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BULLYING

Picture the world without bullies. We would all love to be a part of that world. Bullying can occur in any context, which may include school, workplace, cyber, auto, family, church, and neighborhoods. It is known that bullying exists in social groups, social classes, and some countries. It is even a common push factor for involuntary migration. Here you will find several helpful tips and links to help stop, recognize, and prevent bullying.

Wikipedia says: Bullying is a form of abuse. It involves repeated acts over time attempting to create or enforce one person's (or group's) power over another person (or group), thus an "imbalance of power". The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a target. Bullying types of behavior are often rooted in a would-be bully's inability to empathize with those whom he or she would target.

Bullying is becoming more of a household name. It seems to be a part of everyone’s life whether it’s happening to you or someone you know. A person can be bullied for all types of reasons that may include; race, religion, sexual preference, disability etc… I want you to know that all types of bullying are unacceptable and under no circumstances should ever be allowed or tolerated.

SIGNS OF BULLYING - The first signs to look for in your daughter to see if she is being bullied are; not wanting to attend school, declining grades, withdrawn, depressed, decline in sports, and stomach pains. If she shows any of these signs start by asking her in a subtle way because she is going to be embarrassed about the situation and not sure how to talk to you about it. Make sure she understands that she has your support and ask her how she would like to handle it.

RACE/RELIGION/CULTURE - The motivation of this type of bullying revolves around punishing a certain ethnicity, culture, and religion. Racism happens everywhere. It can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). It takes different forms, but always involves the misuse of power by individuals, groups, and communities against each other. Religion conflict can occur for some students when they want to undertake a different religious or spiritual quest – which may also include a rebellion against any belief – to that of their family. Culture is no different than race or religion and until we understand the social, cultural and historical dynamics – the deeper issues – that make us see unequal, unfair relationships as normal, we will not reach the deeper issues and we cannot hope for more just societies or safer schools.

SEXUAL PREFERENCE - It is estimated that approximately 5 to 9 percent of youth are gay or lesbian, bisexual, or uncertain about their sexual orientation. Negative name-calling and harassment about sexual orientation can be harmful to all students and is unacceptable on all levels.

DISABILITY - Some students with disabilities have difficulties with social and emotional development, and specific assistance in understanding 'what' bullying looks, sounds and feels like is critical to ensure that these students can independently manage social situations confidently and appropriately. In relating to people with a disability, it is crucial to focus on the person from the outset and not on the disability.
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Bullying can contribute to lifelong behavior problems. If your daughter is being bullied it could lead to self-esteem problems, problems with having a relationship and keeping it, social skills, emotional development, depressed and withdrawn.

The school should have policies that surround bullying so make sure that the teacher are being made aware that your daughter is a victim of bullying. Also, make sure that the playground attendant as well as the vice-principal and principal are made aware. All the teachers of the child need to be aware. Encourage your daughter to speak up and be assertive.

Teenage bullying is a tad bit harder because it also could involve the cyber world but there are policies that exist in high school as well.

Spread the word that bullying is unacceptable and we will not tolerate it! As a community we must stop bullying, we must send a message around the world that we will not accept it under any circumstances. This is something that we as a whole must stick together on and the bullies will not have opportunities to practice their mayhem whether the child or adult.

As we grow, understand that we could all become a victim in some way, learn the ways of prevention on all levels. Please see my, "What to do sheet” for when bullying continues or gets worse. It is Part II of the "BULLYING" article.

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