Bullying Issues Act 681 of 2003 Northwest Arkansas Child Care Resource & Referral Center 614 E. Emma, Suite # 135 Springdale, AR 72764 479-751-3463 www.nwachildcare.org www.parenting-ed.org email@example.com Carolene Thornton Ed.D Bullying is Repeated hurtful behavior by one or more persons toward another person or persons BULLYING Behaviors: Bullying behavior may include: physical, verbal, written and/or emotional abuse intended to be intimidating threatening harmful to another person. Bullying occurs whenever one or more persons enjoys using power to repeatedly and consistently harm one or more people. ACT 681 In 2003 the 84th General Assembly of the Arkansas State Legislature enacted House Bill #2274 as Act 681 of 2003 Requires every school to adopt anti-bullying policies. Requires publishing notice of the policy. Requires mandatory reporting. Recommends staff training. Requires filing of policy with ADE. Anti-Bullying Policy Required Every school and school district is required to adopt an anti-bullying policy including: A definition of bullying, Age appropriate consequences, A plan for publishing the policy, Provide training Policy to be Posted Bullying posters and consequences must be posted in every: Classroom Cafeteria Restroom Gymnasium Auditorium School Bus Policy Notification In addition, copies of this policy are to be given to: Parents Students School Volunteers School Employees Mandatory Reporting All school employees must report any incident of bullying. All incidents of bullying are to be reported to the school principal. The employee is immune from tort liability. Training The local school board may provide opportunities for school employees to participate in programs or other activities designed to develop the knowledge and skills to prevent and respond to acts covered by this policy. District Required to File The school district must file a copy of their policies with the Arkansas Department of Education. The Department of Education must review the policy and may make recommendations for changes or improvements. To be Considered Bullying: There must be: Repeated and consistent negative actions. Imbalance of power between the child who bullies and the target child. Contrasting feelings between the child who bullies and the target child as a result of the bullying. 4 Types of Bullying Physical Verbal Relational Cyber-Bullying PHYSICAL Physical bullies hurt people and/or damage property. VERBAL Verbal bullies use humiliation and insulting comments RELATIONAL Relational bullies (often girls) influence their peers to reject or exclude another child. Example: The movie: Mean Girls CYBER-BULLYING Using technology to: * Threaten * Intimidate * Scare * Gossip * Rumor * Demean * Harass Recent Bully Research Research suggests today that bullies tend to have: Inflated self esteem Need to feel powerful Family history Who are the Victims? Research studies have indicated that 1 in every 10 students are regularly harassed or hurt by bullies. A survey reflected that 87% of the 4th graders responding to a survey had been bullied. An ‘unscientific’ survey by a local northwest Arkansas educator found similar results. Anti-Bullying Programs We encourage all school districts to develop and implement a school-wide bullying program. Some suggested curriculum and books; Second Step BullyProofing Your Schools The Bully Free Classroom Set Straight on Bullies (video) How to Identify a Problem How do you know if bullying is a problem? Ask the students Perform a survey Have the students write essays Put up a suggestion box Use ‘silent’ complaint forms MYTHS about Bullying All bullying is physical. Bullying is just playing around. Bullying is normal peer conflict. Bullying is only a boy’s issue. Bullying has no lasting effects. Bullying behavior is seen only in children. Being bullied toughens you up. Bullying Bystander: Implied Approval; The Silent Majority Why do children allow others to bully? Fear of being targeted Feel helpless Entertaining How Bullying Affects the Target Child Low self- confidence Fear Depression Revenge Possible Future Problems for the target child Academic Problems Social Isolation Mental Health Issues Substance Abuse Clinical Depression How does Bullying Behavior Affect the Bully? Violence Manipulation Low Self Confidence Projection- psychological defense of one’s own unwanted characteristics. Possible Future Problems for the child who Bullies Academic Problems Vocational Difficulties Social Isolation Legal Problems Violence and Crime Warning Signs that Your Child is the Target of Bullying Any change in normal behavior Avoiding peers and social Reluctance to attend school or groupings at school. peer-centered activities at Avoiding the school cafeteria or school. playground. Unexplainable drop in Avoiding extracurricular academic performance activities. Torn clothing Loss of interest in activities Headaches, stomachaches, or formerly enjoyed. other unexplainable illnesses. Sad and depressed demeanor. Waking frequently, sleeping Reluctance to walk to or from more than normal, or other school. changes in sleep patterns. Reluctance to talk about what’s happening at school. What Teachers of Target Children Can Do to Help Teachers must be: Accessible Trustworthy Calm Listen Provide supervision Be supportive Accept the student’s feelings Role play responses Help them determine possible solutions. Reporting Bullying All school employees must report any bullying incidences to the school principal. School employees cannot be sued for reporting Practice Brainstorming Solutions with the Students When Should Parents Contact the School? When you’ve worked with him/her at home, but the problem remains serious when his/her academic performance is failing. when he/she is physically threatened. When the child seems to be depressed Contacting the School Gather as much information about the bullying episodes as possible. Schedule a meeting to discuss the problem with the teacher, counselor, and/or administrator. Develop an action plan. Put the plan into action. Have a follow up meeting to evaluate the action plan and discuss changes in behavior. Warning Signs Your Student/Child is a Bully Enjoys putting down other Believes “everything should go people. my way”. Doesn’t care whether others’ Won’t admit mistakes. feelings are hurt. Lies frequently to get out of Shows a disrespect for trouble. authority. Thinks rules are stupid. Shows a fascination with neo- Deliberately hurts pets or other Nazism or racial supremacy. animals. Shows disrespect for the Believes other people aren’t to opposite sex. be trusted. Makes jokes about rape or Refuses to admit fear. other violence against women. Uses anger to get what he/she Enjoys fighting. wants. Has an attitude of superiority over other children. What Teachers / Parents of Bullies Can Do? Teach your child/student to care about others. Teach your child/student to be a peacemaker. Teach your child/student to be responsible. Know when to seek professional help. Teach Your Students/Child to Care About Others Ask your children how they feel. Provide unconditional love. Focus on similarities and discuss differences between your child and others. Refuse to laugh at cruel or demeaning jokes. Be kind. Show kindness to animals. Follow the Golden Rule. Teach Your Students/Child to be a Peacemaker Use respectful discipline techniques. Use healing words “Thank you” “I love you” “I forgive you” Teach Your Students/Child to be Responsible Have a positive attitude. Be a model of honesty at all times. Provide good supervision. Be cooperative and supportive. Admit your mistakes. Empower your children to determine the classroom rules. Role model good behavior. Bullying Can be Stopped if We Learn to identify the problem Intervene effectively Build self esteem Teach problem-solving skills in children who are targeted by bullying. Encourage empathy, responsibility, and kindness in children who bully. Recognize and change insidious social myths about bullying. Take positive steps that will make more confident, better-behaved children to build a happier future. When do You Contact a Therapist? When you see serious signs of: Depression Anxiety Post-Traumatic Syndrome When do You Contact the Legal Authorities? Ask yourself the question: Has a delinquent act been committed? Know When to Seek Professional Help If your child’s serious behavior problems continue despite your best efforts, professional help may be necessary Encourage parents to contact a: Psychologist Social Worker Psychiatrist Feel Safe and Secure Every student/child has a right to a safe school. Free to learn without threats, aggression or intimidation.
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