Bullying in Public Schools seems to have become a hot topic lately. Yet it has always been around.
What is Bullying?
In WSFCS bullying is defined as:
Bullying is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic, or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, that places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property; or creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits. (Taken from the district Website)
Some different Types of Bullying include:
Verbal: Name Calling and Teasing (So yes names can hurt you, unlike that children’s song always taught us!)
Social: Spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose, breaking up friendships
Physical: hitting, punching, shoving (The much more obvious examples)
Cyberbullying: using the Internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to harm others (This is much newer and harder to identify, because children hide it for fear of losing privileges)
When the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has take a stand, stating that “Bullying, teasing, and harassment should not be considered normal rites of passage or just “kids being kids.”
It should make you wonder as parent and teacher, what have we been accepting all these years? And what drastic measures need to be taken to really make a change?
Is it fair that the student being bullied is the one that is constantly being told to change?
All of the talk shows have children on them that have been through extreme cases of bullying. How can you make sure that never happens to your child?
The first step is opening up the lines of communication.
- Listen to their concerns about friends and other students at the school and report issues when necessary. Winston Salem Forsyth County Schools has a Confidential Bullying Formthat you can fill out online.
- Make sure that your child understands what bullying is and that it can be much more than just physical and how to deal with it in a safe and successful manner.
- If your child doesn’t feel comfortable coming to you, make sure they have a trusted adult that can talk to when they or someone they know is being bullied.
- Encourage your child to pursue their interests! This will help them interact with peers that have similar goals and help them find confidence among friends.
- Know what is going on in your child’s school. Visit the school website, subscribe to the student website—and join the PTA mailing list. Get to know other parents, school counselors, and staff. Contact the school by phone or e-mail if you have suggestions to make the school a safer and better learning place.
If you would like more information about the WSFC School’s bullying policy please click here.
National Centerfor Bullying Prevention, available at http://www.pacer.org/bullying/mhs/index.asp