Putting an End to Bullying: Helping All Children Feel Safe

Parents and Schools working together for Bully Free Schools

What is bullying?

Bullying occurs when one child notices that another child is vulnerable and then takes advantage of this information. Bullying involves repeated acts, where someone is being hurt either physically or emotionally, or is being humiliated. The bully enjoys feeling this power and derives enjoyment from hurting the other person.

Did you know that?

In Canada the research shows:

  • 20% of children from Grade 1 to 8 reported that they had been involved in 1 or 2 incidents of bullying, in that term.
  • Boys and girls were equally likely to be bullied, or to be the bully.
  • The most common place to be bullied is in the playground. Even with the best of intentions, school staff notice and intervene in only 1 out of 25 incidents.
  • In the classroom an incident of bullying occurs once every 25 minutes.

Understanding bullying…

Bullying is a learned behaviour. When some children realize that:

  • They can use their power to get their way with other kids
  • They don’t get into trouble with either adults or other kids because of their behaviour
  • They feel very powerful and feel encouraged to continue.

Why some kids don’t tell

  • They are afraid that they will get into more trouble from the bully.
  • They feel pressure to cope with this problem themselves and they don’t believe that adults are able to help them.

What to look for to know if your child might be the target of a bully?

  • Your child may become generally more sad, fearful and/or anxious
  • He or she may lose interest in school and may become afraid to go to school
  • He or she may have difficulty sleepingHe or she may wait to use the washroom at home.
  • He or she may have unexplained bruises or torn or damaged possessions or clothing.

To assist your child you may need to remind him or her that:

  • It is not your fault. No one deserves to be bullied.
  • That you, as the parent, will do what ever is necessary to make sure that they are safe at school and in the community.
  • It is very important to tell an adult when you are being bullied, since keeping the bully’s secret only ensures that he/she can continue to hurt you, or others, without getting into trouble.
  • Becoming aggressive and hitting back is more likely to make the trouble worse.

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