Education is the key to making our schools safe. A bully prevention program is taught to all sixth graders. The program is done over a four week period and takes place in the classrooms. Students are taught skills that support a safe and caring community. Below are the key points discussed in class.
CURRICULUM - DAY ONE
***Bully-proofing our school will help us develop a caring community in which everyone is valued and respected. Students will feel safe at Oak Valley.
Bullying Behaviors: physical aggression, social aggression (rumors, excluding), verbal aggression (name calling, teasing), written aggression (notes, instant messaging), sexual, racial and ethnic harassment.
Reasons Why Students Bully: to gain power, to gain popularity and attention, low self esteem, home problems, and some perceive it as fun.
Characteristics of a victim: alone and isolated, trouble making friends, small or weak, cries easily, willing to keep quiet.
Emotional consequences of being a victim: drop in self-esteem, fearful, withdrawn, sad, headaches/stomachaches, fear of school.
A person who stands near or looks on but does not take part; onlooker; spectator.
If a person acts as a bystander and takes no action against bullying, then they are not acting as a member of our caring community.
Bullies like it when bystanders don’t do anything. They count on bystanders to be silent.
Bystanders make up the most important group in the school because once they learn how to take a stand against bullying; the bullies will lose their power.
Guidelines for Bully-Proofing
Respect yourself and others.
Contribute to a healthy and safe learning environment.
Use empathy and extra effort to include others.
Take a stand for what is right.
Encourage creative and peaceful problem solving.
Follow all school rules.
CURRICULUM - DAY TWO
***Bully-proofing our school will not eliminate all the bullies or bullying behavior at Oak Valley.
***Bully-proofing will teach students the skills needed to avoid victimization.
***The main goal of the presentations is to teach the silent majority (bystanders) how to take a stand against bullying.
Friendly teasing happens among friends and can make people feel close and included.
Hurtful teasing is done with the intent to make someone feel bad or excluded.
Teasing is a power issue.
We all have sensitive issues or topics that are not okay to tease about.
The intent behind the teasing is what really makes the difference between friendly and hurtful teasing.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: The person being teased makes the decision about whether the teasing is friendly or hurtful.
Sexual harassment is a form of bullying and also a form of hurtful teasing.
The person who is the target of the harassment decides if the behavior constitutes sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is against the school rules.
It is also against the law.
Sexual harassment should be reported to an adult immediately.
CURRICULUM - DAY THREE
***Students can learn to avoid victimization by using the HA HA SO Strategies.
Seek assistance from an adult, friend, or peer when a potentially threatening situation arises.
Seek help when other strategies aren’t working.
Make assertive statements to the bully addressing your feelings about the bully’s behavior.
Use humor to de-escalate a situation.
Make sure the joke is about what the bully said, not about the bully.
Walk away or avoid certain places in order to avoid a bullying situation.
Walk away as soon as it is a problem, not more than 10 seconds.
Use positive self-talk to maintain positive self-esteem during a bullying situation.
Rehearse mental statements to avoid being hooked by the bully.
“Own” the put-down or belittling comment in order to defuse it.
Agree with the bully and LEAVE the situation.
Combine this with other strategies.
CURRICULUM - DAY FOUR
***In a caring community, students support and encourage one another to avoid becoming a victim.
The ability to participate in the feelings of another. Empathy is knowing how another person feels, and sympathy is feeling sorry for that person.
Wearing someone else’s shoes for a day.
Taking a stand for what is right
Any positive behavior that supports the caring community.
Ways to take a stand include:
Don’t pass on hurtful notes.
Speak up to a bully.
Ask someone new to join you at lunch.
Say “hi” to a new student or someone you see having trouble
Include someone new in an activity
Join someone being bothered and take them out of the situation.
Let adults know when someone needs help.
· Never put yourself in danger when taking a stand.
· Think creatively and share ideas with your friends.
Oak Valley takes a strong stand against bullying. Below is our school policy.
No-Bullying at Oak Valley!!!
In order to promote respect, tolerance, and safety, OVMS has created a No-Bullying Program for all students. Gossiping, taunting, and bullying are all forms of harassment. Students need to report incidents of harassment to their teachers and the following consequences will be given to the offender:
Step 1: Two lunch detentions
Letter of Apology to the Victim
Step 2: One day In School Suspension
Video (It’s All Harassment)
Step 3: Three days Out of School Suspension
Reduced to two days if student attends Class/Counseling
Parents play an important role in helping prevent bullying.
How Parents Can Help
The parents’ primary responsibility is to model a healthy relationship and problem-solving skills for their children. If a child is behaving like a bully or victim, there are things parents can do to change the child’s unhealthy patterns and to encourage healthier and more successful choices.
Model appropriate behaviors
Appreciate and reward caring behaviors
Use nonphysical methods of discipline
Teach about bullying and the importance of taking a stand against it
Be involved in your child’s lives
Monitor your child’s involvement with violence in the media
If Your Child is a Bully-Warning Signs
Often irritable and angry with others
Believes it is OK to be mean to others if it means getting what he or she wants
Blames others and takes no responsibility for the problem, i.e., “he made me do it”
Shows little or no empathy for other people’s problems or hardships; has difficulty showing remorse
Demonstrates faulty thinking; i.e., “I am entitled to get my way no matter what”
If Your Child is a Bully-What You Can Do
Take the problem seriously.
Listen carefully and check out the facts.
Resist the tendency to blame yourself.
Discipline your child appropriately for bullying behaviors.
Explore the reasons for your child’s negative behaviors.
Teach and model appropriate, nonviolent problem-solving strategies and solutions.
Teach and model empathy.
Work to build a positive relationship with your child.
Reward your child for positive, caring actions and for peaceful problem solving.
If Your Child is a Victim-Warning Signs
Unexplained marks or bruises
Damaged or missing belongings
Health complaints such as stomachaches, headaches
Avoidance of school
Drop in attendance or grades
Change in eating or sleeping patterns
Increased anxiety and worry
If your Child is a Victim-What You Can Do
Listen carefully to your child’s reports of being bullied.
Do not blame the victim.
Get the necessary information-who, what, when, where, and how often.
Determine the seriousness of the situation and contact appropriate people.
Educate your child about bullying and bullies.
Brainstorm and practice strategies with your child to avoid victimization.
Boost your child’s self-esteem by praising him or her for confronting the problem.
Encourage your child to make friends in school and get involved in school activities.