Bullying is unacceptable behavior that comes in many forms. It can be overtly physical, like taunting or pushing and punching on the playground. Other times, it is sneaky and quiet, like gossiping on the internet or harassing text messages.
The National Bully Prevention Center at PACER.org states that bullying can be a chronic occurrence or an event due to circumstance, like being the new kid in class. According to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS), children that are the victims of bullying are more likely to suffer depression and anxiety, mental and physical health problems, and other mental health concerns.
As an elementary school teacher, I know that bullying can occur any time, and to both boys and girls. If you suspect your student is the victim of bullying, he or she will need your help in ending the situation.
According to the Pacer website, parents who learn of a bullying situation should calmly ask and record who is doing the bullying, and what type of bullying it is, as well as when and where the bullying is occurring. Remember, a student can be bullied on the walk to and from school, on the school bus, on the playground, or electronically.
Use this to help your student form an action plan that includes:
1) a description of the bullying behavior
2) how it should change
3) who can help make the changes
View and download an action plan at:
This information can be shared with your child’s teacher or other school personnel who are experienced in intervening and ending such behavior.
HHS asks parents to communicate with kids and to watch for the warning signs that a child may be experiencing bullying. Those warning signals are numerous and include moodiness, loss of interest in socializing with friends, or even thoughts of suicide or other violent behavior.
As parents, we try to teach assertiveness and self-confidence while fostering respect in our children. However, a bullying situation may not stop without adult intervention. If parents, teachers, and students are informed about bullying and its effects, we can all take measures to end it.
National Bully Prevention Center. Resources. Web. 17, Oct. 2011.
Health and Human Services in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education. Effects of Bullying. Web. 17, Oct. 2011.
Reviewed October 18, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith