FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Bullying

What can I do if I am being bullied?


Bullying is wrong and it is not your fault. Everyone deserves to feel safe at school. Follow these steps if you are in a bullying situation:

  • Speak up against bullying. Be firm and clear when you speak. Say something like “stop it”.
  • Walk away. Act like you do not care, even if you really do.
  • Tell an adult you trust. Report it to your parent, teacher, counselor, or School Resource Officer.
  • Stick together. The buddy system works. Staying with a group or friend will allow someone else to help you speak up or run to get help.




What do I do if my child is being bullied?


When your child is being bullied, it is hard to concentrate on anything else. All you want to do is make it stop. Follow the steps below to be the best possible advocate for your child in a bullying situation:

  • Stay calm. If you get upset, your child may think you are upset with him instead of at the situation. A knee-jerk reaction to something your child has shared with you may close off the open line of communication.
  • Empathize with your child. It’s not their fault. No one deserves to be bullied. Tell them you are glad they had the courage to tell you.
  • Ask open-ended questions. This will get your child to open up more about bullying and the severity of the problem. Continue to ask open-ended questions in the future to know if it is a reoccurring issue.
  • Encourage your child to make new friends. Help them make new friends. Help get them involved in activities to make new friends.
  • Share your own experiences. Sharing your own experiences with a bully will help them understand that they are not alone.
  • Brainstorm ways to solve the problem nonviolently. Encouraging retaliation may get your child hurt or suspended.
  • Contact school officials to report any incidences. Document everything and stick to the facts. Nothing good can come from a heated argument. In fact, it may damage all open lines of communication with the district. Overreacting may have the opposite effect you intended to have and the school may not take your future complaints seriously.
  • Help be a part of the solution. Get involved in your child’s school. Volunteer to watch “hot spots” at school, shadow in the classroom, join the PTA, rally together for an Anti-Bullying event, and sit in on the Safe School Committee.
  • Commit to making bullying stop. Work with your child and the school to provide a safe learning environment.
  • Build resiliency in your child! This may not be the only time they come in contact with a bully. We need to do everything we can to help improve coping skills so that they can better handle these hardships in the future.
Teach your child how to report bullying incidents to adults in an effective way. Adults are less likely to discount a child’s report as “tattling” if the report includes what is being done to him that makes him fearful or uncomfortable, who is doing it, what he has done to try to resolve the problem or to get the bully to quit, if there were any witness to the incident, and a clear explanation of what he needs or wants from the adult to stop the bullying.




How can we raise awareness on bullying prevention in our school?


One-time shots are insufficient for changing a climate of bullying or producing sustainable effects. It is suggested that a multi-tiered approach is an effective way to prevent bullying. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results for all children and youth by making targeted behaviors less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional.[v] The primary tier is the universal system of support geared towards all students in the school, the secondary tier is the selected interventions to support at risk students, and the tertiary tier is the indicated interventions for students already involved in bullying. Below is a list of universal approaches:

  • Social media campaigns
  • School pledges
  • Banner pledges
  • Anti-bullying week (State week is 1st week in October)
  • Assembly
  • Student presented/student developed presentations
  • Student Surveys
  • Prevention incorporated into curriculum
  • PSA assignments
  • Anti-bullying art contest
  • Community campaigns
  • Poster contests
  • Morning announcements
  • Anonymous reporting box/random acts of kindness box
  • “Mix-it-up” lunch or class seating




What are ineffective ways to prevent bullying?


In recent years, increasing numbers of educators, health professionals, parents, and other adults who interact with students have come to understand the seriousness of bullying. Many proven and promising prevention and intervention strategies have been developed. Unfortunately, some misdirected intervention and prevention strategies also have emerged. Research has shown that the following are strategies that do not work or have unexpected negative consequences.

  • Zero tolerance or “three strikes and you are out” policies: While this may be effective in small cases, studies show that it is ineffective as a broad-based policy. With threats of severe punishment it may discourage students from reporting incidents and bullying can often be a early indicator of other behavior problems. Children who bully are often in need of positive role models that they may only encounter at school.
  • Conflict resolution and peer mediation: Bullying is not a conflict between two people of equal power with equal blame for the situation. Also, facing those who have bullied them may further upset students who have been bullied.
  • Group treatment for students who bully: Group members tend to reinforce bullying behavior in each other.
  • Simple, short-term solutions: Focusing on bullying in a piecemeal way (e.g., in-service training, school assembly, lessons taught by individual teachers) will do much less to prevent bullying than a school-wide initiative.




How do we prevent bullying in our school?


  • Assess bullying in your school to determine where and when bullying occurs.
  • Name an incident coordinator and review your bullying prevention policy annually.
  • Determine where to increase supervision and work with all staff such as bus drivers, cafeteria staff, and playground monitors to watch for incidents both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Work with the Safe School Committee on recommendations for the site principal. The law states the committee must be composed of at least 7 members, however the more members in attendance will help the school provide a united effort in bullying prevention.
  • Integrate bullying prevention into curriculum and school activities.
  • Encourage and create a plan of action to educate and raise school-wide awareness.
  • Involve parents and community members. Bullying is not just a school issue it is a community issue.




How do I prevent bullying on the school bus?


The same strategies for preventing bullying at school can apply to preventing bullying on the school bus. There are other strategies to address and prevent bullying behaviors specifically on the bus.

  • Get to know the kids on the bus. Take time to greet them every day and learn their names. Do not play favorites.
  • Role model respect and good manners. Do not express anger at other motorists.
  • Establish an environment of respect. Model the schools policy on bullying prevention. Post anti-bullying signage.
  • Make bullying reports available on the bus.
  • Establish assigned seating. Place problematic students in the front of the bus.
  • Establish bus leaders of older students to help identify bullying behaviors.
  • Communicate with other staff to recognize common problematic students.
  • Attend bullying prevention training. All staff should be aware of how to recognize and prevent bullying incidents.
  • Reinforce positive behaviors on the bus. Establish a “bus of the month” or similar program. Certificates to students, congratulatory letters to students’ parents, school announcements, and coupons for free ice cream at the school cafeteria or items at local business are some examples of positive recognition efforts.




How can I avoid being bullied?


Bullying can be scary. Know that you are not alone. Follow these steps to help you avoid being in a bullying situation:

  • Do not give bullies a chance. Take a different route to class or home from school.
  • Avoid unsupervised areas of the school.
  • Sit at the front of the bus.
  • Find a buddy and stick together.
  • Stand tall and be brave.




What are the warning signs of bullying?


There are many warning signs that could indicate that a student is involved in bullying, either by bullying others or by being bullied. However, these warning signs may indicate other issues or problems, as well. Below is a list of common signs: Being Bullied:

  • Reluctant to go to school or certain places.
  • Silent about what is happening at school.
  • Frequent lost or damaged possessions.
  • Academic problems.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Social isolation.
  • Quiet, depressed, irritable, or anxious.
Bullying Others:
  • Gets into physical or verbal fights with others.
  • Enjoys putting others down.
  • Has extra money or new belongings that cannot be explained.
  • Disrespects authority and disregards rules.
  • Has an attitude of superiority.
Quick to blame others. Needs to have power or control over others. Enjoys violence.




What can I do if I witness a bullying incident?


If you witness a bullying incident, follow the steps below to appropriate intervene and address the incident:

  • Intervene immediately.
  • Identify that the incident was bullying.*
  • Request more information separately with the students involved.
  • Tell the students you are aware of their behavior.
  • Make it a teachable experience.
  • Document the incident.
  • Maintain records.
  • Inform the parents and appropriate staff for further investigation.
*To avoid escalating the tension, you may wait until later to sort out the facts.




Who gets bullied?


Any child regardless of age or gender has the potential to be bullied. However, certain populations are more vulnerable due to disability, sexual orientation, physical appearance, and numerous other factors including race, gender, income and religion.




What can I do if my child bullies others?


It is difficult for most parents to learn that their child may be bullying others. However, parents must recognize that children who bully are at risk for more serious behavior problems. Therefore, it is important for them to take immediate action. Here are some suggested approaches:

  • Talk with your child. Offer a calm explanation of what your child is accused of, and ask for their account of the incident.
  • Hold the young person fully accountable for their actions. Calmly but firmly tell your child that bullying will not be tolerated, and that their behaviors will be taken seriously.
  • Develop clear rules and expectations for your child's behavior. Provide fair but consistent consequences if your child breaks the rules, and recognize and affirm appropriate behavior.
  • Spend more time with your child. Carefully monitor their activities, including where and with whom they spend their time. Supervise their use of social networking sites and texting.
  • Work with your child's school to ensure that your child is held accountable for his or her bullying behavior. Ask the school to keep you informed about any further incidents.
  • Build on your child's strengths and positive attributes. Encourage them to become involved in social activities with positive role models.




What if I told an adult that I am being bullied and it wasn't helpful?


