Often times people believe that bullies do what they do because they are bad people. That is rarely the case, bullies sometimes have been victims themselves and lack the coping skills necessary to deal with their issues in a health fashion. Comedians Key and Peele examine this philosophy in a humorous fashion.
It is bullying awareness month! So I would like to take this opportunity to shed some light on the signs and symptoms of bullying. In addition, I would like to take a moment to talk about the pathology of a bully. As educators, we know our students, this make us the first line of defense with regard to bullying. Keep your eyes open and be aware, as you may save a child from the atrocities of bullying one day. Below is a list of things that you can do in your classroom to combat bullying.
Greetings Allies! As you all know, the new school year is upon us; and Bullies Stink is excited to get back into the schools and having courageous conversation. But what we wanted to do today, is make sure that you know that Bullies Stink is finalizing our calendar so we can continue to bring you quality anti-bullying programming with a culturally inclusive message. So, as promised, this is what we have been up to!
-Carolyn Strong, founder of Bullies Stink! will be the guest blogger for the we are gifted too blog; stay tuned for details!
-Bullies Stink radio will be returning to the airwaves just in time for bullying awareness month! Make sure that you tune in; thanks to the email, text and social media feedback; we have been able to tailor the show just for you...way to go Allies!
-We are in the final stages of finalizing our calendar for the 2013-2014 school! But in the meantime, you can catch Carolyn presenting at the Illinois Principals Association annual conference in Peoria, IL on October 22, 2013.
-We have some amazing things to update you about regarding our summer activities; and Carolyn has exciting news that she cannot wait to share with you!
Until next time, keep courageously conversing!
As school begins for some and approaches for others, I would like to take moment to address some issues that may have been filed away in an effort to enjoy the summer. While students file into classrooms and pick up where they left off with their friends and classmates; there are other, more ominous relationships that will continue as well, the relationship between the bully and the bullied. In the interest of making sure that we know what is going on with our children, we should understand the signs and symptoms of being bullied, along with strategies for intervention.
If a child is being bullied, they may not necessarily come right out and say so. It may be up to us as adults to read between the lines and figure out when a child is having an issue. This is also when knowing your child becomes essential. There is no laundry list of behaviors that I can give you that will symbolize that a child is being bullied; however there are some behaviors that may suggest there is a problem. However prior knowledge of the child’s disposition is always helpful. For example, one of the symptoms of bullying is a child becoming shy and with-drawn; if this is a part of the child’s personality already, it is probably nothing; if this demeanor is new, then it is probably a red flag. Below you will find a list of behaviors that may be associated with bullying; please use them wisely and take the child’s personality into account when applying them.
-child has become shy and withdrawn
-child no longer wants to attend school
-child has become fixated and begin to come home talking about one child’s treatment of them constantly.
-child may no longer enjoy things that they once enjoyed.
-sudden change in grades and/or school attendance.If you notice that your child is exhibiting these behaviors, please talk to the child and try to ascertain what may be going on. If you determine that further intervention is needed please seek help, and do not try to tackle the problem alone.
The countdown to summer has begun and if your children are anything like mine, they cannot wait to be out of school or the next couple of months. But as parents, what we need to keep up front is that the proliferation of technology has made it possible for school yard bullying to go on all summer long. I remember as a child, how much I looked forward to the summer; because in addition to being able to have fun in the sun, it also meant that my bully could not torment me for a whole 2 1/2 months! But unfortunately, thanks to cyberspace, that summer respite no longer exists for our kids. So, if you are a parent of a child that is being bullied, please make sure that you continue to keep a watchful eye on them and remember, just because the child is not in school does not mean that the bullying has ceased. Children still have summer access to facebook, twitter, instagram and texting. They still have their finger on the pulse of what is going on in kid world.
CYBERBULLYING DOES NOT TAKE HOLIDAY!
So, in the meantime, what can we as parents do to make sure that we keep our children safe from summer cyber attacks?
I hope these tips help you and yours navigate the summer, until then, keep courageously conversing.
I had the honor and the privilege of travelling to Orlando, Florida to participate in the National Conference on Bullying. I must say that the conference was jammed pack with people that were there and willing to learn. It does my heart good to know that so many people are dedicated to the cause of eradicating bullying. In addition to being a participant in some sections, I had the opportunity to present two sessions of my own, "Black Girl Blues, An Examination of Intra Racial Bullying" and "Yo Momma So, the Dozens and Bullying Culture" Both sessions were jammed packed with people that were ready to get down to the business of helping kids and saving lives. We were able to enlighten some and validate others about unspoken rules of being young in today's society. I cannot wait to do it again!
Until next time, keep courageously conversing
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Bobbie Bean, author of "Shattered Dreams, Broken Patriot." While his story was a heart-wrenching tale of all that can go wrong when dealing with a bullying situation; the one thing that stood out in my mind was the importance of conversation. As I read his book I was left with a litany of "what ifs." "What if someone had reported to an adult that Matthew had been attacked on the bus?" "What if someone had reported this incident in the locker room to an adult?" "What if the school nurse had instructed Matthew's parents to seek medical attention?" All of these things could have potentially changed this outcome for the Bean family; but no one spoke up...no one was willing to have a conversation.
Outcomes like this one are why it is necessary to have courageous conversations, why we need to teach our children right from wrong, and why we need to model for them what to do when one meets a wrong. We have to open our mouths and say , "no, this is not ok." And we have to do it soon. Or there will not be much of a "normal" left to fight for.
Until next time, keep courageously conversing..
Carolyn Strong, BulliesStink Founder & Author
Carolyn Strong, MAT MEd