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Bully Prevention Parent Workshop


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									Bully Prevention
Parent Workshop

Freetown – Lakeville Middle School

Dave Patota - Principal
Sarah Duggan - Assistant Principal
         Recent News Headlines

   “Net Bullying Blamed for Girl's Death”
   “Bullies Blamed In Teen's Death”
   “Death by Cyber-bully”
   “Girl's Death Linked to Cyber Bullying”
   “Teen Commits Suicide Due to Bullying”
   “Three Newburyport teens have been charged
    this week in cyber-bullying”
State definition of bullying
Bullying is defined as the repeated use of a written, verbal, electronic
   communication, physical act or gestures, or any combination
   thereof, by one or more students directed at another student that
   has the effect of:
 Causing physical or emotional harm to the other student or damage
   to his or her property.
 Placing another student in reasonable fear of harm to him or herself
   or of damage to his or her property.
 Creating a hostile environment at school for the bullied student.
 Infringing on the rights of the other student at school.
 Materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the
   orderly operations of a school.
This bill prohibits bullying:
   At school and at all school facilities.
   At school-sponsored or school related functions, whether
    on or off school grounds
   On school buses and school bus stops
   Through the use of technology or an electronic device
    owned, licensed or used by a school
   At non-school related locations and through non-school
    technology or electronic devices, if the bullying effects
    the school environment
    Myths about Bullying

Myth #1     Bullying is just a
            part of growing up.
                            Myth #1
    Bullying is just a part of growing up.

   Children who either witness or are subjected to physical and
    emotional abuse over time, without the intervention of caring
    adults, may perpetuate those behaviors in their dealings with
    others – in extreme cases leading to dramatic acts of
   Children who are targets often exhibit poor social skills,
    opening them up to further isolation and torment. Such
    isolation and taunting begin a downward spiral where a
    target’s plummeting self-esteem and lack of social support
    deprive him or her of the means necessary to improve his or
    her social and emotional health.
   Myths about Bullying

              Bullying effects
Myth #2       a small number
              of kids.
                          Myth #2
        Bullying effects a small number of kids.
   75 to 90 percent of adolescents report being bullied
    during their school years.
   Students in a school climate where emotional safety is
    not assured suffer a diminished capacity to learn.
   It is important to realize bullying does not merely affect
    individuals. Taunting, exclusion, and other acts of
    aggression contaminate the whole school
    environment. It’s vital that prevention and intervention
    efforts be aimed not merely at individual bullies and
    targets, but at the entire school culture.
   Myths about Bullying

              Kids can work it out
Myth #3       themselves or just
              tell an adult who’ll
              take care of it.
                              Myth #3
    Kids can work it out themselves or just tell an adult
                       who’ll take care of it.
    Much bullying happens outside the ears and eyes of caring
     school personnel – on sidewalks coming to school, in the
     school yard, on buses, in bathrooms, and on playing fields.
    All bullying prevention programs must find ways for adults to
     step up supervision and intervention, but only a small portion
     of the problem can be addressed solely by increased adult
    For anti-bullying programming to work it must have
     participation and investment of the entire school community.
    Many adults assume children will not tattle on other children
     who bully, but research shows this is incorrect. Children who
     believe adults will intervene effectively on their behalf are
     willing to share critical information regarding bullying events.
  Myths about Bullying

               Our schools are
Myth #4        safe.
                          Myth #4
                Our schools are safe.
   Students feel risk from all sorts of hurtful conduct from peers
   Even if they are not targets of abusive conduct, children who
    witness the abuse of others fear they might be next.
   Young people often go to great lengths to avoid school
    bathrooms, locker rooms, certain hallways, or the floor or
    domain of upper classman for fear of abuse.
   Efforts to ensure safety – metal detectors, emergency drills –
    ironically have the opposite effect.
   Any efforts to bully-proof a school must address both real and
    perceived threats to young people and their emotional and
    physical safety.
   Myths about Bullying

              Most targets are
              kids who are
Myth #5       overweight, odd
              looking, or have
              some sort of
              physical problem.
                         Myth #5
       Most targets are kids who are overweight, odd
      looking, or have some sort of physical problem.

   Research has established that overweight and special needs
    youth are indeed at higher risk for being targets of bullying.
    BUT . . . .
   So are gifted and talented students and overweight youth are
    as likely to be perpetrators of bullying as they are victims.
   The physical characteristic which puts children most at risk of
    bullying are being physically smaller and weaker than their
   Those who bully choose verbal harassment and violent
    behaviors that exploit existing systematic inequalities in our
    society, such as those relating to race, gender traits,
    biological sex, disabilities, sexual orientation, learning
    disabilities (special needs) and economic disadvantage.
   Myths about Bullying