Have you told someone about being bullied and nothing has changed? Don’t give up! Did you know that you have the legal right to be safe at school? If the bullying continues even after you told an adult, know that there are laws designed to protect you. It is very important for students to reach out to another trusted adult and ask for help again. This adult can be a parent, a teacher, a coach, or anyone from the community. Let them know that you need their help and that you wouldn’t be coming to them if you could fix the situation on your own.




How is "direct bullying" different from "indirect bullying"?


Direct bullying: Behavior that hurts, harms, or humiliates and is overt, obvious, and apparent to anyone witnessing it. The actions and words are easy to identify, the identity of the person bullying is usually known, and the acts are directed toward the person being bullied – they know about the bullying as it is happening. Indirect bullying: Behavior that hurts, harms, or humiliates, which is often covert, subtle, and not always immediately acknowledged as bullying. The words and actions can be harder to identify, can be done anonymously and discreetly, and the target might not find out about the bullying until long after it has happened.




Why do some students bully?


Research suggests there are several partly interrelated motives for bullying: Parents of children who bully sometimes use physical punishments and other “power-assertive” methods of child rearing. 2 Students who bully have strong needs for power and (negative) dominance; they seem to enjoy being “in control” and subduing others.

  • Students who bully find satisfaction in causing injury and suffering to other students. This may be at least partly due to the environment at home, which may have caused hostility within the student.
  • Students who bully are often rewarded in some way for their behavior. This could be material or psychological rewards, such as forcing the student who is bullied to give them money or enjoying the attention, status, and prestige they are granted from other students because of their behavior.
  • Students who bully others may have some common family characteristics, such as parents who are not very involved in their children’s lives, who lack warmth and positive involvement. Some parents may not have set clear limits on their children’s aggressive behavior and may have allowed them to act out aggressively toward their siblings and other children.
  • In addition, students who bully others are more likely than other students to have seen or been involved in domestic violence.3 In all probability, they have also been exposed or exposed themselves to violence in the media and maybe through participation in “power sports” like boxing, kickboxing, and wrestling.
It is important to emphasize once more that these are main trends. Not all students who come from families with these characteristics will bully others, and not all students who bully come from these family environments. The peer group may also play an important role in motivating and encouraging bullying behavior in certain children and youth.




Are some children more likely to be bullied than others?


Bullying can happen to anyone, at any time in their school career, but there are some characteristics and factors which might make it more likely. Any child can become the victim of bullying if he or she is put into a school where bullying is not tackled effectively. Being different in some obvious way (such as ethnicity, disability or religion) may make it more likely that a child will be bullied. However, research seems to be pointing towards social skills and character as being even more closely linked to involvement in bullying than these more obvious factors. What is often not clear is whether a child is bullied because she is anxious and has low self- esteem, or is anxious and has low self-esteem because she has been bullied.




Are some children more likely to bully than others?


Some of the major bullying studies have identified certain characteristics which are found in many children who bully. For example being uncaring and having a positive view of violence. The studies did not find that a typical bully has low self-esteem (as previously suggested). It is important to remember that this is a general picture and there will be exceptions. There are some people who consistently bully others. It may be reasonable to describe these people as ‘bullies’ and to try to find out if they have any distinguishing characteristics. However, if we accept that ‘bullying’ is often a group activity in which one person may be picked on by the majority of his classmates, any attempt to describe the common characteristics of these ‘bullies’ is likely to fail. They are involved in a social activity and have a wide variety of family circumstances and personal characteristics.




Why don’t children tell?


Children give a variety of reasons for not telling an adult about bullying, ranging from being afraid of what the bullies might do if they found out, to feelings of failure because they could not deal with the bully themselves. The reasons that children give for not telling are usually reasonable and logical. The fear of retaliation is real and should be acknowledged. However, this fear is sometimes expressed in another way – as a fear that the adult will do something which will make matters worse. This knowledge can help adults to react more sensitively when approached by bullied children for help.




Have any more questions?


You can always reach out to us on our email- letsdefeatbullyingnow@gmail.com You can also fill up the Contact Form and reach out to us through our social media.





Mentorship Program

What is the cost of the sessions?


Our sessions are free of cost! We are a non-profit organisation and believe in spreading awareness no matter what background a child comes from.




What if I do not want to continue with the mentor appointed to me?


You can email the lead mentor stating the reason for which you do not want to continue witht the mentor you've been appointed and we will have you switch mentors. Please note that you have to inform us before the fourth session if you do not want to continue with the mentor appointed to you.




Can I take the sessions without my parents knowledge?


No, we require a parent/guardian to be aware of what their child is doing. We do not directly connect with children