October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and this year’s message of The End of Bullying Begins with Me opens the anti-bullying conversation to the impact everyone can make on this harmful behavior.
Bullying often leads to a host of negative short- and long-term consequences that affect a victim’s education, health and safety. With almost constant access to the internet and the advent of cyberbullying, bullying has expanded beyond the schoolyard and into spaces where children traditionally feel safe.
Fortunately, in recent years bullying has come to the forefront of the nation’s attention, and an abundance of resources now exist to help identify, address and end bullying. SAMHSA has even developed KnowBullying, a free app that students, parents and educators can use to help prevent bullying.
Dallas ISD’s Counseling Services department conducts trainings throughout the year for district staff, and equips all campus counselors with tools to address bullying behaviors. Counselors present anti-bullying and anti-victimization lessons to all students each year. Resources for parents and other community members explaining the Dallas ISD anti-bullying policy as well as how to address incidences of bullying can be found on the district website.
Warning signs that a child is a target of bullying
- Changes in eating habits
- Difficulty sleeping
- Frequent headaches or stomachaches, or “faking sick” to get out of school
- Declining grades and lack of interest in social/school activities
- Feelings of helplessness and lowered self esteem
How children can help a target of bullying
- Always report bullying to teachers, counselors or administrators
- Emphasize that no one deserves to be bullied
- Be a friend and help the target control their reactions
- Remind the target of their good qualities and how important they are
How parents can help a target of bullying
- Talk with your child and express your concern
- Document any incidents and report them to your child’s school counselor or principal
- Never blame your child for being bullied
- Don’t encourage physical retaliation
- Help your child in connecting with new friends
- Collaborate with the school to help your child develop an Action Plan
For more resources for students, parents and teachers, download the Recommended Websites for Bullying document.