email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
"Intimate" Violence against Women3 NBS of Julian DrewA Little PregnantA Natural History of RapeA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Stir of BonesAbout a BoyAdult Children of Emotionally Immature ParentsAgainst MarriageAgainst MarriageAlmost a PsychopathAlone TogetherAnatomy of LoveAngelsAnother CountryAnxious ParentsApples and OrangesBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeing the Other OneBetrayed as BoysBeyond AddictionBipolar DisorderBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Breaking ApartBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBringing Up ParentsBut I Love HimCaring for a Child with AutismCaring in Remembered WaysCherishmentChildren of the Aging Self-AbsorbedChildren of the Self-AbsorbedChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingClawsCloserCold HitCoping With Difficult PeopleCouple SkillsCruddyDancing in My NuddypantsDivorce PoisonDoing ItDone With The CryingEcstasyEmotional ClaustrophobiaEmotional Fitness for IntimacyEmotional Intelligence at WorkEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Premarital CounselingEvery Pot Has a CoverFacts About ADHD ChildrenFamilies Like MineFamilyFamily BoundFamily FirstFear of IntimacyFinal JeopardyFind MeFlashpointFor Lesbian ParentsForgive Your Parents, Heal YourselfGandhi's WayGeorgia Under WaterGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGirl in the MirrorGirl StuffGoing Home without Going CrazyHandbook of AttachmentHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHappiness Sold SeparatelyHard to GetHe's Just Not That Into YouHealing ConversationsHollow KidsHot ButtonsHot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHow Families Still MatterHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Don't Know How She Does ItI Hate You-Don't Leave MeI Only Say This Because I Love YouI'm OK, You're My ParentsIn the Mood, AgainInside the American CoupleIntrusive ParentingIt's Called a Breakup Because It's BrokenIt's Love We Don't UnderstandJakarta MissingKeeping Passion AliveKeeping Your Child in MindLet's Get This StraightLiberation's ChildrenLife's WorkLikely to DieLove JunkieLove SickLove Times ThreeLove Works Like ThisLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderLoving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderLust in TranslationMaking the RunMaking the RunManic DepressionMars and Venus - Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming Your Difficult FamilyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Philosophical ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe State of AffairsThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUp in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!
You might have a child who is being bullied in school today. Or, perhaps, you have vivid memories of being bullied when you were in school? Most of us do. Depending upon one's generation, bullying has taken many forms. In the fifties, pulling someone's hair in class, sexual assault, or telling lies about them may have been a form of bullying that was considered teasing and could have been easily brushed aside. Little or nothing was done about it, and the student might actually get reprimanded at home and in school for telling on someone or appearing to be weak, unwilling to fight back. But times have changed and due to civil rights for children and civil lawsuits, many schools are actively engaged in an anti-bullying campaign. However, the real job of keeping tabs on your children's safety is up to you, the parent, and Dragan, a formidable advocate, is on your team, ready to assist you in taking the necessary steps from home-to-school, to be certain your child's safety is not compromised by a bully, or a system that deals with bullying inadequately.
While the process of protecting your child may be complicated, Dragan's step-by-step account of identifying troubling behavior, by encouraging your child to speak-up about it and being sure you know what to do next, when she/he does, sends you on a journey that can make or break your child's experience in the classroom. But you might be wondering, what is bullying exactly? "Bullying includes harassment based on ethnicity, race, religion and-more and more frequently-gender identity, as children begin to identify themselves as gay or bisexual at earlier ages." ( pg. 6) Is teasing the same as bullying? No. "Not all taunting, teasing, and fighting among school children constitute bullying. When acts are repeated by someone perceived as physically or psychologically more powerful-that is bullying." (pg.7) Many parents already realize that technology has also played a primary role in upping dangers and risks involved in bullying. However, The Bully Action Guide offers keycepts toward identifying this problem and most importantly, leading you to a remedy for it.
Still you might wonder, are bullies really dangerous? And yes, bullies are dangerous! Remember, Phoebe Prince, a 15 year old, hung herself, after having been referred to as an "Irish whore" by peers in South Hadley, MA. As sex and sexuality are often used to bully. Lawrence King, an eighth grader from Oxnard, California declared that he was gay and after a series of bullying attacks, he was shot and killed in a computer lab. (pg. 30) And these are just (2) incidents of the severity of bullying, there are many, many more.
