guidance counselor.

In addition, it may help to have your child see a therapist to talk about their decision to cyberbully and how to address the motive and change the behavior.

4. Restrict Internet and Device Use

At the minimum, you’ll want to restrict their internet use. Removing these privileges for younger kids is easier since they don’t typically need the internet for their homework. They’re also home more often, so you can observe their behavior more easily.

Teens are much more complex since they often need devices and internet access to keep up with schoolwork. In these instances, you’ll have to monitor their time or install software to scan for cyberbullying behavior and flag you if it picks up anything.

You can also contact your cell phone provider to limit their phone capabilities temporarily. Your carrier can turn off texting and data to make cyberbullying activity much more difficult.

5. Find Appropriate Consequences

In addition, you may want to add in other consequences to support the underlying motive behind their cyberbullying behaviors. For example, if your child joined in cyberbullying to fit in with a particular group, you should remove them from that influence as much as possible. You could take them out of a club or ground them so they can only leave home for school.

Finding new ways to occupy your kid’s attention helps create worthwhile substitutes for the bad choices they were making. Help them find a new hobby or pick up an old one. Look for something they’re passionate about and encourage them to spend more time on it. You can also set aside more family time to improve those bonds — order a pizza and get the whole family together on the living room floor to play board games.

6. Encourage Your Child to Make Amends

Just like when your child was small and pushed someone on the playground, they need to make it right. You should find a way they can make amends to the person or people they hurt with their cyberbullying behavior.

First, they should immediately delete any hurtful public or private posts or comments. Afterward, they should offer some form of apology to the person they hurt. If that person isn’t ready to face their bully, you should have your child write a note. Read it before delivery to ensure its appropriateness.

Cyberbullying Has Lasting Consequences

As uncomfortable as it is to deal with your kid participating in cyberbullying, you must address it now before the problem worsens. Kids who continue to bully throughout childhood tend towards similar behavior as adults. Protect your child’s future by helping them change their behavior in the present.

Cora Gold Author Bio - Social MediaAuthor bio:
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She strives to live a happy and healthy life with her family by her side.

Follow Cora on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Common Signs Your Child Might Be Getting Bullied

Common Signs Your Child Might Be Getting Bullied

Kids can be brutal to one another. It results in stress for your child as they process what is happening and learn to cope with it. Of course, it’s also of great concern for parents as well.  If you’re worried about your child, it’s only natural to want to help them defend themselves and keep them safe.

Let’s explore some red flags you should watch for to know if your kid is getting bullied.

1. Headaches and Stomachaches

Kids bullied in school may not have the courage to talk about it. The signs appear in other ways, like frequent ailments. Suppose your child constantly complains of a headache or stomachache. In that case, they might be going through something at school that is causing their anxiety to permeate through their body in physical ailment form.

Dietary changes like a loss of appetite can be a symptom of bullying. Try approaching your child with understanding and questioning them about the reason for their sudden changes. Scolding them for not eating enough will likely just make matters worse. Coax them into telling you what is going on.

2. Withdrawal From Family Functions

Being a parent sometimes entails reading between the lines. Kids are likely ashamed of being bullied and can fear getting in trouble or being judged for not standing up for themselves. This can be challenging with the never-ending to-do list you already have, but you should do your best to take notice when your child is suffering.

Any changes in their behavior, dietary habits, and socialization can cause concern. Connecting with others is an essential way of relieving negative thoughts and anxiety. When your child withdraws from family, they’re likely feeding into insecurities brought on by judgment from others.

3. Losing Interest in Socialization

Bullying is scary for children. Often, they don’t know how to react. When they tell, they can be labeled as a tattletale. When they fight back, they can get in trouble for fighting. Bullying can be confusing, and when kids don’t know the best route to take, they can get overwhelmed and completely shut down emotionally. This can cause a complete loss of interest in any social gatherings or hanging out with their friends.

They want to avoid any situation where bullying would likely occur, including going to school. If your child is suddenly using every trick in the book to get out of going to school or attending extracurricular activities they used to find fun, there’s a good chance they’re being bullied in some way or another.

4. Difficulty Sleeping

Difficulty sleeping or having frequent nightmares can be a sign of bullying. Any shift in your child’s sleeping patterns is a reason to worry because quality sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Most older kids aren’t getting the needed rest and are more likely to experience various sleep challenges.

If your child is waking in the middle of the night or suddenly having issues falling asleep, consider talking with them to find the cause. Often, kids don’t want to go to the doctor, so telling them you’re worried and might need to take them can get them to open up to you about what is bothering them. Be consistent with their bedtime and limit their screen time to see if that helps before making the trip.

5. Decrease in Self-Esteem

Bullying can manifest in your child and lower their self-esteem. If you notice your child’s confidence plummet or they begin doubting themselves, they might be a victim of bullying. There isn’t much you can do to help your child if they don’t communicate with you. Encourage your child to open up about why they’re so hard on themselves. Adolescence and teenage years are tough and can harm kids’ self-image.

Encourage your child to love themselves, take time for their mental health, and support their friends’ self-image as well. Be observant and set positive examples and expectations for your child. Ensure they know who to talk to when they feel bullied or notice a bully harming someone else.

Signs Your Child Is Getting Bullied

Bullying can be physical, with apparent signs you can be watchful for – like torn clothing or bumps and bruises. Bullying can also be verbal, emotional, and hard to detect in your children.

