Category Archives: dealing with bullying

My school has no anti-bullying program

school bullying programSo your 10-year old son, Hammoud, comes home from school with a devastated look on his face. You ask what is going on, but he won’t tell you anything. Finally that night, just before he falls asleep he tells you that something happened at school today. Another boy in his class said some things that really sunk his confidence. He had been getting along great with the others boys in the class, and now one kid is making life miserable for him. Then it comes out. This isn’t the first time. Jason has been bullying Hammoud ever since September.

As a parent you start asking yourself questions.

* Why didn’t I know about this?
* Why didn’t I see it coming?
* Doesn’t Hammoud care enough about me to share something like this with me?
* Are my parenting skills lacking?

Then my thoughts turn to the school. “What is being done to prevent bullying? Do they have policies in place?” Based on the amount of media coverage of bullying, I think to myself, “the school must have an anti-bullying program which is on-going.”

I try to encourage Hammoud the best I can and the next day I set up an appointment with the school vice-principal. After explaining the situation and discussing what is happening to Hammoud, I find out that actually the administration appears to be overwhelmed and the vice-principal is using excuses about the bullying that is taking place. She finally admits that the school really doesn’t have an actual anti-bullying policy and they have no anti-bullying program at the school.

You leave the meeting feeling rather deflated and disappointed. Your thoughts are racing. You want the best for Hammoud, but why hasn’t someone stepped forward and demanded that an anti-bullying program be implemented? After a few hours your perspective changes. You remember a lecture you attended recently where the emphasis was on taking responsibility. You realize this is definitely one of those instances.

You do some research and find out that an anti-bullying program needs to have certain elements:

1/ a well thought-out plan
2/ a centered goal
3/ parent, teacher and administrative involvement
4/ a strong leader/organizer to coordinate the effort

The next day you make some phone calls and send some e-mails to some of the

Anti-bullying program

This school has an excellent anti-bullying program

other parents you know from the school explaining your plan to set up an anti-bullying program. You google a woman you heard on the radio who is responsible for bullying prevention in her area of the province. Before long, you have another parent to co-chair the committee with you and you’ve mustered up a team of seven parent volunteers to help out. The school is on-board and they have volunteered to have two teachers and the Principal sit on the committee as well. The school has even found a budget of $500.00 to contribute.

Two months later, you think back to that day when Hammoud came home from school with the devastated look on his face. You can’t believe how much has happened since then. Hammoud is now much happier in school. He’s not having problems with Jason any more, and his self-esteem has returned. You have a binder containing records of more than 45 calls and e-mails from  inquiries and people offering to lend support. You are now in a position to help others start anti-bullying programs at their schools.

Although the above story is ficticious, you can learn from the example of the parents’ situation. Practically anyone can set up an anti-bullying program. It takes courage, determination and most of all, action. Plenty of action is what makes anything happen, but you can definitely make a difference in your school community by stepping out and organizing an effective school anti-bullying program.

