Campus News

Nip school bullying in the bud

To combat bullying Sharon Gibson, a Cooperative Extension family and consumer science educator, said to not ignore the problem. And don’t tell your child to ignore the bully.

Bullying can come in many forms, including physical or emotional abuse, damage to a child’s property, spreading malicious rumors or forcing a child to do something he or she doesn’t want to do, she said.

“When a child is bullied, he or she may feel angry, helpless or deserted,” Gibson said. “If that child tells a teacher or parent about the bullying, he or she needs to know it’s not tattling and that speaking about it was the right thing.”

Parents should stay calm and find a way to stop the bullying. Ask for a meeting with the principal of your child’s school.

“Parents should be proactive, but not demanding before they learn more about the situation at school,” Gibson said.

Teachers and principals are trained to deal with issues like bullying, she said. Most schools have an action plan to deal with situations that involve a bully.

The child doing the bullying should be given a chance to reform. The child who is being bullied should have an adult contact at school to tell if the bullying doesn’t stop.

Parents also can encourage good social skills and behavior at home.

“A confident, assertive child is less likely to be the target of a bully,” Gibson said.