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The History of Bullying in America with Brooks Gibbs


How to Help Bullying Victims with Brooks Gibbs


Developing Appropriate Behaviors and Social Skills

Just as young children are learning academic skills in school, they are also in the process of learning appropriate behaviors and social skills.  As educators of "whole children", we are committed to helping our students develop appropriate behaviors and social skills and we need the involvement of our families and communities to accomplish this goal.

If we can help our children learn self-advocacy and develop resiliency, then we can address the poor behavior and help our students learn to make better choices. 

We want our students to become self-advocates:

We want them to seek the help of a trusted adult to address these situations. Ideally, we'd like students to come to an adult at school right away so that they problem can be addressed quickly. Sometimes students choose to report the information to their parents.  As partners in education, we want parents to call or email us right away and know that we are here to work with you to resolve the concerns. The sooner we are aware of your concerns, the sooner we will take action!

Please take the following steps:

  1. Ask your child specific questions that will help the school investigate the situation (times, locations, names, what happened before/after).
  2. Report what you know to the classroom teacher, the school principal or the assistant principal.
  3. Report back to the school if the situation is not resolved.

Reinforce to your child that we are all here to help them solve problems and that it is important that they seek adult help as soon as problems happen so we can solve the problem quickly.  Let them know that by seeking adult support, they are not only helping themselves, but they are also helping their friends and the whole school community by helping us put a stop to the poor behavior.

We want our students to develop resiliency:

When a student makes a poor choice, such as bad language (name-calling, cussing, put-downs,etc.) or bad behavior (ignoring, making faces, exclusion), they learn by the reactions they received from others.  If the recipient of the bad language or bad behavior reciprocates with similar behavior or appears to be impacted (sad, angry, etc), the poor behavior is reinforced and the poor behavior is likely to continue and increase. For example, if Student 1 says "You can't play with me!" to Student 2 and Student 2 reacts by crying or shouting, "I don't like you anyway!" Student 1 is empowered, the poor behavior has increased and the problem will likely continue to escalate or spread to others. 

When children develop the skills to not internalize or react negatively to put-downs or other hurtful comments, the student making the poor choice is disempowered.  For example, if Student 1 says, "You're stupid!" and Student 2 either calmly walks away or responds in a neutral or positive way such as, "I'm sorry you feel that way" or "I think you're smart", Student 1 is disempowered, the poor behavior stops and the problem will likely not spread or escalate.

As adults, we know that this is very hard to do -- our initial response is often to crumble or fight back.  To help your child develop resiliency, find out what unkind words kids are saying, help your child think of some neutral or positive responses and role-play with them to practice responding in a way that will deescalate the poor behavior.

Please note! We are talking here about poor behavior choices (words or actions) that hurt the feelings of others, we are NOT talking about:

  • Physically hurting others.  Physically hurting others (hitting, kicking, etc.) is unacceptable and needs to be reported immediately to school staff.
  • Threatening to physically hurt others.  Making threats of any kind is also unacceptable, needs to be reported immediately to school staff and will result in a threat investigation.  This includes threats made in person, by text message, or any other electronic/indirect means of communication.

Helping Kids Develop Resiliency with Brooks Gibbs


What is Bullying? Stop

Bully Hotline

Bullying can affect you in many ways. You may lose sleep or feel sick. You may want to skip school. You may even be thinking about suicide. If you are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is, please call the LIFELINE at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) exit disclaimer.

Vista Unified School District Board Policy for Bullying

Anti Bully Resources

Cyberbullying Identification, Prevention, and ResponseSameer Hinduja, Ph.D. and Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D. Cyberbullying Research Center

NetFamilyNews - This blog from Anne Collier provides timely articles for parents and educators on the latest in technology. Search for topics of concern. Sign up for her weekly rss feed to your email to keep up with the latest with kids and technology.

NetSmartz Workshop  - This FREE interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is designed to help teach children ages 5-17 to be safer off and online. The site provides cyberbullying research and tips for parents, as well as, videos  about talking to your children about cyberbullying and protecting personal information.