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Bullying Prevention

What is bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among children.  The behavior is repeated over time; it is not considered a one-time occurrence.  Usually, kids who bully are using power to harm others. 

What are the types of bullying?

Verbal: Saying or writing mean things; teasing, name-calling, inappropriate comments, taunting, and threatening to cause harm

Social/relational: Hurting someone’s reputation or relationships; leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors about someone, embarrassing someone in public

Physical: Hurting a person’s body or possessions; hitting/kicking/pinching, spitting, tripping/pushing, taking or breaking someone’s things, making mean or rude hand gestures

Cyberbullying: Using electronic technology; mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on websites

What do I do if I am bullied?

-Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice.  You can also try to ignore or laugh it off.  This works best if joking is easy for you.  It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.

-If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away.  Don’t fight back.  Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot. 

There are things you can do to help you in the future, too…

-Talk to an adult you trust.  Don’t keep your feelings inside.  Telling someone can help you feel less alone.  They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.

-Stay away from places where bullying happens, if possible.

-Stay near adults and other kids.  Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.

How do I stand up for others?

If you see bullying happen, you are considered a bystander.  As a bystander, there are safe things you can do to make it stop.

-Talk to a parent, teacher, or another adult.  Adults need to know when bad things happen so they can help.

-Stand up for the person being bullied, if you feel safe to do so.

-Be kind to the kid being bullied.  Show them that you care by trying to include them.  Sit with them at lunch or on the bus, talk to them at school, or invite them to do something.  Just spending time with them will help them know they aren’t alone. 

-You can even call the Anonymous Bullying/Safety Tip Hotline at 330-965-2867 to report an incident.

Not saying anything could make it worse for everyone!  The kid who is bullying will think it is okay to keep treating others that way.

How do I make sure I am not a bully?

Treat everyone with respect!  Nobody should be mean to others. 

-Stop and think before you say or do something that could hurt others.

-If you feel like being mean to someone, find something else to do.  Play a game, watch TV, or talk to a friend.
-Talk to an adult you trust.  They can help you find ways to be nicer to others.

-Keep in mind that everyone is different.  Not better or worse…just different!

-If you think you have bullied someone in the past, apologize.  Everyone feels better.

What do schools do?

The counselor provides information through whole-group lessons and small groups to address bullying.  Individual sessions may also be necessary for the bully and/or victim.

Since bullying is a case-by-case incident, the actions  taken can depend on a certain situation.  However, our approach is consistent.  Students, whether the bystander or victim, NEED to report bullying to an adult in the building.  From there, the principals, counselor, and/or  teachers investigate the situation.  Serious disciplinary action can result.  In fact, our school’s policy on “harassment, anti-intimidation, or bullying” is listed below:

Harassment, intimidation, or bullying behavior by any student/school personnel in the West Branch Local School District is strictly prohibited, and such conduct may result in disciplinary action, including suspension and or/expulsion from school. This policy includes Cyberbullying.

“Harassment, intimidation, or bullying”, in accordance with Ohio law, means any intentional written, verbal, graphic or physical acts including electronically transmitted acts i.e. Internet, cell phone, pager, personal communication device or either overt or covert, by a student or group of students toward one or more students/school personnel with the intent to harass, intimidate, injure, threaten, ridicule or humiliate. Such behaviors are prohibited on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any school sponsored activity, on school provided transportation or at any official school bus stop that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of:

Causing mental or physical harm to the other student/school personnel including placing and individual in reasonable fear of physical harm and/or damaging of students’ personal property; and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student/school personnel.

Anyone who witnesses or suspects that a student or adult is being harassed, intimidated or bullied in any way should report it immediately to the building principal.

Where can I find out more information?

There are a variety of resources that provide information for parents and children about bullying.  Here are a few links below:

*Stop Bullying Now
http://www.stopbullyingnow.com/index.htm
*Kids Against Bullying
http://www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org/
*PBS Go!
http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/friends/bullies/

*Stop Bullying. Gov
http://www.stopbullying.gov/kids





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