How to know if your child is being bullied
Bullying is a major reason why children miss school; it can lead to depression and, in some cases, suicide. Many children won't tell their parents or a trusted adult that they are being bullied at school or in their neighborhood, so it's important that we be alert to possible signs of bullying.
Bullying is defined “as a pattern of unwanted and repeated written, verbal or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, dehumanizing gesture by an adult or student, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliations; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation that includes a noted power differential.”
Since bullying can take many different forms, such as hitting or punching, menacing gestures, repeated exclusion, gossiping, or name calling, parents and teachers might not recognize when it is happening. Cyberbullying adds another dimension through the use of email, chat rooms, instant messages, blogs, social networking websites, text messages and posting private information or pictures to taunt others or intentionally hurt their feelings.
Possible warning signs that a child is being bullied include:
- A change in behavior; seeming anxious or sad, performing poorly in school, not eating, having trouble sleeping, complaining frequently of feeling sick, low self-esteem and depression.
- No longer doing the activities that he or she usually enjoys.
- Avoiding taking the bus to school, or he or she may take a longer route home to evade a bully.
- Coming home with bruises, scratches.
- Missing personal belongings.
Bullying is not tolerated in Public Schools in the River Valley. If you suspect your child is being bullied, do not confront the bully, but talk with your child and speak with his/her school administrators.