What is Bullying?
Click here to review Jordan District's bullying policy or check your school's website for any specific plan or policy from the school.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
Bullying is recognized and defined by three primary characteristics. It is aggressive behavior that is usually repeated over time, occurs in a relationship where there is a power imbalance, intends to cause harm or distress and/or has a serious harmful or distressing effect on the target.
Stop the Bullying Cycle - Dr. Melissa Lopez-Larson
Recorded Parent Seminar from Spring 2022
- Mediation: Some schools believe putting the aggressor and the victim in the same room is a good idea. But mediation never works because of the power imbalance that exists between the two individuals.
- Zero Tolerance: This policy doesn’t work because students will find a ways to hurt each other when adults aren’t trained to intervene, and students don’t learn the skills needed to develop empathy and healthy social skills.
Signs Your Student is Being Bullied
To determine if this is bullying or something else, consider the following questions:
- What is the history between the kids involved? Have there been past conflicts?
- Is there a power imbalance? Remember that a power imbalance is not limited to physical strength. It is sometimes not easily recognized. If the targeted child feels like there is a power imbalance, there probably is.
- Take special note if your child is the new kid.
- Has this happened before? Is the child worried it will happen again?
- Have the students dated? There are special responses for teen dating violence.
- Are any of the kids involved with a gang? Gang violence has different interventions.
- Remember that it may not matter “who started it.” Some kids who are bullied may be seen as annoying or provoking, but this does not excuse the bullying behavior.
Some other common signs include:
- Torn clothing
- Physical Marks
- Obsession with or withdrawal from devices
- Intense emotional reactions toward conversations about school
- Troubled Sleep
- Loss or changes in friendship
- Frequent headaches or stomachaches
- A reluctance to go to school
Students Don’t Always Report Bullying
There are many reasons your student might not report being bullied. Sometimes students feel ashamed and don’t want their adults to think less of them. Some are worried about being considered a “snitch” and facing even more rejection from their peers. Here are some common reasons kids don’t report bullying:
- Shame and Embarrassment
- Parents' Response
- Peer Pressure
- Not Being Believed
- Being a Snitch
- Low Self-Esteem
- Missing Signs of Bullying
- Assumptions About Adults
- Not Knowing How to Report
- Losing Digital Access
What Parents Can Do about Bullying
If you are concerned that your child might be a victim of bullying, it is important to take action. Adopting a “wait-and-see attitude” or hoping that the problem will resolve itself are not effective strategies and may prolong your child’s suffering. Tell your child that being bullied is not his fault and that no one deserves to be bullied. Children who are bullied can be psychologically fragile, isolated at school, and fearful, so having unwavering support from their families at home is critical. There are some important steps loved ones should take if they suspect bullying:
- Support your child and assure him that being bullied is not his fault.
- Document every incident in writing with details: what happened, who was involved, who witnessed the incident, where it occurred, who the child told about the incident, what actions were taken by school staff, if the bullying was physical, take photographs to document injuries or damage to clothing.
Steps to take if you learn your student is being bullied:
- Talk to your student about bullying.
- Listen calmly
- Offer comfort and support
- Let them know that NO ONE deserves to be bullied.
- Praise your child for telling
- Let someone at the school know about the situation
Using texting, social media, and other digital means to hurt someone
Bullying includes cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is bullying in the form of an electronic act. An electronic act is a communication or image transmitted by using an electronic device such as a telephone, wireless phone or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager. If a communication or image is used to harass, intimidate, humiliate, ridicule, defame, or threaten a student, public school employee, or person with whom the other student or public school employee is associated; or incite violence to a student, public school employee, or person with whom the other student or public school employee is associated, it is cyberbullying.
Talk to your student about cyberbullying.
Parents could consider having access to their children's passwords, email accounts, social media, and other technology, and “friend” their children to monitor what they post. Determine if and when you might use passwords to check on account content. Explore parental control options through your internet and wireless service providers and continue to establish with your child what access you will have to their online lives. Encourage them to also check in with you when they have questions or if something just doesn’t feel right. Stay up to date with changing technology, and as your child matures, consider adjusting the rules so they are effective and age-appropriate.
Bullying Prevention Resources