HELP US HELP YOUR CHILD BE SAFE AT SCHOOL!
Safety is a Top Priority at Buerkle Middle School. The students at
Buerkle have participated in several programs to help prevent school
violence and bully incidents since the beginning of the school year. A
few of these events include:
- Internet Safety/Cyber bullying
curriculum taught during Technology Literacy to all 6th, 7th, & 8th
grade students. Contact Cathy Helfrich for more details.
- Cyber Bully and Internet Safety taught in each advisory. The lessons are prepared by the district Technology Literacy teachers.
- Internet Safety/Security curriculum taught to all 7th graders by Officer Willenbrock
- Bullies to Buddies - Bully prevention program taught to all 6th graders by Mrs. Williams (school counselor) and BJC
- Intersections - Making wise choices for 7th graders. Taught by Counselors from BJC
year's SIMS project included lessons on all types of bullying
information. This includes cyber bullying as well as how to take
With the always-connected generation,
e-mail, instant messages, message boards, web blogs, web sites, and cell
phones, bullies are given a high-tech way to intimidate and threaten.
Cyber bullying is no less severe than traditional playground bullying
and is, in many instances, more psychologically harmful, with effects of
longer duration. There is no escape. Cyber bullies can invade every
facet of their victims' existence. It can be a 24/7 operation,
permeating even the privacy of a bedroom.
Cyber harassment, also known as "cyber bullying," includes
online threats and insults intended to embarrass, harass, or terrify.
The practice is known to cause emotional turmoil, fear, and depression
in children. It has, moreover, facilitated teen suicide.
One-quarter (25%) of students in grades 9-12 say they know someone who
has been cyber bullied, and 21% of students in grades 5-8 do. In both
cases, students used their own personal definitions of cyber bullying.
Students used their own definitions when asked whether they had been
"cyber stalked," meaning repeatedly pursued or contacted by another
person online and against their wishes. A surprising percentage of high
school students (11%) indicated that they had been, and one in twelve
(8%) middle school students indicated the same.
Cyber Bullying Tips for Students
- Tell a trusted adult about the bullying, and keep telling until you find someone who takes action.
- Don't open or read messages from cyber bullies.
- Tell a teacher or administrator at your school if it is school related.
- Don't erase the messages, they may be needed to take action.
- Protect yourself: Never agree to meet face to face with anyone you meet online.
- If bullied through chat or instant messaging, the "bully" can often be blocked.
- If you are threatened with harm, inform the local police.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact me at 314-467-6813.
Keeping your kids safe at school,
What to Do if Your Child is Being Bullied
What is bullying?
Bullying among children is aggressive behavior that is intentional and
that involves an imbalance of power or strength. A child who is being
bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying
is repeated over time. Bullying can take many forms, such as hitting or
punching (physical bullying); teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying);
intimidation using gestures or social exclusion (nonverbal bullying or
emotional bullying); and sending insulting messages by phone or computer
Effects of bullying
- Bullying can have serious consequences. Children and youth who are bullied are more likely than other children to
- Be depressed, lonely, anxious;
- Have low self-esteem;
- Be absent from school;
- Feel sick; and
- Think about suicide.
Reporting bullying to parents
Children frequently do not tell their parents that they are being
bullied because they are embarrassed, ashamed, frightened of the
children who are bullying them, or afraid of being seen as a “tattler.”
If your child tells you about being bullied, it has taken a lot of
courage to do so. Your child needs your help to stop the bullying.
What to do if your child is being bullied
- First, focus on your child. Be supportive and gather information about the bullying.
tell your child to ignore the bullying. What the child may “hear” is
that you are going to ignore it. If the child were able to simply ignore
it, he or she likely would not have told you about it. Often, trying to
ignore bullying allows it to become more serious.
- Don’t blame
the child who is being bullied. Don’t assume that your child did
something to provoke the bullying. Don’t say, “What did you do to
aggravate the other child?”
- Listen carefully to what your child
tells you about the bullying. Ask him or her to describe who was
involved and how and where each bullying episode happened.
as much as you can about the bullying tactics used, and when and where
the bullying happened. Can your child name other children or adults who
may have witnessed the bullying?
- Empathize with your child. Tell
him/her that bullying is wrong, not their fault, and that you are glad
he or she had the courage to tell you about it. Ask your child what he
or she thinks can be done to help. Assure him or her that you will think
about what needs to be done and you will let him or her know what you
are going to do.
- If you disagree with how your child handled the bullying situation, don’t criticize him or her.
not encourage physical retaliation (“Just hit them back”) as a
solution. Hitting another student is not likely to end the problem, and
it could get your child suspended or expelled or escalate the situation.
your emotions. A parent’s protective instincts stir strong emotions.
Although it is difficult, a parent is wise to step back and consider the
next steps carefully.
- Contact your child’s teacher or principal.
- Parents are often reluctant to report bullying to school officials, but bullying may not stop without the help of adults.
your emotions in check. Give factual information about your child’s
experience of being bullied including who, what, when, where, and how.
that you want to work with the staff at school to find a solution to
stop the bullying, for the sake of your child as well as other students.
not contact the parents of the student(s) who bullied your child. This
is usually a parent’s first response, but sometimes it makes matters
worse. School officials should contact the parents of the child or
children who did the bullying.
- Expect the bullying to stop. Talk
regularly with your child and with school staff to see whether the
bullying has stopped. If the bullying persists, contact school
- Help your child become more resilient to bullying.
to develop talents or positive attributes of your child. Suggest and
facilitate music, athletics, and art activities. Doing so may help your
child be more confident among his or her peers.
- Encourage your
child to make contact with friendly students in his or her class. Your
child’s teacher may be able to suggest students with whom your child can
make friends, spend time, or collaborate on work.
- Help your
child meet new friends outside of the school environment. A new
environment can provide a “fresh start” for a child who has been bullied
- Teach your child safety strategies. Teach him or
her how to seek help from an adult when feeling threatened by a bully.
Talk about whom he or she should go to for help and role-play what he or
she should say. Assure your child that reporting bullying is not the
same as tattling.
- Ask yourself if your child is being bullied
because of a learning difficulty or a lack of social skills? If your
child is hyperactive, impulsive, or overly talkative, the child who
bullies may be reacting out of annoyance. This doesn’t make the bullying
right, but it may help to explain why your child is being bullied. If
your child easily irritates people, seek help from a counselor so that
your child can better learn the informal social rules of his or her peer
- Home is where the heart is. Make sure your child has a
safe and loving home environment where he or she can take shelter,
physically and emotionally. Always maintain open lines of communication
with your child.
These and other materials are available online at: www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov
Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying At school: What we know and what we can do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Snyder, J. M. (February, 2003) What Parents Can Do About Childhood Bullying. Schwab Learning Center, (www.schwablearning.org) Charles and
Helen Schwab Foundation. Retrieved August 12, 2005, from http://www.schwablearning.org/articles.asp?r=697
Parents Should Know about Bullying (2002). Prevention Child Abuse
America Publication. South Deerfiled, MA. (1-800-835-2671.