There’s a bully in every school, but how can we protect our child from being one of his victims? It is their right to feel safe and protected. How can you work with the school to create a bully-free environment?
Ask about school policies
Concerned parents can band together and approach the school administration to ask for their policies regarding respect and tolerance. Are there any sanctions against proven cases of bullying? What is the procedure for filing a case? What preventive measures are they taking? For example, how do they help children understand exactly what can be done when faced with a bully so that they have effective ways to resolve the situation before it gets too far?
If there are no policies on bullying, advocate for the adoption of guidelines on bullying to address this serious impediment to learning. Ensure the policy considers all forms of bullying.
The SAFE method for bullies
It helps to talk to your child about how to deal with a mean kid’s verbal or physical attack. Share these rules and role-play so your child can think of what to say or know how to carry himself.
S if for Stand up for yourself. Stand proud. Make eye contact. Tell the bully to stop. Act confident.
A is for Ask a friend or adult to help. Tell a trusted teacher, principal, and parent. Write about it if it is easier then give to a trusted adult. Keep asking for help until you get it. Telling is not tattling.
F is for figure out your choice. Think about different ways to handle it – should you stand up to the bully? Walk away? Use humor? Respond evenly and firmly? Avoid unsafe situations, and identify a safe place you can go to if you are being bullied. Realize that it’s not worth getting hurt to save possessions.
E is for End it calmly. Refuse to listen or believe anything the bully said. Treat the person bullying the way you like to be treated.