• 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