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Allan L. Beane and Michelle Law
As educators, you probably frequently have parents contact you because their child is being bullied. How might you respond to parents' concerns?
First, you should assure them that you will immediately investigate their child's situation. Then, you should discuss what might help their child be safe from bullying while you investigate. For example, perhaps the child needs to avoid certain areas on school property at certain times. Or perhaps your school can increase supervision in the high-risk areas where the child has to go or more closely monitor the child's interactions with other students. Additionally, you might suggest that the child talk to an adult, such as a supportive teacher, every day to provide an update on the mistreatment. These steps will communicate to parents that you take bullying seriously and care about their child.
You may also give parents the following suggestions. An explanation of these and additional suggestions are presented in the book Protect Your Child from Bullying.
Tips for Parents
Here are some steps parents can take and information to help a child who is being bullied.
Victim Warning Signs
These are some of the warning signs victims of bullying might display.
These tips can help parents understand the problems their children may face when harassed at school. Parents and educators need to stay vigilant, look for these warning signs, and attempt to address problems quickly. Students deserve to feel safe at school; parents and other adults can help students who suffer at the hands of bullies.
Allan L. Beane is founder and CEO of Bully Free Systems, LLC. Schools and districts throughout the United States have adopted his program (The Bully Free Program), books, and resources. Michelle Law is a special education teacher in Woodward, Okla., and the coordinator of the Bully Free Program at Cedar Heights Elementary.
ASCD Express, Vol. 6, No. 13. Copyright 2011 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit www.ascd.org/ascdexpress.
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