Most incidents of bullying are not illegal, but the following should be reported to the police or Crime Stoppers
- Hate crimes: if your child or property is targeted because of their race, national, ethnic origin, language, color, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation…these are examples of Hate Crimes.
- Robbery or theft of property
- Harassment and threatening incidents that take place over a prolonged period that causes your child to fear for their safety; can include being followed, and unwanted communication and threats.
Types of bullying
- Social bullying: gossiping, spreading rumours, excluding people.
- Physical bullying: hitting, slapping, spitting, punching, stealing or destroying property.
- Verbal bullying: insults, name calling, threats, sexist, racist or homophobic comments.
- Cyber bullying: cruel emails and texts, posting embarrassing photo’s, creating websites to mock others.
- Relationship bullying: making fun or insulting one’s boy or girl friend or sharing private and personal information with others.
- Sexual harassment: makes you feel uncomfortable about your body or sexuality and can include uninvited or unwanted touching, sexual comments or homophobia.
Signs your child may be getting bullied
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- A drop in grades at school
- Torn clothing or unexplained bruises
- Not wanting to go to school
- Needing extra money or supplies
- Taking toys or other possessions to school and regularly losing them
- Unusual bed wetting.
There are three important things to remember if you are the victim of bullying:
- You are not alone.
- It is not your fault.
- It can be stopped.
What you can do if you are being bullied
- Walk away and get to a safe place
- Tell a trusted adult…a parent, teacher, principal, or the school Liaison Officer.
- Keep track of the bullying…write down dates and any witnesses.
- If you are bullied online, don’t delete anything…take a screenshot if it’s on someone else’s social media.
- If you are being bullied via text messaging, don’t reply or respond to the messages and report the abusive text to your service provider…if the text is threatening in nature, contact the police and report it.
- Report online bullying to the social media site…block the person responsible.
What a parent can do if their child is being bullied?
- Have a conversation about bullying and give your child the chance to talk about what is happening and take their complain seriously.
- Assure them that it is not their fault and you’re not going to take away their cell phone or internet use.
- Determine the type and severity of the bullying before deciding on a course of action…if violence is involved, notify the school and police.
- Teach your children how to resolve arguments without resorting to violence to violent words…may use humour to diffuse the situation.
- Teach your child how to walk confidently and how to stand up for themselves by being assertive and telling the bully to go away.
What a parent can do if their child is being Cyber Bullied?
- Have your child save and print copies of all relevant texts, emails, or other communications.
- Your child should not respond to the bullying and should block the contact. Ensure your child’s privacy settings are the highest on Facebook and other social networking websites and that they have not provided their personal details online.
- Report Cyber Bullying to the website and your internet provider.
- If cyber bullying crosses the line and becomes harassment or involves threats, call the police as soon as possible.