Parents, guardinas and caring adults can play pivotal roles in creating a healthy school and community climate that is free of bullying. By working together, educators, parents, concerned citizens, business leaders, advocates, and community members can support the implementation of bullying prevention programs, reinforce bullying prevention messages, and advocate for bullying policies to be implemented. This collaboration is critical as bullying happens everywhere that young people gather, including online, via text, and in social networks.
What is Bullying?
Most children have been teased by a sibling or a friend at some point. And it's not usually harmful when done in a playful, friendly, and mutual way, and both children find it funny. But when teasing becomes hurtful, unkind, and constant, it crosses the line into bullying. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines bullying as, “Aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Typically, it is repeated over time.” Some parents may remember what bullying is from when they were children, and typically think of the bigger kids on the playground pushing down the smaller or younger ones; this is a form of physical bullying. However, the times are changing, and so has bullying. Bullying can be verbal or physical and has now extended to the new technologies available. There is an increase in cyberbullying.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology, which includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar.
San Diego Unified’s Anti-Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Policy
In accordance with District Policy A-3500, bullying (including cyberbullying), harassment or intimidation in any form are prohibited at school and school-related events (including off-campus events, school-sponsored activities, school busses, any event related to school business) or outside school hours with the intention to be carried out during any of the above.
Such acts include those that are reasonably considered as being motivated by either an actual or perceived attribute that includes but is not limited to race, religion, creed, color, marital status, parental status, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, mental or physical disability or any other distinguishing character.
If You Think Your Child is Being Bullied
Simple step-by-step instructions of what you should do if you think your child is the victim of bullying.
- National PTA Connect for Respect
- National Crime Prevention Council: Bullying, Cyberbullying
- GLSEN Anti-Bullying Resources