Monday, October 3, 2011


Here is an article I came across online. Before I write what it said, we have been facing some hazing and bullying.  Nothing horribly bad, but still happening.  And it is frustrating when school officials and parent won't make children take responsibility for what they have done.  I am not going to give very many details because we are still going though it.  But here is that article.

The lessons I have learned will stay with me for a lifetime:

1. Believe your child. Listen let them vent as many times as they need to. Make sure they know you are in their corner.
2. Never tell a child to say, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me". The name-calling does hurt. There are many scars that come from the words used and a child remembers.
3. At the first signs of bullying, get involved and stay involved until you get a resolution. I even joined the parent council so I would have a reason to be around the school more. Expect resolution. State the issues clearly, and your expectations.

4. When you are met with resistance, go higher; go to the trustee, the board, the police, the paper, and the blogosphere if needed. Actions have to be taken to keep our kids safe especially if you get the wall of, “Oh, it is just kids being kids,’ or ‘We should expect a little roughhousing.’
5. Bullying does not build character; it destroys it. Children who are bullied on a regular basis develop low self-esteem. Bullying changes a child's concept about themselves and the world around them. They become less trusting.
6. Bullying is a learned behavior. That is one of the most important things I found out. My daughter learned it was okay to bully and there would be few consequences. Did you know 93% of videogames reward violence? We as a community need to teach kids how to keep the violence in context. So far we are doing a lousy job of it.
7. There is no longer room in our vocabulary to say, "There have always been bullies, and there always will be bullies."  A leading expert in the field of bullying, Shelley Hymel, says, "It takes a whole nation to change a culture". We need the community working together to change the attitudes around bullying.

I have learned it is time for all of us to step up to the plate if we truly want to stop the bullying that plagued my daughter and so many other children. We all are needed on the field as a community working together for a common goal.

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