You might think that school's are not responsible and cannot control bullying; however it is a school's duty to protect students from behavior that fit's the legal definition of harassment. (pg.33) In fact, in a survey of American middle and high school students, 66 percent of bullying victims believed that school personnel responded poorly when they saw children being bullied. (pg.46).
Can't mediation with a teacher or principal be enough? No. It is ill-advised to have a student who has been harassed engage in a mediation with the bully, as it imposes even more consequences upon the student afterwards, when adults are unavailable for intervention.
So how are schools most able to help you? Every school has an anti-harassment policy. Be sure to get your copy as soon as your child is registered in school. Start to discuss bullying with your family. And watch for the signs of your child being bullied by changes in their behavior. Follow Dragan's guidelines and use the script he supplies to draw out talking points so you can more easily ascertain that your child is being bullied. Remember that ethnic slurs are inappropriate and unacceptable. If all else fails with your principal, you can go to the Board of Education and the Superintendent. More guidelines for a dialogue with the principal are included in The Bully Action Guide, and it would serve you and your child well, to follow the direction Dragan suggests in coping with this problem. If your child attends a private school different rules apply.
Edward F. Dragan, EDD., has spent more than 40 years as an educator, former teacher, principal, school superintendent, and an official in the New Jersey Department of Education. As the founder of Education Management Consulting and Safe Schools International, he is now a legal consultant for high profile school bullying cases. You may have seen Dragan on NBC Nightly news, Today on NBC, PBS's One on One and The Morning Show and Fox, and others. Dragan shares his professional experience with bullying and events that impacted his own grandchildren.
Focusing on the faults of schools that are ineffective in their approach to bullying, is only one aspect of this comprehensive analysis of the problem, as Dragan gives families a series of solutions to the varied incidents of bullying found in schools today. He carefully gives explanations as to the legal aspects of a parents rights to have their child/ren protected, such as the Civil Liberties Law, which insures each child's right to safety in school.
The effect of bullying that fails to be addressed in school systems often lead to tragic outcomes, outcomes that could have been prevented. Children can be bullied for a variety of reasons: disabilities, being of color, being shy, gay and or and simply because they may lack the defenses of others in class.
"It is in the school's best interest to deal with an informed parent-instead of a lawyer." (pg. 10) says Dragan, and there are four broad types of bullying: physical, verbal, social, and cyber. (pg. 17)
"Though bullying comes in many strips, each form of bullying should be fought in the same way-- a way that will allow you to learn how to penetrate the schoolhouse, open the door to the principal's office, and become an active participant in the protection of your child. As Dragan said it would, this book does "teach you how to recognize bullying and nip it in the bud before it takes on a life of its own.' (pg. 18) Bullying in childhood leads to additional problems in adulthood, including negative relationships, incarceration. For instance, in one study, 60 percent of those characterized as bullies in grades six to nine had at least one criminal conviction by age 24. All of these facts are good reasons to seize bullying as a teachable moment and intervene-not just for the sake of the victim, but for that of the bully, too. (19)
Children tend to be bullied when they do not make good eye contact, upset easily by (or does not understand) teasing and reacts strongly to it, does not understand body language or other nonverbal cues and tends to misinterpret some benign words or actions as aggressive and reacts fearfully. When one factors in the amount of the broad range of learning disabilities, one can see the likelihood of those children being subjected to bullying.
The solution, according to Dragan is "Change the culture of our schools. When you have the same information the school administrators have, you will know how to open the door of the principal's office and communicate effectively to get the school to listen." (28) Victims of bullying experience a range of mental health and social difficulties. These include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and low self-esteem all of which can become chronic. (Pg. 29)
The Bully Action Guide: How to Help Your Child and Get Your School to Listen is a no-nonsense, fact-based call-to-action for families. It is also an aid for educators, personnel in schools and staff in child care facilities who must learn that bullying is here to stay, until we change "the culture of our schools" and that change will not come unless we work together.
© 2012 Kaolin
Kaolin, author of Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives.