Suicide  Bullying  depression
Been Harassed in School?

Bullies, harassment and assaults are running rampant within the Public School Systems.  Many times, harassment, teasing, rivalry, ridicule, emotional or physical violence can lead to depression and low self-esteem, problems that can traumatize a child into adulthood and affect a student for the rest of their life. According to a government study, victims often fear school, that 'somebody might hurt them' at school, and consider school to be an unsafe and unhappy place. As many as 7% of America's eighth graders stay home at least once a month because of bullies. The act of being bullied tends to increase some students' isolation because their peers do not want to lose status by associating with them or because they do not want to increase the risks of being bullied themselves.*

The First truth: There will never be a shortage of bullies.
Putting this in perspective: In the workplace bullies are not tolerated.  Bullies are laid off, fired, sued, and/or jailed.  On the street, if someone punches you it's an assault and you have the right to defend yourself and press charges.

One more perspective: How a child perceives a bully depends on how an Administrator, (Principals, Teachers, etc.), deals with the bully. ("Effective principals are liked and respected, rather than feared, and communicate caring for students as well as willingness to impose punishment if necessary")  If Administrator's have strong anti bully rules then bullying will be understood as unacceptable behavior. ("Identifying potentially violent students and intervening before serious problems erupt has become a high priority...")

The Second truth: Administrators in charge, (Principals, Teachers, Counselors, etc.) who take the TIME to investigate harassment accusations will have safer schools.

Putting this in perspective: Valued employees are promoted, given incentives, bonuses, and good pay to keep them employed at their job.  Complaints are taken seriously and are investigated.  The investment in re-training a valuable employee insures that all efforts will be made to keep the ones they have.

One more perspective: Sometimes it's easier to call everything a "fight", disagreement, "clash of personalities", than to give victim's the time to say what's happened to them. Children should be considered by School Districts as valuable employees/customers.  There is nothing better than a happy customer! ("...any student making violent threats towards others should be required to complete a psychological assessment process and parental conferencing.")

The Third truth: Secured and watched schools (inside and out) are a major factor in ensuring the safety of students and staff.

Putting this in perspective: At a workplace, if someone is injured because a piece of equipment falls on them, would the Employer say that they can't be responsible for what happens inside their building(s)?

One more perspective: More and more School Districts are realizing, because of tragic events like Columbine, that each child deserves a safe, secure, learning, happy environment. ("School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning.")

The Fourth truth: The stigma can be severe if the student talks about their abuser, bully or harasser.

Putting this in perspective: In the adult world "tattletales" are called "Whistle blowers", and are protected.  Many times they are treated as heroes when all is said and done.  If the workplace abuse is not solved, governmental agencies or lawyers swoop down upon the business and tear it apart.

One more perspective: A child should be just as protected as an adult when they become a whistle blower.  Administrators must take seriously students who make complaints, no matter how small. ("Adults sometimes have a tendency to discount what adolescents say, believing that most of the stress youngsters experience will pass as maturation occurs. This lack of empathy on the part of adults may leave adolescents feeling misunderstood and alienated.")

The Fifth truth: Victims of bullies, harassment, assault, and other violence inside their schools, are not getting the counseling they require.

Putting this in perspective: If a mother is Abused by her husband there are shelters where she can go to get help.  She will be told that she is a victim and didn't deserve to be beat up. There are places for adults to get help for Abuse, Rape, drinking problems, depression, stress, anxiety, etc.

One more perspective: Programs should be in place for students who are victims of bullies, harassment or assault in every school. ("Students who have witnessed or been involved in violence suffer from post traumatic stress, which can include anxiety, fear, emotional constriction, attention difficulties, and sleeplessness. Thus, just as victims need counseling when they leave the emergency room, students who were bystanders to the violence need carefully led discussions to help them with their confusion, grief, and anger") 

Feb. 12 - A Parent says...
"I would like to have some advise about our case, my wife and my other daughter are suffering emotionally.  We don't know what to do.  Please, we need your help."

What can you do if your child is being harassed?
Demand action!
  • Give the school a reasonable amount of time to work out minor problems to your child's satisfaction and your satisfaction as a parent.
  • In cases of a major harassment situation such as a physical or sexual assault, call the police immediately.  These type of serious offenses must be handled by the police and entered on the abuser or perpetrator's police record or Juvenile Record.  School Administrators can take some action's against the perpetrator(s) but they are not police officers.
  • Document everything!  Tape record statements, type them up and have witnesses sign the statements.  Take pictures of injuries, places (buildings), people, etc.
  • Write letters to School Board Members.  Write letters to Board members separately and after each incident of harassment.
  • Write a letter to the Superintendent.  Write a letter to the Superintendent after each incident of harassment.
  • Write a letter to The Principal of the school.  Write a letter to the Principal after each incident of harassment.
  • Go to School Board meeting and speak out.  It's not just your child that you are thinking about, but all the other children who are harassed and have parents who won't, or don't know how, to speak for them.
  • Write multiple letters to your State Representatives (The Education Committee).  Tell them what is happening in your school and how your Administrators are handling your child's case.  Ask them to support State laws to protect kids who are whistle blowers and stronger laws to punish bullies and perpetrators of harassment.  Write a letter to each member of the Committee separately and after each incident of harassment. Send a copy of your letters to the School Board Members, Superintendent and Principal of the offending school.
  • Write a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper.  Do not embarrass your child with details, but write instead about your schools lack response for harassed students in general.
  • Call a lawyer. If you have not been satisfied with the response you have received from School Administrators within a reasonable period of time, about two weeks, then hire an Attorney.  If this is a case of a major harassment situation (# 2), such as a physical or sexual assault, call an Attorney within 24 hours.
What are the 17 Signs that
Your Child is Being Bullied?
So, your child IS being bullied…
Q: Whose Problem is Bullying?
A: Bullying is an Adult Problem
Is YOUR child 
   being bullied?

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    Who are the REAL  HEROES when it comes to bullying?
    From the Boston Herald, March 28, 2001 - Jules Crittenden
"...Threats of teen violence prompted a student walkout in Newburyport and led to arrests in Derry, N.H., this week.

In Newburyport, about 17 students at the Nock Middle School walked out of classes Monday, claiming the school administration hasn't done enough in response to threatening behavior by one or more students.

'We're all out here because the teachers are not listening to us,' one girl who said she had been threatened told the Daily News of Newburyport.  She said one student had threatened to kill other kids and had e-mailed bloody pictures.

A protesting boy said students are afraid the student will be allowed to return to class. Efforts to reach Nock Principal Douglas Lay yesterday were unsuccessful."

These teens are heroes for what they did on this day!  They are the type of students who will wipe out bullying in all schools.  Administrators will take notice when enough students demand action.  I would love to hear more stories like this in the news instead of the sad aftermath of bullying when it's too late to do anything.

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HEAR JARED'S VOICE - PLAY - From an interview with Pasco School District investagators concerning the assault.  This is a recording of a recording and it isn't real clear, but worth the download effort.  Jared had a real mellow voice.     Note: If you have a slow load wav, wait for it to load entirely and then play again from the start.   5 minutes long.


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