Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Play Well with Others ... Be Active against Bullying: Having Taught Pre-School through Middle School for 40 Years, I Have Seen, Heard and Witnessed Bullying in Locker Rooms and Hallways; I Have Witnessed Hazing in Athletic Teams and Seen the Differently Abled Student Being Teased and Challenged. Remember That Prevention Is the Most Important Part of Any of the Anti-Bullying Awareness Programs

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Play Well with Others ... Be Active against Bullying: Having Taught Pre-School through Middle School for 40 Years, I Have Seen, Heard and Witnessed Bullying in Locker Rooms and Hallways; I Have Witnessed Hazing in Athletic Teams and Seen the Differently Abled Student Being Teased and Challenged. Remember That Prevention Is the Most Important Part of Any of the Anti-Bullying Awareness Programs

Article excerpt

Bullying! It is everywhere you look. It is in our schools, on our play-grounds, in our neighborhoods and even in our homes. Bullying, according to Wikipedia, is "a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power. It can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability."

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There are two distinct bullying behaviors, direct and indirect. Direct bullying involves physical or verbal attacks such as kicking, hitting, pushing, shoving or name-calling. Indirect bullying, also known as relational bullying, is associated with behaviors such as ignoring or gossiping which sometimes involves a third party. There are three main parts to the bullying setting. There is the bully (the person or persons that use the force or coercion), the bullied (the person that receives the harassment or assault), and the by-stander or by-standers who watch, join in or hopefully choose to stop or divert the bullying.

All of us have been in one of those three positions. Most of us with children have heard about the serious incidents that end up in tragic events, or know someone that has had a life changing bullying situation. Having taught Pre-school through Middle School for 40 years, I have seen, heard and witnessed bullying in locker rooms and hallways; I have witnessed hazing in athletic teams and seen the differently-abled student being teased and challenged. It occurs on playgrounds during recess games and spills onto the streets with gangs; it is all there - sometimes verbal, sometimes physical, and sometimes cyber; but no matter what form in which it presents itself, it all hurts.

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As parents and teachers, we now have to step up and be role models, protectors and leaders in the crusade against bullying. First, we need to prepare our children to recognize situations where bullying might occur and help them prevent bullying before it hap-pens:

* Prevention is the most important part of any of the anti-bullying awareness programs. …

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