Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional (not accidental or done in fun) and that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Often, bullying is repeated over time. Bullying can take many forms, such as: hitting or punching, teasing or name-calling, intimidation through gestures, social exclusion, and sending insulting messages or pictures by mobile phone or using the Internet (also known as cyberbullying).
Bullying in schools is becoming more prevalent and affects ALL students.
o Bullying can seriously affect the mental health, academic work, and physical health of children who are targeted.
o Children who bully are more likely than other children to be engaged in other antisocial, violent, or troubling behavior.
o Bullying can negatively affect children who observe bullying going on around them–even if they aren’t targeted themselves.
How can you prevent bullying at your school?
o Contact your school’s principal immediately if you feel that your child is being bullied or is bullying another child.
o Find out what program your school is using to educate and prevent bullying.
If your school does not have a bullying prevention program, contact your PTA, counselor or principal to bring Theatre Action Project’s “The Courage to Stand” into your school. This five hour program for 4th- 6th graders deals with bullying and what children can do to stand up for themselves and others in a bullying situation. TAP uses the magic of theatre to truly engage students in the topic. Through the performance students can connect to the characters and really understand how it feels to be bullied.
The program has been touring to area schools since 2001 and more than 10,000 young people have participated in the program. Recent evaluations show that 90% or more of young people learn specific tactics for helping to end bullying in their school through the program. Click here for more information: Courage to Stand.
The US government also has a great website with resources, lessons and games about bullying prevention. The website has a section for parents and for children.