Dealing with bullying is a delicate and complex procedure. The Not In Our School (NIOS) Parent Guide for Preventing and Addressing Bullying and Intolerance highlights what you—as a parent—should do when your child is a victim of bullying. Acting rashly or not acting at all will do nothing to help your child, and this guide gives concrete and specific ideas on the best way to approach a very sensitive situation.
By Janet Sasson Edgette, Psy.D Sharing the quiet neighborhood in which I grew up was a girl I’ll call Marcie. Marcie wasn’t a particularly nice girl, but that didn’t stop me or any of the other kids in the neighborhood from trying to be her friend. She toyed sadistically and expertly with our wishes to be part of her “in” group. One summer she made each of us pinkie swear that we believed her story about there being the decapitated Frankenstein heads underneath the sewer lids on our street. I didn’t believe in Frankenstein, but I was afraid to not believe in Marcie. I spent one whole year engrossed in the terrible, tantalizing fantasy of lifting off those lids and finding heads in varying states of decay.
This article, written by Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, originally appeared in the June/July 2012 California State PTA newsletter. Not In Our Town has partnered with CAPTA to work together to address bullying and intolerance in schools throughout California. Dr. Cohn-Vargas is the director of Not In Our School and an experienced educator. We hear a lot about bullying, but do we ever stop to really think about what it is and the consequences of bullying? After all, isn't just kids being kids, a part of growing up? Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully among others may have serious, lasting problems. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can affect people in many ways. Some may lose sleep or feel sick. Students may want to skip school. Some may even be thinking about suicide.