Category Archives: School 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.

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

Does Bully Movie 2012 show too much graphic bullying?

Promo Bully MovieSweet natured and keen to learn, Alex wants more than anything to fit in. But from the moment he gets on the school bus, Alex is relentlessly bullied by classmates, who pummel him with insults, curses and punches.

 As another school year begins, Kirk and Laura Smalley launch Stand for the Silent, an anti-bullying organization. They won’t be waving their son off to school. At the age of 11, tired of being pushed down, thrown into lockers, and verbally abused, Ty Smalley took his own life.

The above scenarios are from the new movie Bully. Have you seen it yet?
When someone gets picked on all the time – ridiculed, pushed, shunned or trash talked – that’s bullying. It happens to 10 to 15 per cent of Canadian students aged 11 to 15, and to 20 per cent of U.S. students. Bullying really hurts people – not just the kids being bullied but also their families. You can make your school and community safer by doing your part to stop bullying.

See the movie Bully. Take A Stand. Take the Pledge. Contact Cineplex, Empire Theatres. The movie is scheduled for release in select theatres April 6, 2012.

Follow on Twitter @bullycanada #stopbullying

Watch Bully. Then tell everyone about it. Because when we all understand what bullying really does to kids and their families, then we can all work together. Visit www.bullymovie.ca to take the pledge.

What is your opinion? Does Bully Movie 2012 show too much graphic bullying and violence? Let us know what you think with a quick comment.

Bruce Langford – anti-bullying advocate and school presenter
http://www.brucelangford.ca

Dr. Kenneth Shore’s Top 6 Bullying Prevention Tips

Stand Up Against BullyingStand Up – Make it Stop; Let’s End It. These are the words of a child describing the challenges of bullying. Why can’t we make bullying stop? Why can’t we just decide to end bulling? The answer is we can. It just takes a concerted effort with everyone moving toward the same goal to end bullying forever. Of course it is not easy. Definitely there are many who say bullying is part of being human and will never end.
The point is though, that no child should have to go to school in fear.  Every person should feel safe in their community and not fear being bullied. Children should not be nervous to go on-line for fear of being bullied.
These thoughts took me to Dr. Kenneth Shore’s book, “The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention”.
Dr. Shore is a psychologist and family counselor and has written this valuable book about bullying prevention. I’ve included his top six bullying prevention tips here.
1. Take it seriously. Shore says bullying often goes unrecognized by educators, or is recognized but isn’t taken seriously. “It’s easy for us as adults to dismiss kids’ concerns, but so often, issues or problems we perceive as small loom large for them.” The common thread in stories of bullied kids who attempt or successfully commit suicide is that schools dismissed complaints about bullying or didn’t treat them with the seriousness they deserved, says Shore.
2. Prevent it. Your local board of education probably has an anti-bullying policy, but words on a piece of paper won’t change things. Instead, a committee of students, parents, and school-site staff should work together to plan and implement a prevention program. Shore says studies show a 50-percent reduction in bullying in schools that adopt comprehensive bullying prevention programs.
3. Don’t treat bullying as exceptional. Shore says one of the mistakes schools make is they treat bullying prevention as a one-time activity. “You don’t solve bullying with one big assembly,” he says. Instead, hold several ongoing activities throughout the year to address the problem. “Make sure the issue is very much alive in kids’ minds.”
4. Meet in each classroom. It’s crucial that teachers make time for special classroom meetings held a minimum of four times a year conveying that bullying is unacceptable, and the school takes it seriously. “Seat kids in a circle and engage them in discussions where they can talk about times they’ve been bullied and discuss what that felt like,” he says. During the meeting, teachers should also talk about things they’ll do if they see bullying happening.
5. Zero tolerance. Parents of kids suspected of bullying need to find out what their children are doing and address it seriously. “Make sure to let him know it’s unacceptable and that you’re going to be monitoring behavior and if it continues, there’s going to be serious consequences. Let your child know you mean business and then try to understand why it is that he’s engaging in these behaviors.”
6. Don’t blame the victim. If your child comes to you and says he’s being bullied, “Don’t dismiss the concerns with a ‘sorry that happened, hope things go better tomorrow,’ response, or suggest it’s your child’s fault,” says Shore. Listen to your child, recognize that he’s a victim, and follow-up with the school in-person. “You want to be a pit-bull taking whatever steps you need to ensure the bullying stops.”

Bruce Langford is a Canadian bullying prevention advocate offering interactive, musical school assemblies on the topic.
http://standupagainstbullying.com

 

 

 

Toronto area elementary school dedicated to student bullying prevention

Trillium Woods bannerToday we visited Trillium Woods Public School in Toronto area (Richmond Hill). Stand Up Against Bullying was presented three times to the various divisions. Students and staff responded with interest and enthusiasm.

Teacher, Kim Moses e-mailed us this immediate positive response:
“Hi Bruce, I just wanted to say thank you again for coming to our school. I was impressed with how each presentation was tailored to the needs and interest Ontario's official flowerlevel of each division. The presentations were creative and interactive and they certainly captured the attention of the students. Thank you again for addressing such an important topic in such an engaging manner. Take care.
Kimberley Moses, Teacher Trillium Woods Public School, Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Toronto area schools could all learn from how bullying prevention is handled at Trillium Woods School.

I want to share with you, The Trillium Woods Pledge:Pledge Trillium Woods Public School

At Trillium Woods Public School we respect ourselves, each other and our environment. We are responsible for what we say and do. We feel safe at our school. We speak up for ourselves and for others. We help each other without being asked. At Trillium Woods, nous respectons la diversitè. At Trillium Woods we can succeed.

Trillium Woods Public School is part of the York Region District School Board

Bruce Langford is a teacher, presenter and anti-bullying advocate who delivers talks, presentations and keynotes on the topic of bullying and respect.
www.standupnow.ca

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a vow to Stand Up Against Bullying

Stand Up Against Bullying ShamrockSt. Patrick’s Day 2012 is upon us so I decided to google Irish Bullying tips.
What I learned was shocking.
25 per cent of Irish students in Irish secondary schools are bullied according to the website bully4u dot ie. One in four or 175,000 youth in Irish high schools are victims of bullying. The website states: “the evolution of modern communication technologies combined with the increasing integration of our multicultural society has led to such new dynamics as cyberbullying and racist bullying in addition to the more traditional forms.”

The site goes on to encourage adult intervention in bullying incidents. It tells us that it is important for adults to let students know that aggressive behaviour is inappropriate. “Whether you are a bystander, parent or schoolteacher, there are steps you can take to ensure that children are kept safe and that their dignity is respected.”

As we celebrate St. Patrick’s day around the world, make a vow to ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ and make a difference by empowering yourself and others to act against bullying behaviour.

Bruce Langford is an international speaker and anti-bullying advocate
www.BruceLangford.ca   www.StandUpAgainstBullying.com

 

 

 

Take a stand , make a change – stop the culture of bullying

Caribbean Island Sunset

Virgin Islands Sunset

Here is a bullying acronym – Ways to turn bullying around:
Beautiful person that has a
Unique personality and can be a
Loyal friend also
Loving & caring so
Youth stand up for your rights and
Individuals take a stand
Never give up on yourself and
Grow your confidence.

Never give up – keep on being strong.
Stand Up Against Bullying!
This acronym was created by students at the United States Virgin Islands Youth Summit 2012 under the leadership of Bruce Langford www.brucelangford.ca