GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — You’re waiting at the bus stop and overhear two girls bullying a girl about her lack of friends and love of reading.
Would you say something?
In a social experiment organized by UPtv, the two girls portraying bullies harass the young girl at a bus stop.
“At least 1 in 3 kids will be bullied during school. UPtv set out to ask the question: In an increasingly disconnected world, who will stop the bullying?”
The video, filmed in Grand Rapids, is part of UPtv’s Stand Up Against Bullying campaign.
The organizers of the campaign also shared tips for parents who believe their child is being bullied:
Stop bullying in its tracks.
The first step in preventing bullying is recognizing it.
Talk with your child.
When you first talk with your child about bullying, be prepared to listen without judgment, and provide a safe and supportive place where your child can work out his or her feelings. Children may not be ready to open up right away as they, too, are dealing with the emotional effects of bullying and may be feeling insecure, frightened, vulnerable, angry, or sad. When your child begins to tell their story, just listen and avoid making judgmental comments. It’s important to learn as much as possible about the situation, such as how long the behavior has been happening, who has been involved, and what steps have been taken. Encourage your child to talk, and let them know they are not alone and you are there to help.
Support and empower your child.
After hearing your child’s story, empower them to create an action plan to help stop the bullying. Talk with your child about ways you can support them as well as intervention strategies they can use, such as working with the school or advocating on their own. Creating a plan that works with your child’s strengths and abilities can help build self-confidence and resilience. Make sure to share these agreed-upon strategies with those involved in your child’s life, such as teachers, coaches, and other adults who interact with your child on a daily basis.
Learn your rights.
Check your state’s legislation on bullying. Each state has different laws and policies on bullying, along with requirements on how schools should respond. Visit StopBullying.gov to find out the laws your state has put into place. Also, check your state’s Department of Education website for a state Safe Schools office, which can be a great local resource to learn more about your state and school’s policy. Another option is to look up your school’s policy on bullying.
Think through who else should be involved.
In addition to being supportive and empowering your child to write down a plan, it can be very helpful to document the steps that you plan to take or have already implemented. Written records provide a history, which can be very helpful. You can also think through your strategy about how to involve others that can help your child. This might include determining who you will contact at school, what you plan to ask them, and how you will be involved. Other options include contacting a guidance counselor or other health professionals for advice. If the situation doesn’t change, your plan might include steps to contact local law enforcement or legal counsel.
Get involved in the community.
Bullying touches many lives and it might be happening to others in your child’s school or community. You can help by raising awareness through community events, attending workshops or trainings in your community, or sharing information with others.