Tag Archives: Stand Up To 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.

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Were Steve Jobs, Tom Cruise, Cher, Bill Gates and Albert Einstein bullied?

Steve JobsA little known secret about Steve Jobs is that he had a learning disability in the form of dyslexia. Sadly, special needs students are often bullied. In fact people who are different are frequently bullied and many times special needs children are perceived as being different. Children with special needs may be dyslexic as in the case of Steve Jobs or they may be autistic. They could also have ADD (attention deficit disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), have a visual or auditory impairment, or be gifted.

There are many examples of famous people who had special needs, yet were able to compensate for their challenges. Some examples of famous people with dyslexia are: Tom Cruise, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Cher, John Lennon, Sir Richard Branson and Steven Spielberg. Other famous people with learning disabilities are: Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.

In many classrooms there are children who are very protective of their special needs classmates. However, sometimes special needs students suffer relentless bullying.

We can all help special needs students achieve success by making sure they are not bullied, and by creating a classroom culture of protection. After all, special needs children often have amazing talents and abilities as the list above indicates. Remember, Stand Up Against Bullying in every school classroom, home and community!

Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who teaches peace strategies.  www.standupagainstbullying.com

 

Hastings, Prince Edward Counties – Verbal & Physical Bullying To End

Belleville Ontario CanadaA 10-year old girl in Belleville Ontario is taking a stand against bullying at her school. She says verbal and physical attacks toward her have been ongoing and she has had enough. She wrote a letter explaining details about the bullying she has been experiencing. She says she spends recess in the kindergarten room because nobody will play with her, and explains that she feels alienated and dejected. Her mother believes that the school staff is not protecting her daughter.
These are certainly serious allegations. Although I don’t know all the details surrounding the situation, I have a few suggestions to hopefully calm the waters.
1. I encourage the girl’s parents to set up a meeting with the teacher. Have a list of concerns to address and suggested outcomes. Take notes. Insist on a specific plan of action.
2. After 5 days, re-evaluate the situation. Has the bullying stopped? Has the situation improved? If not, set up a meeting with the principal and make a written plan. Set a date for a follow-up meeting to talk about whether or not things have improved. No child should feel unsafe at school.
3.  Ask to see the bullying prevention action plan set out by the school. Ask what initiatives have been put into place to encourage respect and reduce bullying. Insist that you are looking out for the well-being of your child.

Do not give up. Continue to connect with the teacher or administrators to carry out the plan of action. If the plan of action is not working, insist on an alternative. Be aware of the Hasting and Prince Edward District School Board’s commitment to providing caring, safe, respectful and inclusive learning environments for all students.  Do your best to remain calm and professional, yet strong with your assertions that your child be provided with the caring, safe and respectful environment referred to by the school board.
I will be most interested in the outcome of this situation and am optimistic it will come to a positive conclusion for all involved.

Bruce Langford provides bullying prevention programs for schools. www.brucelangford.ca

 

I pledge to stop bullying and not be a bystander (St. Thomas V.I.)

Sugar Bay Resort Stand Up Against Bullying Youth Summit 2012A student report:
Today we went to the U.S. Virgin Islands Youth Summet at SugarBay Resort and Spa. There were about 300 5th and 6th graders. We are all from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education Schools.
We watched BennyDL go live on ATFM radio broadcasting directly from SugarBay Resort. He talked to callers, sang songs and talked about bullying prevention. BennyDL is a DJ but his real name is Bruce Langford.
Later we watched videos & talked about the issues related to bullying. We got into groups with students from other schools. Some of us made up poems and songs about bullying and what to do. Some of us made up role-plays and skits about bullying. Some groups presented to everyone.
We put our ideas together into one pledge we believed in. The pledge we came up with is simple:

Our Stop Bullying Pledge
I pledge to stop bullying and not be a bystander.
I will lend a helping hand to others to help keep our communities safe.

Students from 7th to 12th grade also met and came up with the following vow:

The U.S. Virgin Islands Anti-bullying Vow
We solemnly vow to abolish bullying!
We hereby declare we will use our courage and strength
to not be a bystander,
but instead be a leader, take action and to take a stand.
School Speaker

Bruce Langford is an international presenter and anti-bullying advocate   www.brucelangford.ca

Confidence can be your shield to ward off bullying: 4 Tips

Today I am offering four tips to protect yourself against bullying behaviors using your own abilities to build confidence.

To grow confidence, here is my advice:
1/ Have a purpose, a project or a goal. You may be surprised how this one tip will help you develop confidence.
2/ Block out negative thoughts and feelings. This can be tough, but we have the ability to control our own thoughts, so make sure they are positive, upbeat and encouraging ones.
3/ Be yourself. Try not to be phony or fake. Know yourself for who you are and don’t try to be something you’re not
4/ Be honest. This is huge. It will help you be yourself but it will also help you to feel good about yourself and be respected by others.

Bruce Langford offers workshops about virtues and bullying prevention – Stand Up Now Productions www.standupnow.ca

Thames Valley Teacher Shares Upstander Message in Anti-Bullying Presentation

Students at Knollwood Park Public School in London Ontario were hyped during the ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ assembly at their school recently. TVDSB teacher, Bruce Langford delivered his bullying prevention messages through songs, videos and role-plays during two 45 minute assemblies. Knollwood Park Principal, Mary Roes and Vice-Principal Rhian Husty obviously work hard with the staff and students to make sure students understand how to deal with bullying issues. They wanted to make sure the anti-bullying message was heard loud and clear at their school during Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week.

Knollwood Park Public SchoolFollowing the primary assembly, a staff member told us she felt our ‘Stand Up’ theme song spoke volumes to the students and staff. It teaches us to Stand Up Against Bullying by being an upstander. Here are the lyrics:

Stand Up, and make your mark,
Stand Up, and speak your part.
If you see a kid put down,
You can help if you’re around
Never approve of the slam,
Say you think that it’s wrong.
Have the nerve to speak up;
Let them know that you’re strong.
STAND UP.

 Be an Upstander, remember to ‘Stand Up Against Bullying.
www.standupagainstbullying.com

Collingwood Area Schools Learn Bullying Prevention Strategies

Burkevale Separate SchoolToday we had the pleasure of visiting Burkevale Protestant Separate School in Penetanguishene, Ontario. It was a great experience because the school seems to live up to its Bill of Rights. Students told us how proud they are to be students at Burkevale. Some children we talked to told us that bullying seldom happens at Burkevale but in spite of that, the students were eager to learn more about ways they can deal with bullying and specifically how they can support each other. The ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ assemblies we presented today teach the value of community and these students showed us they understand many of these concepts already. Principal, Tim Mallon constantly encourages positive character growth in his students. Being around him during our visit proved his commitment to the character education he teaches daily, just by his example. He invited the students from St. Ann’s Catholic School in Penetanguisheen to join his students for the assemblies. Following the presentations, Mr. Mallon left us with several comments including the following: “Your Benny DL character and message really connected with our students. The mix of entertainment and serious reflection is a winning combination. Your presence capped off anti-bullying week perfectly!” Mr. Tim Mallon, Principal Burkedale Protestant Separate School, Penetanguishene Ontario.
Bill of Rights for SchoolsHere are Burkevale’s Bill of Rights: We have: 1. The right to be treated with respect. 2. The right to express our feelings as long as the rights of others are not violated, 3. The right to our own physical and mental space 4. The right to ask for help if and when we need it, 5. The right to ask for information, 6. The right to have a learning environment that is safe and secure.

School assemblies designed to raise bullying awareness – www.atfm.ca