Friday, October 7, 2016

Bullying for Parents: What You Should Know (Part I)

Parents and schools working together provide the united front necessary to reduce bullying. Both educators and parents have powerful online resources available to them; however, parents may not be aware of these resources or know how to access them.

The US Department of Education site,, provides a wealth of information for awareness, prevention, and intervention. While many sites provide toolkits and action plans, the site starts at awareness and lists some possible warning signs that children are being bullied. The following are some warning signs from a very comprehensive list:
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
Another valuable online resource is the site for the National PTA's program Connect for Respect (C4R) that promotes proactive and responsive parental involvement in schools.  The C4R is a research-based approach in building strong relationships in schools. These strong relationships are the building blocks in safe and supportive learning environments where bullying cannot flourish. Again, parents and educators are working together to keep our children safe and healthy.

Finally, the National Education Association has tools specifically for parents and educators, The ABC's of Bullying reminds us that bullying can occur anywhere. The article, For Parents: If a Child Complains of Being Bullied," provides warning signs and early steps for parents to take before the school is involved. It suggests questions to ask to confirm suspicion of bullying.

Educators are starting to grasp the critical importance of the caring relationship between every student and at least one adult in school. We also understand that healthy and supportive relationships are at the core of a strong and caring learning environment. Most importantly, we know that bullying cannot flourish in those positive, supportive schools. Having the parents as partners in this effort is vital to its success.

"Connecting home and school makes us a great community of learners." ~Unknown

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