Say “No” to Bullying

Updated

You know that bullying is a serious concern when the month of October nationally has been named Bullying Prevention Month. In Evergreen School District, we take a strong stance against bullying. And we want you to know that your children have the right to learn and participate in a safe and positive school environment free from bullying. 

According to StopBullying.gov, bullying is defined as an unwanted and aggressive behavior that happens repeatedly and involves a real or perceived imbalance of power. This usually involves someone using physical strength, great popularity, or embarrassing or humiliating information to control or harm another person. There are four main types of bullying: 

  • verbal (e.g. name calling)
  • social (e.g. intent to tarnish one’s reputation or instigate conflict) 
  • physical (e.g. causing harm by kicking, hitting or punching) and 
  • cyber (e.g. purposely shaming on social media, texts, voicemails or email). 

Bullying often occurs when an adult is not present. For both a child who experiences bullying and a child who is a bully, there can be negative long term effects.  

Signs Your Child May Be Experiencing Bullying

Kids who are bullied can experience:

  • anger, anxiety, depression, helplessness, loneliness, and low self-esteem
  • changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • refuse to go to school or change their routes to and from school
  • decline in grades
  • unexplained injuries
  • feeling ill or faking sickness (e.g. stomach aches or headaches) 

Additionally, your child may ask for money without a reasonable explanation.

Signs Your Child May Be the BULLY

While parents do not want to admit that their child is a bully, it is important to be aware of the potential signs that your child might be a bully, so that you can stop such negative behavior. Kids may be bullying others if they:

  • get into frequent physical or verbal fights
  • are aggressive towards other children, adults and/or animals
  • have friends who bully others
  • test boundaries and break rules
  • lack empathy for others
  • don’t accept responsibility
  • get sent frequently to the principal’s office or to detention 
  • have unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • blame others for their problems

How to Discuss Bullying with Your Child

Talking to your child about whether they are being bullied can be a difficult conversation. The STOMP Out Bullying organization offers tips on how to communicate with your child about this issue. 

Rather than asking your children directly if they are being bullied, the organization suggests using the following statements to elicit information:

  • “I’ve heard a lot about bullying in the news. Is that going on at your school?”
  • “I’m worried about you. Are there any kids at school who may be picking on you or bullying you?”
  • “Are there any kids at school who tease you in a mean way?”
  • “Are there any kids at school who leave you out or exclude you on purpose?”

Some subtle questions are:

  • “Do you have any special friends at school this year? Who are they? Who do you hang out with?”
  • “Who do you sit with at lunch and on the bus?”
  • “Are there any kids at school who you really don’t like? Why don’t you like them? Do they ever pick on you or leave you out of things?”

Source: Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied - Tip Sheet

Our schools will continue to work toward keeping students safe from bullying by teaching them prosocial behavior through our social emotional curriculum. If your child is being bullied at school, please contact a school administrator. 

Resources

StopBullying.Gov Resources

Helping Your Child - What Parents Should Know About Bullying - PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center

Frequently Asked Questions about Bullying (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

Bullying Prevention Resources from Committee for Children

Clipart source

Updates and Support Resources from your

Evergreen Wellness Team

Visit the Evergreen Wellness website for mental health and self care resources for students, parents, and teachers.