In your quest to support your child it is of course important to know the various school policies that have been instituted and the training that has been provided for your child’s school administrators, teachers and other school employees in regards to assisting transgender and gender non conforming students. Learn what your child’s school anti-bullying policy is. In order to affect change (if needed), you as the parent must become pro-active. Learn what you and your child’s rights are, get involved with the school by going to school board meetings; talk to the schools administration and your child’s teachers.
Unfortunately there is an ever present danger of student bullying either in school, at social functions or online. We hear about these cases and the effects it had on the victims on a daily basis from the news media every single day anymore it seems!!! In this day and age of prolific social media sites and the fact that our children and grand children have grown up with social media as an integral part of their daily lives it is not surprising to see the incidence of online bullying and bullying acts increasing immensely. The effects of bullying can be devastating to a young person, it can damage their self esteem and self worth.
In order to better understand the effects of bullying, ask yourself these few questions; how important were friends to you at that age, how important was it for you to “be a part of” the group? Do you remember someone or a group bullying or making fun of someone that you knew? What were your reactions towards that bullying act…did you join in, laugh about it, agree with that person – even if you didn’t agree so they wouldn’t pick on you, was there silence towards that bullying person….or……did you speak out against the bullying act, stand up for yourself or the person being bullied? Now re-read the question and ask yourself, which answer from above would stop that bullying act. The most probable answer is…none of them will. Any reaction the bully or group received from their victim empowered them to not only continue or escalate their bullying of that person…but also find more victims.
So what is the answer in order to stop the bullying act from occurring in the first place?? Education by the school on the subject of bullying for the student body and parents, and the damage it causes to a child certainly will help ……also….. Consequences…..immediate and severe consequences for the bully(ies) both from the school and the bully’s parents are going to be the most effective in quelling this tide. The bully or bullies and their parents need to know that there will be zero tolerance for this kind of behavior and there are going to be swift and severe penalties for this type of behavior….and enforced….whether the act was carried out at school, a school function, in person or online……virtually anywhere!! In other words….STOP the act before it occurs and hurts another student either emotionally and/or physically. Your involvement as a parent at your child’s school is imperative. Ensure that the school board, administrators and educators have received the training they need in order to support transgender-gender non conforming students. Educate yourself on you and your child’s rights, learn what the laws are and make sure the school is following the law. This will help to stop this damaging behavior towards ALL children in and out of school!
How can a parent help prevent bullying at their child’s school?
• Talk with and listen to your kids
• Spend time at school and recess
• 67% of bullying happens when adults are not present
• Be a good example of kindness and leadership
• Learn signs of bullying
• Create healthy anti-bullying habits
• Help your child’s school address bullying effectively
• Establish household rules
• Teach your children how to be a good witness
• Parents , teachers and volunteers should be aware of students social influences.
• Teach awareness to your child of bullying behaviors
• Leading in a Powerful, Positive way
• Tell your child that is alright to tell someone