Bullying behavior is the repeated harassment and targeting of another with the intent to cause emotional, physical, or psychological harm. Bullying includes: harassment, or hazing through physical acts, or verbal, written, and/or electronic communication. St. George does not tolerate the bullying of any student on or off the campus. Once we are made aware of the situation, we will work diligently with all parties involved to resolve the problem once and for all. Please remember that if we do not know about the situation, we cannot do anything about it. Encourage your children to speak with us or allow you to speak with us about the issues that they are having.
You might assume that your child would tell you if he/she were being bullied; however, your child may be afraid to tell you for fear that it will only make it worse, he/she may believe you will not be able to help stop the bullying, or he/she may not even recognize that he/she is being bullied.
Indicators that a child may being bullied:
- Signs of physical bullying such as bruises or cuts
- Asking often to stay home from school (frequent unexplained minor illnesses such as headaches, stomachaches, etc.);
- Damaged/missing clothes or belongings;
- Frequently ‘lost’ lunch or lunch money;
- Sleeping problems;
- Problems in school such as declining school performance;
- Depression, lack of enthusiasm for friends or activities; and
- Unexpected changes in routine.
What to do if you think your child is being bullied:
- Encourage your child to report bullying incidents to you and continue to talk with you about all bullying incidents. Do not ignore your child’s report.
- Validate your child's feelings by letting him/her know that it is normal to feel hurt, sad, scared, angry, etc.
- Let your child know that she/he has made the right choice by reporting the incident(s) to you and assure your child that she/he is not to blame.
- Help your child be specific in describing bullying incidents: who, what, where, when. (Look for patterns or evidence of repeated bullying behaviors.)
- Ask your child how he or she has tried to stop the bullying. Coach your child in possible alternatives. Avoidance is often the best strategy. Play in a different place, play a different game, or stay near a supervising adult when bullying is likely to occur.
- Look for ways to find new friends. Support your child by encouraging him/her to extend invitations for friends to play at your home or to attend activities. Involve your child in social activities outside of school.
- Treat the school as your ally. Share your child's concerns and specific information about bullying incidents with school personnel, such as your child’s teacher or the guidance counselor. Work with school staff to protect your child from possible retaliation. Establish a plan with the school and your child for dealing with future bullying incidents. If you feel the teacher has not heard your concerns you should speak with the guidance counselor or principal. Work with your child’s school to identify someone he/she can feel safe reporting bullying incidents to such as the adult in charge of a specific activity or area (such as the playground, lunchroom, field trips, bus lines, gym, classroom)
- Do not advise your child to physically fight back. (Bullying lasts longer and becomes more severe when children fight back. Physical injuries often result.);
- Do not confront the child who bullies; and
- Do not confront the family of the child who bullies.