Guest Post By: Melyn Huntley, Project Director, Safe Schools/Healthy Students
“People bully me. I want to die.” The words echoed in the mind of the parent who found the crumbled note in her daughter’s room. Words of desperation cried out for help. How do you help her? How serious is the threat?
Protecting your child is critical. Today with online communications, a bully can follow their victim home to the aloneness of their bedroom. If your child should become a victim of bullying, there are several things you should do.
- Believe your child. Being a victim of bullying is embarrassing. When your child cries out to you, believe them and get involved.
- “Friend” your child on social network sites. Know their codes and check them frequently. Look at their pages; check their walls. Monitor the text messages that they receive.
- Block the person who is bullying. If your child receives harassing comments on facebook or through text messages, block the sender.
- Report bullying. Many schools have electronic or other ways to report bullying. Get the school involved, but do not rely totally on them for the resolution. You can also report bullying posts to facebook.
- Call the police when necessary. Online harassment and other forms of bullying are illegal in most states. While not every report will result in charges being filed, harassment that threatens another person is taken seriously and police will investigate.
- Share personal stories of how you overcame bullying. Give your children permission to stand against bullying, to ask for help from others, and to help those who are being bullied, even if they risk getting bullied themselves.
Families are essential in stopping bullying that either comes from their homes, or comes into their homes. Together we will make a difference in the lives of our children. For more information on what you can do to help, please visit www.stopbullying.gov, http://ppc.org/stop-cyberbullying/, and www.promoteprevent.org.