Reporting Bullying to an Adult
Bullying is a serious matter that parents need to know about and understand. According to statistics from the Health Resources and Services Administration and the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, 1 out of every three students (5.7 million children) is involved in some way with bullying.
This involvement can mean that students are the perpetrators, victims, or both. Bullying behaviors have increased in schools by 5% this year alone. An estimated 15 to 20% of those involved in bullying were the bullies, and 15 to 25% of those involved were the bullied. You must teach your child about bullying and teach your child ways to prevent bullying from happening.
Why Reporting Bullying to an Adult is Important
Reporting bullying is important because it is the only way that bullying stops in many cases. Help your child to understand that bullying is not okay. Even if your child is not the one on the receiving end of the bullying, it is important to report this information to an adult. Reporting bullying is the only way that an “action plan” can be created to stop the increase in frequency of bullying. You must also help your child to identify the who, what, when, where, and how of reporting bullying. This may seem complicated, but it is very simple. The following are questions that your child should be ready to answer in the event he or she is bullied or is a witness to a bullying situation:
- Who is bullying whom?
- What happened in the situation?
- Where did the bullying take place?
- When did the bullying happen?
- How frequently does the bullying take place?
Your child should write the answers to these questions on a sheet of paper and provide this information to a trusted adult. If you notice, there is not a why in the questioning set. There is never a reason that any child should bully another. Make sure your child understands that he or she did nothing wrong and does not deserve to be bullied.
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Teaching Kids to Report Bullying to a Trusted Adult
This may be hard for children—especially middle school aged children. Some consider telling on bullies “snitching” in today’s schools. No one wants to be accused of tattling on others. You must teach your child to identify trusted adults to tell about bullying. Here are a few helpful tips to help you teach your child to report bullying to adults:
- Sit down with your children to discuss bullying. The two of you can make a list of trusted adults to reach out to and talk to about bullying. Good examples of adults that your child can trust are teachers, bus drivers, family friends, and grandparents. It may be a good idea if your child has the phone numbers to contact these individuals in the event an incident takes place.
- You and your child can practice writing a letter reporting bullying to an adult. If your child is afraid to be seen talking to an adult at school, it may be a good idea to practice drafting a letter to a trusted adult that includes all of the pertinent information about the bullying incident. Use the above questions to create an example in the event bullying takes place. Students can simply place the letter on the teacher’s desk or in a mailbox and no one will ever know that a specific individual reported the bullying incident.
- Encourage your children to identify a trusted friend to help to report bullying. A good friend may provide the required support your child needs to report bullying. It may be easier for your children to confide in an adult with the support of a peer nearby. Sitting near this peer during lunch, and class may even prevent situations in which bullying can take place.
- Encourage your child to suggest that the school set up anonymous “bullying boxes” around the school. These boxes may serve as a way for students to report bulling that takes place within the school in an anonymously It may even be a good idea if your child offers suggestions for ways to prevent bullying from taking place at school.
Teaching Kids Not to Give Up On Reporting Bullying
Your children should understand that bullying might not stop after telling the first adult. Help your children to understand that giving up on reporting bullying is like letting the bully win. Continuing to report the incidents to adults is the only way to alleviate the problem of bullying. Here are a few suggestions to help your children persist in reporting bullying to adults:
- If the first adult does nothing about the problem, always report bullying to another trusted adult. Have your child to discuss the previous bullying problems with the next adult and ask the adult to help with creating an “action plan” to prevent the bullying from occurring in the future.
- Encourage your children to take the complaint to a higher authority. If bullying occurs in school and nothing changes, your child needs to report the matter to the principal of the school. Discuss the matter in private with the principal and discuss all parties that have been involved in the matter to date. Students should express grievances and concerns about the matter at this time.
- Encourage your child to solicit the help of adults to create an anti-bullying organization within the school or community. An organization, such as the Student Council, is great with organizing campus events. The organization can arrange for guest speakers to discuss the harmful nature of bullying. The organization may also enact an Anti-Bullying Policy within the school that has zero tolerance for bullying.
- Your child may discuss the idea of creating an online bully reporting system within school personnel. Student can anonymously report bullying to the adults at school without worrying about the consequences for reporting the incident.
The victims of bullying do not deserve to suffer in silence. The only way to stop bullying is to report it. Teach your child to persist until the matter is taken care of properly. Encourage your child to continue reporting bulling until someone stops it from happening. Make sure that you and your children have an excellent line of communication in which discussing matters, such as bullying, is encouraged.
Article by Trax4Life Media Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved.