Did you know October is Bullying Awareness Month? It is very important for us to start teaching our children at a young age about the definition of bullying, what to do if you are being bullied or see someone else being bullied, and how to make sure you don't become a bully yourself. The last two weeks I was able to get in all classrooms to give a lesson on bullying. In PK- 2nd grades we watched, "Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies."
For 3rd- 4th Grade we watched a video called "Speak Up Against Bullying" and in 5th Grade we watched "How to Unmake a Bully".
All of these videos are excellent in describing, in a developmentally appropriate way, what bullying is, what is isn't, and how to handle those tough situations. We need to be sure that we understand that bullying is not just someone who decided to be mean or make a bad choice once or twice. That is simply just being mean, which is still a problem that needs to be solved, but can be solved much more easily than a true bullying situation. Bullying involves a targeted student who is hurt emotionally, verbally, and/or physically over and over again by the same person(s). This is a repeated act and is not something that is done randomly or just once or twice.
Here are some examples: 1.) A kid trips another kid on the track while they are running and laughs at them when they fall, but he has only done something mean to this kid one time and doesn't do it again. This is NOT bullying; it was a mean, isolated incident. It still needs to be addressed, but is not bullying. 2.) A student has picked a target and is constantly taking things from her lunch box and desk everyday, calling her names on the bus on the way to school, and pushing her around at recess or after school. This is occurring everyday by the same student. This IS bullying and should be reported immediately to a trusted adult.
We talked about how important it is to tell an adult right away if you think you are being bullied. If you are unsure, just ask and an adult can help you! Adults that can help are: parents, counselors, teachers, principals, bus drivers, school nurses, or any trusted adult! We also discussed that if you don't get help from one adult, keep telling until you do get help! Sometimes adults get so busy and don't understand the severity of what the child is trying to tell them, so I explained to the kids that they need to be very clear on how important and serious it is and keep telling. You can help to by really listening to your kids when they have a deep concern; even if you are used to their concerns not being too serious. You never know when a small problem could turn into a big one.
Here is a great website you can go to for more information on bullying:
October 21 is "Unity Day"! Have your kids wear orange to school, so we can all UNITE against bullying!!
Have a great weekend!! :-)