SAP Newsletter

October 2020 - Bullying Prevention Month

What is Bullying?

Bullying is when someone hurts or scares another person repeatedly. The behavior is never appropriate and is intentional.


Bullying includes:.

  • Calling someone hurtful and derogatory names
  • Spreading lies and bad rumors about someone
  • Being mean and teasing someone
  • Hitting, punching, shoving, spitting and physically hurting someone
  • Being threatened or being forced to do things

Different Types of Bullying

Physical Bullying is the most obvious form of intimidation and can consist of kicking, hitting, biting, pinching, hair pulling, and making threats.

Verbal Bullying This can include name calling, spreading rumors, and persistent teasing.

Emotional Intimidation A bully may deliberately exclude you from a group activity such as a party or school outing.

Racist Bullying can take many forms: making racial slurs, spray painting graffiti, mocking the victim's cultural customs, and making offensive gestures.

Sexual Bullying is unwanted physical contact or abusive comments.

Cyberbullying is one or a group of kids or teens using electronic means via computers and mobile phones to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass or target another kid or teen.

Facts & Stats

The PA Youth Survey for Bucks County in 2019 reported:

  • 24.4% of students in Bucks County indicated experiencing bullying in the past 12 months.--Out of those students, 15.6% were bullied because of social standing.
  • 30.8% of students who reported being bullied in the past 12 months indicated it was because of their size (height, weight, etc.)
  • 60% of students who reported being hurt or abused by someone in the past 12 months indicated that it was emotional abuse, insults, and name calling.
  • 66% of students skipped school due to bullying fears in the past year.


Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to feelings of loneliness, rejection, exclusion, and hopelessness, in addition to depression and anxiety, which may lead to suicidal/homicidal behavior.

Signs of Bullying

There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying, whether they are being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing these warning signs is a very important first step in taking action against bullying. Take time to talk with your children if they are showing signs of being bullied OR bullying others.


Signs a Child is Being Bullied

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothes, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches; or faking an illness
  • Difficulty sleeping or having frequent nightmares
  • A decline in grades
  • A sudden loss of friends or avoiding social situations
  • Decrease in self-esteem
  • Self-destructive behavior- running away from home, harming themselves, talking about suicide

Bullying vs. Conflict

What exactly is the difference between bullying and conflict? Children face conflicts daily teaching them how to come to an understanding or agreement while learning problem solving skills. In conflict, those involved take responsibility of their actions and make compromises to resolve the problem. Whereas in bullying one student makes the decision to intentionally harm another, there is no compromising when bulling occurs.


Characteristics:


Peer Conflict

Everyone has equal power

Upset feelings by everyone involved

No one is afraid of the other

Usually not emotionally damaging

It never makes a student feel bad about themselves



Bullying

Imbalance of power - one student (or group) has control

The bully wants the other student to be afraid

A bully has no remorse for their actions

The issues are ongoing

The student being bullied feels bad about themselves

Serious emotional or physical threat occurs

How To Help

Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. They can:

  • Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Make sure kids know how to get help.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
  • Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
  • Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.

STOMP Out Bullying HelpChat Line

This HelpChat Line is a free and confidential online chat that helps youths ages 13-24 with issues around bullying and cyberbullying; as well as providing support to youths who may be at risk of suicide.

Click here to learn more about the HelpChat line: https://www.stompoutbullying.org/helpchat

Distance Learning & Cyberbullying

In this historic time, students are utilizing technology a lot more for learning and connecting with others. It is important that we remind our students to be safe, respectful, and know how to get help if they or someone they know is being cyberbullied.

PA Consultation Line: 1-866-716-0424

The Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Consultation Line is a toll free number available to school staff, students, and parents across the commonwealth. This line offers discussion of effective strategies and resources available to deal with school-based bullying. Messages can be left 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be returned Monday through Friday during normal business hours.