Parents, educators, students, and the community can play a huge role in preventing and responding to bullying. USD 475 recognizes the importance of helping students that have fallen victim to bullying and created a list of warning signs to help members of our community be on the lookout:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewlrey
- Frequent feelings of sickness or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits (A child may come home hungry because they did not eat lunch)
- Difficulty sleeping/nightmares
- Loss of interest in school/schoolwork
- Sudden loss of friends/avoiding social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or a decreased self-esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors (running away from home, harming themselves, or talk of suicide)
Statistics show that an adult was notified in less than half of bullying instances. Often times, a child will not tell an adult he or she is being bullied due to many reasons such as feeling they want to handle the situation themselves, fear of being seen as weak or a tattletale, or fear of backlash from their bully. Victims might not want adults to know what is happening to them or being said about them because they may feel humiliated. Because of this, it is important to remember to be sensitive to a child being bullied and handle the situation with care.
If you feel that your child is being bullied, make sure they know you and adults at their school are willing to listen. Encourage them to seek out an adult that they trust and report the bullying.
Students can also play a role in ending bullying in their community both online and in person. Witnesses to bullying should seek out a trusted adult and report the behavior.
USD 475 encourages all parents, staff, and students to do their part to stop bullying. To read more about warning signs and ways you can help stop bullying, visit www.stopbullying.gov.