If you witness any of these symptoms, your child might be a victim of bullying. Learn how to protect your child against bullying.  Do your best to establish an open line of communication so your child feels comfortable coming to you with their fears and concerns.

Cora Gold Author Bio - Social MediaAuthor bio:
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She strives to live a happy and healthy life with her family by her side.

Follow Cora on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Is Cyberbullying a Crime?

Is Cyberbullying a Crime?

Bullying is not new, as it has been around for a long time in various aspects of life. However, with the presence of the internet and social media, it has become a menace due to cyberbullying. Many may wonder, is cyberbullying a crime?  The primary concern is that any type of bullying may be hurtful to the victim.

73% of students claim to have been bullied at school, and 44% share experiencing bullying in the span of thirty days.  Even though it’s quite prevalent, it’s not quantifiable when a victim feels unsafe due to something sent to them online or written about them. This online humiliation and harassment can be direct, indirect, or invading someone’s online privacy with the intention of hurting them.

With the growing number of rude online interactions that turn into threats, there are cyber harassment laws to punish offenders. This protects the victims, preventing cyberbullying effects. Keep reading to find out more so you can stay safe from bullying while having the resources to fight it legally.

What is Considered Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying refers to online harassment using digital platforms such as cell phones, computers, and the internet to threaten or defame a person. What cyberbullying means is that an individual is sharing hurtful texts, images, and videos of another person, making them feel embarrassed, sad, angry, or frustrated. It may also include rumors and false accusations that might put the one getting bullied in mental turmoil.

For those unaware of how cyberbullying starts, it may be as small as someone sharing hurtful texts directly or in a group. It may be anonymous or someone you already know. As people are using the internet more frequently now, they are more susceptible to getting bullied. This includes both adults and children.

However, children are more at risk of mental struggles due to bullying. A few factors that cause bullying of children are lack of awareness and peer pressure. Many may consider something to be a harmless joke, but it has the potential to turn into cybercrime without the intervention of parents and authorities.

The child who experiences cyberbullying may feel anxious and fall into depression, withdrawing from social activities. As parents, you need to ensure your children are safe online and not under the stress of cyberbullying. In California, cyberbullying and cyberstalking may lead to hefty fines and significant incarceration if an individual is guilty.

Current Electronic Cyber Harassment Laws are in California

As per the California Penal Code 653.2 PC, any electronic media, including texts or emails, with an intention to threaten an individual or their family is considered a crime. This also includes putting the other person’s safety at risk via electronic mediums with the purpose of harassment, public embarrassment, injury, or physical contact.

Anyone who publishes or distributes nonconsensual emails, pictures, or other personal information may be considered guilty of a misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to one year in county jail or a one thousand dollar fine (both in some cases).

Ways to Deal with Cyberbullying

If you’re wondering can cyberbullying cause depression, 37% of children have been noted to link their depression to cyberbullying. Will cyber bullying ever end? We may not be able to eliminate cyberbullying completely. As a result, we need stern measures and actions to deal with it alongside the laws. Here are some ways to deal in case you or your child is going through online bullying.

Don’t brush it off

If any situation feels unsafe and may pose a threat to your safety, it’s better to take action. Victims may be able to pick bullying cues earlier than others. Therefore, as parents, it’s essential to trust your children and empower them to voice these concerns when needed.

Avoid direct retaliation

Sometimes, bullies just want a reaction and enjoy it when their victim retaliates. It may be hard not to revert to harsh comments and rude remarks, but you may need to keep calm and think about your next step calmly. Make sure you save proof of your online interaction when required in the future.


Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat have a report abuse feature in case someone gets bullied on the app. Moreover, some mobile phone providers offer anti-bullying features to prevent it over the phone.

Seek legal help

You don’t have to be clueless in these situations and suffer. It’s ideal take legal steps and seek help from an attorney to proceed with the case if the situation requires more than just reporting these offenders online.

Hiring Professional Criminal Defense Attorney

If your child or loved one is a victim of cyberbullying, do not stay quiet wondering is cyberbullying a crime. If you’re worried about your child being bullied, you may want to hire a professional attorney to fight against cybercrimes and bullying.

Criminal defense attorney Samantha Greene says, “With rising cases of cyberbullying and cybercrimes, we need to safeguard our youth from it, now more than ever. Legal council can greatly  assist anyone in need of legal aid against cyberbullying.

Seeking proper legal council can:

  • Support you throughout your battle against cyberbullying.
  • Ensure your case is strong and all facts are considered to make sure you win.
  • Law firms with expertise in this area understand that this legal battle may get challenging for your child and your family.
  • They can guide you while representing your court case.

Your child may suffer more if the situation is ignored and takes an unfortunate turn. Consider taking the necessary action to deal quickly with issues such as cyberbullying and cybercrimes. You may also want to contact an attorney if your child is being accused of cyberbully.

Author Bio:

Samantha Greene Author BioAttorney Samantha Greene is an attorney at Sevens Legal, APC.  She is the winner of the Client Choice award from AVVO and the Top Attorneys award from San Diego, signifying credibility in the field. With her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law, Mrs. Greene has expertise in dealing with criminal defense cases.  Before starting a private practice, she worked as a Certified Law Clerk for the Public Defender’s Office and Senior Associate for one of San Diego’s top trial law firms.

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