Myth #6       Bullies have low
                   Myths about Bullying
       Bullies have low self-esteem.
   Studies by leading researchers show bullies are generally as
    popular and possess similar levels of self-esteem and
    intelligence as more well-adjusted young people.
   Bullies are not born bullies – they learn bullying behavior.
    Many learn to be aggressive from the way they are treated by
    bigger or more powerful people in their lives – usually parents,
    or some other authority figure, but also their peers.
   Bullies tend to come from families characterized as “too little
    love and care and too much freedom.”
   Research shows children are born with the capacity for
    empathy, but erratic and unsympathetic parenting and the
    resulting anxious attachments to their caregivers can inhibit
                 Myths about Bullying
       Bullies have low self-esteem.
   Many bullies seem to show little concern for their victims,
    are unable to take the perspective of others, and lack the
    everyday filters of conscience that keep other young
    people from hurting each other.
   Cultural messages such as popular music, TV shows,
    movies, and video games often glorify violence and
    aggression and reinforce a bully’s actions.
   Racism, sexism, ageism, classism, homophobia, and
    other institutionalized forms of oppression are also
    common themes in pop culture, and in turn are often the
    dynamic between bully and victim.
   Myths about Bullying

              “Once a bully,
Myth #7       always a bully.”
              Myths about Bullying
    “Once a bully, always a bully.”
   Research shows that without intervention,
    myth #7 is often a reality – bullies who are
    identified by around age eight are at risk of
    a lifetime of bullying. But prevention and
    intervention efforts can make a difference.
   Because bullies learn to be bullies, they can
    also learn pro-social skills.
   Myths about Bullying

          “Boys   will be boys.”
Myth #8
                Myths about Bullying
               “Boys will be boys.”
   Studies show girls are involved in bullying almost as
    much as boys.
   Girls are more likely to suffer from cyber-bullying.
   Girl’s bullying is more often related to social aggression
    such as exclusion and gossip and boys to physical
   Girls have their own narrow definition of acceptable
    behavior and shame to contend with for behavior and
    physical appearance outside the norm.
          The Effect on Victims

   Approximately 160,000 school children stay home
    from school each day out of fear, often without telling
    their parents why.
   Targets of bullying experience higher than normal
    levels of insecurity, anxiety, depression, low self-
    esteem, and other physical and mental symptoms.
   The stress brought on by chronic bullying leads to a
    diminished ability to learn.
   In extreme cases, targets can resort to violence and
     The Effects on Bystanders
   75% of students report feeling ashamed when
    they witness bullying.
   48% of students agreed that coming to the aid of a
    victim reduces their social standing.
   Being exposed to violence and maltreatment is
    associated with “increased depression, anxiety,
    anger, post-traumatic stress, alcohol use, and low
         The Effects on Bullies
   Adults who bullied as children have higher rates of
    substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes), domestic
    violence, and other violent crimes.
   Bullies identified by age 8 are six times more likely to be
    convicted of a crime by the time they reach 24 and five
    times more likely to end up with a serious criminal record
    by age 30.
   Bullies can be quite popular in middle school, but by the
    time they get to high school bullies are less popular. In
    adulthood, they tend to have few friends and appear to
    perpetuate the cycle of violence in their children by
    rewarding aggression. They have negative attitudes
    about school and tend to pass them on to their children.
   One study showed bullies have a higher rate of suicide
    than their victims.
Keys to Bullying Prevention at School

   Research shows the best bullying prevention efforts are
    comprehensive in nature and are supported by a positive
    school culture. Schools where bullying is less likely to
    happen and, when it does, more likely to be reported and
    corrected, are schools that promote caring, compassion,
    and a sense of responsibility among students and adults.
   Developing a positive school culture is systematic in
    nature. Rather than trying to “fix” individual students,
    best practices in bullying prevention span the school
    community, involve all adults and reach beyond the
    school setting into the wider community.
What FLMS has to offer . . .
   A strongly instituted set of Core Values
                     (Respect, Responsibility, and Resiliency)
   Positive Building Culture
           (CARE Awards Recognizing Positive Social Behaviors Monthly)
 Rachael’s Challenge/Friends of Rachael
(Promotes acts of kindness and compassion. Develops student leadership in
   7th grade and carries over into 8th grade)
 Peer Mediation
(Guidance department helping students solve disputes in a positive and safe
   Student Workshops/Parent Workshops
Action Steps to Investigate Bullying
   We take all acts of bullying seriously.
     All school staff are required to report any acts of
      bullying to building administration
     The building administration will thoroughly investigate
      all reported cases of bullying
     Notify the parents and guardians of students involved
      in bullying, including perpetrators and victims
     Effective disciplinary action will be taken
     Appropriate services will be made available for
      students who have been bullied or who are bullies
What parents can do . . .
   Teach kids to solve problems without using violence and praise
    them when they do.
   Ask your children about their day and listen to them talk about
    school, social events, their classmates, and any problems they
   Give children positive feedback when they behave well to boost their
    self-esteem. Help give them self-confidence to stand up for what
    they believe in. Encourage your child to help others that need it.
   Take bullying seriously. Many kids are embarrassed to say they
    have been bullied. You may only have one chance to help.
   Don’t bully your children or bully others in front of them. Many times
    kids who are bullied at home react by bullying other kids. If your
    children see you hit, ridicule, or gossip about someone else, they
    are likely to do so themselves.

   Presentation Information
Much of the information provided in this
presentation was taken from:
Direct from the Field: A Guide to
Bullying Prevention by Laura Parker-
Roerden, David Rudwick, and Donald
Gorton provided by the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts

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