What is bullying?
Bullying is engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the district and that:
- has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or of damage to the student's property; or
- is sufficiently severe, persistent and pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student.
Helpful websites for parents and students
For parents: http://www.stopbullying.gov/index.html
For elementary students: http://KidsAgainstBullying.org
For middle and high school students: http://TeensAgainstBullying.org
For parents and students, including resources on building resiliency, respect, and relationships: http://stopbullyingnow.com/works/
The role of a bystander
Bullying situations usually involve more than the child(ren) who bully and the child(ren) who are bullied. They also involve bystanders—those who watch the bullying behavior happen or hear about it. Bystanders have a powerful role. Depending on how they respond, they can either be part of the problem (hurtful bystander) or part of the solution (helpful bystander).
Adults can teach children to become helpful bystanders by talking to them about the different ways bystanders can respond and make a difference. Stopbullying.gov developed an interactive website to help parents teach their children how to help others and get involved if they see bullying. Click on http://www.stopbullying.gov/respond/be-more-than-a-bystander/index.html to watch videos, read information, and download fact sheets.
92% of teens report going online daily, and 24% of them report they go online "almost constantly" (Pew Research Center, 2015). Children and teens are exposed to the internet and social media almost daily, whether through their own device or through friends. Have frequent conversations with your children about internet safety- including respecting themselves and others. Talk to your children about cyberbullying and its effects.
Below are some helpful conversation pieces to use while talking to your children:
- Set clear rules with your children regarding electronics and internet usage.
- Talk to your child about never sharing personal information with people online.
- Talk to your children about privacy. Explain that once things are posted online, they are forever accessible. Things online can be seen and distributed to anyone, without your permission or knowledge.
- Talk to your children about respecting others online.
- Talk to your children about respecting themselves online- do not use vulgar or sexually explicit language, and do not share sexually explicit photos online. Talk to your children about reporting anything threatening, mean, sexual, or concerning to you immediately.
For more information on cyberbullying, visit http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/index.html.
Download the KnowBullying App to access additional information, tips, and conversation starters.
Visit the EMS ISD website to get more information on bullying behaviors, tips on identifying and preventing bullying behaviors, and reporting forms.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact your child's school guidance counselor.