Bullying and Cyberbullying Information for Middle School Parents
Definition of Bullying: Bullying is commonly understood as behavior that: (a) is intended to cause mental distress and or physical harm, (b) exists in a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power and strength, and (c) is repeated over time.
Definition of Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying is when a student is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another student using electronic communication media. Such media includes, but is not limited to, e-mail messages, text messages, social networking sites, internet based video sites and posting of blogs.
Shepherd Middle School Provides the Following:
o Bullying lessons in the classrooms for students 6th-8th one time a month throughout the year.
o Anti-bullying poster campaign in October for Bullying Prevention Month.
o Bullying presentation to all 6th-8th students provided by the counselor.
o "Safe Zone" for students every day during lunch in counselor's office.
o Counseling/School Interventions
Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents:
Parents play a central role in preventing bullying and stopping it when it happens:
· Teach your child to solve problems without using violence and praise them when they do.
· Help give your child self-confidence to stand up for what they believe in.
· Ask your child about their day and listen to them when they talk about school, social events, their classmates, and any problems they have.
· Take bullying seriously. Many kids are embarrassed to say they have been bullied.
· If you see bullying, stop it right away, even if your child is the one doing the bullying.
· Encourage your child to help others who need it.
· Children will model the behavior of their parents and family environment. Please consider this in your daily interactions with your child/children as well as what they are exposed to in the media (TV, music, movies, etc).
Recognize the Signs of a Student Who May be Bullied:
· Many school absences
· Anxiety about attending school
· Withdrawal from peers and social activities
· Unusual sadness
· Frequent visits to the school nurse
· Unexplained cuts or bruises
· Fear of walking home/riding the school bus
· A decline in academic performance or motivation
Is My Child a Bully?
This is a difficult question for any parent to consider. The following signs may indicate your student has bullied others.
· Talks about other children in a negative way (wimp, loser, stupid).
· Talks as though other children deserve what happens to them (he asked for it).
· Doesn’t seem to care about others’ feelings.
· Behaves in a rough way towards others.
· Shows defiance (You can’t tell me what to do!).
· Is easily frustrated when they don’t get their own way.
· Is accused of bullying.
· Gets in trouble at school or elsewhere for fighting or saying mean things.
Cyberbullying Tips for Parents:
· Keep the computer in a common area of the house.
· Ask your child to tell you immediately about any uncomfortable online experiences, with assurances that you will not be angry if he or she confides in you.
· Consider the age of your child before allowing them on social networking sites.
· Consider filtering and monitoring software.
· Create a written internet safety plan with your child. Set rules for internet and e-mail use. Post these rules by your computer.
· Save or print inappropriate messages and pictures that your child has received.
· Contact your internet service provider and file a complaint if your child receives messages or images of concern.
· Talk frequently with your child. Discuss their online friends just as you talk about their other friends.
Resources for Parents:
· http://Netsmart.org: A kid friendly online workshop hosted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
· http://ncpc.org: The National Crime Prevention Council offers great information on many related topics including bullying and cyberbullying.
· http://safe.org: Internet safety education endorsed by the US Congress.
· http://wiredsafety.org: Free resource focusing on internet safety, help and education for internet users of all ages.
· http://getnetwise.org: A public service site by internet industry corporations and public interest organizations.
5558 Ray Ellison Blvd.
San Antonio, Texas 78242