Elementary- Bullying
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bullying prevention   Intervention
February 2022

When parents offer their children out to the wider world, they hope that wonderful experiences and people await them. But that isn’t always the case. They can be saddened to learn their children are involved in bullying. 

Unfortunately peer bullying is a still an issue for today’s children and one that often requires adult intervention. Young children have no special protection and must rely upon adults to keep them safe. While parents cannot protect their children from every danger that life may present, there are a number of things they can do to foster the proper skills needed to create and maintain healthy relationships and minimize bullying behaviour.
reduce the risk of your child being involved in bullying
Research suggests that parenting practices may make a difference in whether children become aggressive, bullied, and victimized—or not. Your family relationships help to build children’s expectations about how relationships should feel, what helps relationships to work well, and how to manage the problems that arise in relationships.
Nurture a positive family climate. Do adults model the kind of relationships they hope their children will have? Does everyone feel respected and have healthy personal boundaries? Are expectations appropriate to children’s stage of development, or are they too high or too low?
Everyone in a family needs a sense of power. Are family members encouraged to express a healthy sense of power through age-appropriate discussions and problem solving? For example, providing young children with a limited set of choices and helping teenagers think through possible consequences of their actions. 

Researchers state that siblings have enormous influence on one other. Children who are involved in sibling bullying are more likely to be involved in bullying behaviour outside the home.
Encourage supportive friendships and peer groups. It’s good “insurance” for children to have peer relationships inside and outside of school, such as community sports leagues, out-of-school clubs, or among neighbors. It doesn’t have to be large numbers—even a single friend in different areas of life is protective.
Teach your child to be assertive. Using aggression to deal with aggression usually makes the problem worse. Teach your child how to stand up for themselves by practicing phrases and words such as, “STOP!” until they sound confident. Reassure them that walking away and reporting a bullying incident is the best thing to do.
When children face small difficulties, help them build resilience that draws on their unique strengths. If they are funny, can they deflect a problem using a sense of humor? If they’re socially skilled, can they turn toward friends for support? If they artistic can they create art that inspires the good in others?

Research suggests that children whose parents talk about feelings and how to manage them are able to navigate peer groups better and are more likely to stand up for people who are targeted by others.
Parents need to set guidelines, limits, and consequences for unacceptable behaviour – whether it’s at home, on a sports team or at school. Use consequences that teach children that bullying behaviour is not acceptable and show them how to use their power in a positive, rather than destructive way. 

3 indicators of bullying behaviour
Bullying is defined as a persistent pattern of unwelcome or aggressive behaviour that hurts others physically and/or emotionally. For a situation to be considered a bullying incident, three indicators are usually present:
1. Power – children who bully acquire their power through physical size and strength, by status within the peer group, and by recruiting support of the group

2. Intent to harm – children who bully generally do so with the intent to either physically or emotionally harm the other child
3. Frequency – bullying is not a random act. It is this factor that brings about the anticipatory terror in the mind of the child being bullied that can be so detrimental and have the most debilitating long-term effects

when bullying happens
There are many causes of bullying, and so it may still happen despite your best efforts. Although there is not a single solution to stop every bullying situation, following are some suggested guidelines. 

Manage your own feelings first. Stay calm, and project the confidence to your child that you will see to their protection and safety. If they are the target of, or witness to, the bullying, assure them it is not their fault.
Carefully draw the story from your child, gather information, and write down the facts. Often children don’t want to report the names of others for fear the adults will make it worse, so proceed carefully.

Assess the seriousness. Can you support your child to act first without your direct involvement? This might involve problem-solving strategies together. Or it may be too much for your child to manage, and you need to work behind the scenes with parents or school personnel.
Consider talking to the parents of other children involved—although this can be tricky and every situation is different. The first rule of having a conversation is that both of you need to be capable of staying calm and productive.

The second rule is that expressing yourself doesn’t guarantee the outcome you desire, so accept that sometimes having your say is enough and change might have to come from a different direction.
If cyberbullying is involved, collect data and take screenshots of all offending screens, and then help your child block the offender. Report cyberbullying to the media platform.

If there is bullying at school, it is likely that your child is not the only one affected. You might find support by enlisting other parents whose children are affected and appealing to the school as a group.

With the school, first approach the adult in charge of the immediate environment (e.g., the classroom teacher). It is helpful to take a collaborative approach and work together to give your child the support they need to resolve the situation. 
signs that your child is being bullied
Children who are being bullied will often display a change in behaviour or emotions, such as;
Not wanting to go to school or participate in extra-curricular activities
Anxious, fearful or over-reactive
Having low self-esteem and making negative comments about themselves or a former friend
Regular complaints of stomachaches, headaches, and other physical symptoms without any particular cause
Injuries, bruising, damaged clothing or broken items
Unhappy and irritable
Trouble sleeping, nightmares, bedwetting
Frequent crying
Threatens to hurt themselves or others
Significant changes in social life (i.e. no one is calling or inviting them out)
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more information on bullying behaviour
For more information you can visit the Middle School Snapshot! Additional content includes:
- Types of bullying behaviour
- Bullying vs mean behaviour
- Bullying vs conflict
- Signs that your child is engaging in bullying behaviour
- Impact of bullying
- BC Government Anonymous Reporting Tool for Students

Pink Shirt Day 2022
We encourage students and staff to take a stand against bullying and be an advocate for kindness and inclusivity by wearing a Pink Shirt on February 23rd!

We recognize that this is a one day awareness campaign and we strive to nurture each student’s well-being in a safe, responsive, and inclusive learning community throughout the school year. 

The theme for 2022 is Pink Shirt Day Throwback... because kindness is always in style!

Students and staff are encouraged to dig out Pink shirts from days gone by (2007-2021). The school that has the most variety of shirts will receive a compliment of books to support their diversity collection. 
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