At some point in our lives we’ve been on the receiving end of bullying.  In some cases, we may have even been the person doing the bullying.

I’ve been guilty of bullying and I received my fair share of it also while growing up.

October is Bullying Prevention Month and I’m asking for parents to talk to their children about this.

Bullying comes in many forms now, some is face to face and other times it’s on social media, also known as cyberbullying.  

National statistics show 32% of students report being bullied at school.  Bullied students are more likely to take a weapon to school, get involved in physical fights and suffer from anxiety, depression, health problems and mental health problems.

As a parent, we need to look for signs of our children being bullied.  If they do not volunteer the information then look for signs such as torn or damaged clothing, cuts, bruises and scratches from fighting.  Do they have few if any friends?  Have they lost interest in schoolwork and are suddenly making bad grades?  Do they appear sad, moody, teary or depressed?  Do they appear anxious and suffer from low self-esteem?

Those are just a few of the signs that your child could suffer if he or she is being bullied in school.

As many of you may know, I am a member of the Clay Board of Education and I can say we do not tolerate bullying in our school system.

Of course, we don’t always know that bullying is occurring.  That’s where you come in.  To provide your child with a safe learning environment we ask that you contact your school’s principal if you feel your child is being bullied at school, on the bus or during and after-school activities.

Not only do we want you to report bullying, we ask that you teach your child that bullying is wrong.  Tell your children about an experience you had with being bullied.  How it made you feel.  Teach your children to respect others and what they should do if they see bullying occur.

We also ask that you monitor your children’s social media.  Cyber-bullying is most prevalent at the middle school and high school age groups.

Require you be given passwords to their accounts.  Spot check what they are doing.  In today’s society children are much further advanced than what we were at that age.  I know it may feel like an invasion of their privacy but let’s be real for a second—they have no rights in your house!  You, the parents, set the rules.  Not the child.  

We all need to work together in protecting our children.  We’ve never seen a time in our lives where so many bad things were accessible to us at such an early age.  Today, children are exposed to practically everything you can think of.  

At the end of the day it’s our job as school administrators and parents to do everything within our power to keep our children safe and to teach them how to treat others.

If you would, please just take a few minutes out of your day to talk with your children about bullying, you might be shocked what they can tell you.

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