5 Reasons Why Your School Needs Anti Bullying Programs

anti bullying programsSchool anti bullying programs can make a profound impact on their audience. An antibullying program can be a one day initiative in the form of a theme-based assembly. Anti bullying programs can also be a series of events to raise awareness of bullying prevention in your school. An anti-bullying program is an initiative of some type that raises awareness of the topic. By the time you have finished reading this blog post, you will know exactly why your school will benefit from having anti bullying programs.
1/ Liability
Can you imagine how a parent of a child would feel if their child ends their life as a result of a bullying situation at your school? Any one of us would be devastated. One of the first questions asked is, “What anti-bullying initiatives had the school undertaken in the past few months or so?” Make sure the answer to that question is, “Yes, within the past year we have been active with this specific anti bullying program.” Did we do the program just because of liability issues? No, of course not, but the fact is that liability is a real issue in today’s society.
2/ Momentum
Energy packed school anti bullying programs encourage student participation and will help the student population gain momentum toward action. They will identify the need within their student body for bullying prevention efforts. They will be motivated to act on that need so that they can make a difference with their classmates and in their school community.
3/ Perception
Perception is reality. Have you ever heard this phrase? Students, staff and parents must believe that your school cares about bullying prevention within its walls. Your school may have great initiatives in place to deal with bullying, but if the general perception is that bullying is not a priority, then as a teacher or administrator, you are going to have a difficult time changing that perception without having anti bullying programs in place.
4/ Focus
Do you sometimes feel like your school is lacking focus or direction? Many times students, teachers and parents can have this same feeling. Bullying prevention must be a central initiative. After all, bullying is conveyed by the press as being a major issue, and as an educator or student, you know that it is a major issue. Students, staff, administrators and parents must all be focused on the topic of bullying in order to make a change to the culture. They are many ways to create focus, but one powerful way is to have meaningful anti bullying programs in place which will bring to the forefront the importance of this major issue.
5/ Cooperation
You will be amazed at the effect of one single powerful anti bullying program. If done properly, students will begin to see a need for cooperation and they will start to work together to create a sense of community. Cooperation is a goal schools are constantly striving for, and the best way to achieve it is to motive students and staff by helping them understand that they can make a difference.

These are only five reasons why your school needs to have anti bullying programs in place.
Contact ‘Stand Up Now Productions’ at www.standupnow.ca to find out more about our school anti bullying programs.

Eliminate Anger with these Five Tips

relaxing waterfall

Let your anger go. Allow peace to replace it.

Anger can often lead to problems which may include violence, bullying or even just frustration. Learn to harness your anger with these 5 basic tips:

  1. Try to figure out why you’re angry. Did somebody say something that really ticked you off? Did someone tease you? Did someone take their anger out on you? If you can answer these questions you may realize you don’t even have a reason to be angry.
  2. Release your anger gradually. Get in touch with your own feelings so you know how you can release your own anger. Go out for a jog. Go for a swim. Workout at the gym. Do something creative. Shoot some hoops. Play the piano. You get the idea. Do something that will help you unwind.
  3. Ask for help. Talk with a friend about your frustrations until you feel better. Spend time with your counselor unloading your frustrations. Sit down and look your web cam in the lens and make a video, talking about how you feel. Watch that video and experience your mood begin to change.
  4. Think about someone you can help. The world is full of people who need a hand. Think of someone who is having a rough time right now. Are they experiencing cyber-bullying or workplace bullying? You can do something to help them. Think of what it is and get to work. This is one of the best ways to beat anger and frustration.
  5. Get totally relaxed. Slow down your thought process and start thinking the most peaceful thoughts you possibly can imagine. Put on a relaxing CD. Close your eyes take deep breaths. Imagine the most relaxing place you could possibly be. Maybe it’s the beach with the sound of gentle waves in the background. It could be a grassy meadow with the breeze blowing through your hair. Feel the tension leave your body. Simply allow your body to completely unwind.

 Bruce Langford, Bullying Prevention Advocate www.standupnow.ca

Are You Immune to Bullying? Learn about Someone who Is.

I just talked to a 10-year-old boy who told me he is immune to mean comments, teasing and also bullying.
I asked him to explain.

He told me that he just doesn’t let the comment or teasing register in his brain. He just ignores it. He said it is just a natural thing and it isn’t even hard to do.
I asked him, “how long have you had this ability?”
Him: “About one and a half or two years.”
Me: Do you realize that this might mean that you will never be bullied because you will never think of meanness as bullying?
Him: “Yes, I realize that. I think that’s a really good thing.”
Me: “How does this make you feel now that you know that you have this ability?”
Him: “I think it is kind of a super-hero-like power really.”
Me: Yes, I can see that it might be.
Him: Just the other day some kids were saying some mean stuff to me and I didn’t even care.
Me: Do you think they were trying to bully you?
Him: Maybe, but I’m not sure. They just stopped because I didn’t give them a reaction.
Me: Do you think there are very many other people with this power you are describing?
Him: I don’t know anyone else.
Me: Do you think other people could develop this power, or is it only reserved for certain people?
Him: I think there are a few people that could do it, but I think most people can’t.
Me: What do you think a bully would do if they knew you had this super-power?
Him: Leave me alone.
Me: Do you think you have any other super powers?
Him: (Thoughtfully) I’m not sure, maybe.

