Monday, October 1, 2012

Focusing on Bully Prevention

October marks the month where we focus efforts on bully prevention. Whether you are an adolescent or an adult, bullying is never okay and by taking a stand, we can help stop bullying or prevent it from occurring.

WHAT IS BULLYING?
There are various types of bullying but in its most basic form, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior from one person or a group of people. Bullying can continue for a short time or a long time but it is shown that those who bully and those who are bullied, can have serious lasting problems. Examples of bullying include: name-calling, teasing, taunting, threatening to cause harm, to name a few. Social bullying exists too in the form of leaving people out on purpose, spreading rumors, telling someone not to be friends with another person or embarrassing someone in public. Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, punching and screaming or taking someone’s things is also a serious problem. Bullying can occur during school hours or after school hours. 

CYBER-BULLYING
Cyber-bullying is bullying that occurs through the internet or electronic technology. Most cyber-bullying can occur through emails or on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It could be a mean text message or an embarrassing photo or even fake profiles created to bully someone.

Sadly, kids who are cyber-bullied usually end up skipping school, using alcohol or drugs, have a lower self esteem and have more health problems than the average kid.  

UTILIZE RESOURCES AND GET INVOLVED
Everyone plays a role in bully prevention whether you are a student, teacher, parent or onlooker of bullying. That is why it is so important that as a community we make an effort to stop and prevent future bullying. Make sure to talk to kids about bullying so that they understand it is not acceptable behavior. Explain the warning signs and how they can report bullying to teachers, parents or trusted adults. Communicate with kids and make them feel comfortable enough to tell you if bullying is occurring with them or someone they know.
It is a great idea to talk about how to stand up to a bully as well. They can use tips such as humor or telling the person directly to stop or even just walking away from the situation. Encourage kids to help other kids they might see being bullied too. At www.stopbullying.gov there are numerous tips, videos and tons of information on bullying and how to prevent it from happening to others or even you.

Links to great informational resources on bullying:
http://www.stopbullying.gov/index.html

http://whatsyourstory.trendmicro.com/internet-safety/pg/internet-safety

www.GrowingWireless.com/

Check out these videos on examples of bullying and take the quiz after viewing:
Here is a great article on how one woman dealt with bullying:
http://shine.yahoo.com/women-who-shine/sikh-woman-balpreet-kaur-turns-cyber-bullying-incident-203500244.html



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