Bullying is an important topic today for many youth. It doesn’t matter if you come from a rural area or a urban area, whether you go to an expensive school or a poor school everyone can be subjected to bullying. This is especially true for any student who has any kind of disability. Often they don’t recognize that they’re being bullied because they feel attention from others is friendship. Usually its too late and they are being seriously bullied before parents, teachers and other friends become aware.
The Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance now has a bullying support group. They meet the second and fourth Monday of the month from 6pm to 7pm at their office on 1234 Penn Avenue in Wyomissing. Some of the topics they discuss are “Out of the Danger Zone, Internet Bullies and What Is It, How do Bullies Bully, and What Bullies Do. Parents, Teachers and other adults should be made aware of what to do when a child is being bullied.
First, Document, Document, and Document. Document every interaction the child has with a bully. You can document by writing down an incident your child reports to you, keeping any emails, screenshots, or texts your child receives from a bully, or by asking your child to keep a journal of their interactions with a bully.
Next, you need to report the bullying to the proper authorities. By Proper authorities I mean reporting the incidents to the school, the police department, or to whomever adult is in charge of program or place where your child is being bullied. One may be hesitant to contact the police and may not want to get into a criminal investigation. This is not always the case. Often police officers will just visit the student’s family or the student at school to discuss the incidents with them initially.
Then, if the bullying doesn’t stop a serious action may take place. It has been shown that the initial interaction with the police officer is enough to stop most bullies. It is always important to remember that no one deserves to be bullied therefore always report and get some support.