I have never talked to someone who described themselves as being immune to mean remarks and bullying before. I think this is quite interesting. If you have any comments, I would be pleased if you would share them in the comment box. Thanks.

Bruce Langford, Anti-bullying advocate and school presenter  www.standupnow.ca 
905-233-2102

Iron Joan Police Foundations Students Stand Up Against Bullying

The students of Cardinal Newman Catholic School taught us today about bullying prevention.

The bullying prevention advice we learned at Cardinal Newman is:
Be yourself, let your energy spill out. Celebrate life, be kind and fill your life with respect.

You see, the students at Cardinal Newman live the advice you read above. They are filled with energy, they celebrate day-to-day life and they understand the concept of respect.
We will remember the Cardinal Newman spirit and energy we experienced today for a very long time.
It is our hope that the students of Cardinal Newman will remember the bullying prevention strategies we taught today for as long as we remember their energy.
Daytime presentations were ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ and ‘Stand Up For Respect’.  The evening parent student bullying prevention presentation was called ‘Stand Up – Keep Your Kids’. Seventy one families attended and enjoyed outstanding pre-show entertainment by the Cardinal Newman Iron Joan group mentored by students from the Sheridan College Police Foundations program. We were dazzled by the confidence shown by the Iron Joan team.  The Sheridan College Police Foundations students who mentored the children at Cardinal Newman were extremely proud of the confidence and skill exhibited by their students.
Cardinal Newman student council also did an amazing anti-bullying presentation. This anti-bullying parent/student program presented by Bruce Langford was made possible by the Ontario Government’s Parent Reaching Out Grant (PRO) available to school parent groups across Ontario.

Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who offers anti-bullying workshops in Toronto, Ontario. www.brucelangford.ca Telephone: 905-233-2102

Children come first at Quinte Mohawk School in Belleville Ontario

Bullying prevention and child safety is of top importance at Quinte Mohawk School in Belleville Ontario. Principal, Kathleen Vanderville makes sure children are the first priority at her school and that was obvious during our visit yesterday. Quinte Mohawk is brimming with beautiful murals, paintings, artwork and displays to proudly celebrate their culture.
Just look at this awesome painted door with the following script:

Children are…

Amazing – acknowledge them.
Believable – trust them.
Childlike – allow them.
Divine – honour them.
Energetic – nourish them.
Fallible – embrace them.
Gifts – treasure them.
Here Now – be with them.
Innocent – delight with them.
Joyful – appreciate them.
Kindhearted – learn from them.
Lovable – cherish them.
Magical – fly with them.
Noble – esteem them.
Open minded – respect them.
Precious – value them.
Questioners – encourage them.
Resourceful – support them.
Spontaneous – enjoy them.
Talented – believe in them.
Unique – affirm them.
Vulnerable – protect them
Whole – recognize them.
Xtraspecial – celebrate them.
Yearning – notice them.
Zany – laugh with them.

We thank Quinte Mohawk
School for the wonderful
hospitality and warm welcome!

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Bruce Langford presented ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ student assemblies at Quinte Mohawk school yesterday. See his website at: http://www.standupagainstbullying.com

Conquer Bullying and Conflict with Self-Forgiveness

To conquer bullying, let’s strive for less conflict in the world.  How to do that … self-forgiveness. (Read on to learn how we can calm the bullying epidemic by learning the concept of self-forgiveness).

stop judging yourself... forgive yourselfWhen you are comfortable with both your strengths and weaknesses, you radiate simple, unaffected humanity. Self acceptance, total self acceptance, means self-forgiveness.
When you forgive yourself and stop judging yourself, then you won’t judge others, and there will be less conflict in the world.

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate and speaker/presenter.
www.brucelangford.ca   telephone: 905-233-2102