In light of complaints about bullying at South Buffalo Charter School, parents may be wondering how to tell whether or not their child is being bullied and how to prevent it.
According to stopbullying.gov, there are three types of bullying: verbal bullying, which can include teasing, name-calling and inappropriate sexual comments; social bullying, such as leaving someone on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, and spreading rumors about someone; and physical bullying, like hitting, spitting, and tripping.
Children may play one of three roles in a bullying situation, either being the bully, being bullied by others, or witnessing bullying.
According to the website, both the "bully" and "victim" can be affected. Some warning signs that your child is being bullied may be lost or destroyed personal items, declining grades, and avoidance of social situations. Your child may be bullying others if you notice that he or she has friends who bully others, is increasingly aggressive, or have unexplained extra money or new belongings.
Bullying can make a child feel helpless and they may not feel comfortable reporting the issue to an adult. To help prevent bullying know how to talk to your child about it. Make sure that he or she understands what bullying is and listen to them about their friends and school.
Parents can work with their child's school to make sure a bullying instance is being dealt with correctly. If you witness bullying make sure to intervene immediately and attend to any immediate medical or mental health needs. Do not ignore the situation. Make sure to get police help or medical attention if a weapon is involved, there are threats of serious injury or hate-motivated violence, there is serious bodily injury, there is sexual abuse, or if anyone is accused of an illegal act.
For a more in depth look at bullying or to register for the 2016 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit, visit stopbullying.gov.