Bullying for Parents: What You Should Know (Part I)
The US Department of Education site, stopbullying.gov, provides a wealth of information for awareness, prevention, and intervention. While many sites provide toolkits and action plans, the stopbullying.gov 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
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