19 March 2015
Bully Free Zone!
The 2015 National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence will be held this Friday, 20 March 2015.
It’s a chance for all schools to say: Bullying. No Way! and to strengthen their existing everyday messages that bullying and violence at school are not okay at any time.
According to Bullying. No Way!, bullying can be defined as, ‘an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious or hidden.
Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.’
Bullying sucks. It’s awful to watch your child go through it, and you can feel really powerless. It’s just as awful if your child is the one called the bully.
So as parents, students, teachers, what can we do?
My son’s school sent through a bullying info sheet this week. I really loved its practical and calm tone and approach. It encouraged parents to listen to their children, and that our calm response was a really important part of the process.
To say things like, ‘that’s really unfair. Everyone should feel safe at school.’
And most importantly, to ask your child what they would like to happen, and what they would like you to do. They’re already feeling powerless so this way you ensure that the power remains with them.
The Bullying. No Way! website also offers practical tips for identifying bullying, looks at reasons why children may bully others, and advice on if your child is the one being called the bully.
In the Take a Stand Together section of the website there are fantastic pages specifically targeting kids 14 years and older, 13 or younger and 8 or younger, and how to handle bullying situations they may find themselves in or be a witness to.
Get involved and register your school today! Go to http://register4.bullyingnoway.gov.au/Pages/register-2015.aspx and fill in your school’s details. Please note that only the school principal and their staff may fill in this form.
I love this idea from Down That Little Lane to explain bullying to kids:
Take a piece of paper and tell the children to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it is. Tell them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, you can point out all the scars they left behind. Explain that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it.
That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever.
The looks on the faces will let you know that the message has hit home.
Bullying. No Way! is managed by the Safe and Supportive School Communities (SSSC) Working Group. The SSSC includes education representatives from the Commonwealth and all states and territories, as well as national Catholic and independent schooling representatives.
Check out Bullying. No Way! for lots more info.
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[Images courtesy of The Huffington post]