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NATIONAL STOP BULLYING DAY

This annual designation promotes standing up against bullying. This nationally recognized day proves to those all across the nation that we are committed to end bullying. NAMI KDK is proud to say that we are in this together, we pledge to do our part in educating students, professionals, and support systems about the language of kindness.


We feel that each child should feel safe in their environments in order to positively influence their development. We recognize the emotional toll that bullying puts on any person. There should be no repercussions for seeking help or for reporting bullying incidents at schools and all public/private institutions.


What Is Bullying?


Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words, or more subtle actions.


Some signs that may point to bully-type behavior:

  • Unexplainable injuries

  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry

  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness

  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.

  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares

  • Loss of motivation to go to work or do basic chores

  • Loss of self-esteem

  • Lower productivity

  • Trouble making decisions


Types of Bullying


Bullying comes in many forms. It occurs repeatedly and is a way for the perpetrator to show their power. Whether the bullying is verbal, physical, relational, or cyberbullying, the results are detrimental.

  • Verbal bullying involves spoken words. The person may threaten or call names. They may use disrespectful language toward family, friends, or specifically aimed at their target.

  • Physical bullying is aggression in the form of hitting, kicking, pushing, or any unwanted touch.

  • Relational bullying involves purposely excluding someone from activities, groups, or events through social tactics.

  • Cyberbullying includes using social media, texts, and the internet to spread rumors, lies, or mean messages about a person.

Since the rise Covid-19 multiple kids and adults have become victims of cyberbullying.


What Is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.


How Parents and Youth Can Contribute


Schools can set the stage for meaningful parent and youth involvement, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Parents and youth need to feel valued and be given opportunities to contribute their expertise. To sustain parent and youth involvement, schools need to provide meaningful roles for them. For example:

  • Students can contribute their views and experiences with bullying. They can take leadership roles in school to promote respect and inclusion, communicate about bullying prevention with their peers, and help develop rules and policies.

  • Parents can contribute to a positive school climate through the parent teacher association, volunteering, and school improvement events.

  • School staff can keep parents informed, make them feel welcome, and treat them as partners. Schools can consider identifying a school coordinator to support parent and youth engagement strategies. Schools can set meeting times that are convenient for parents and youth and may consider additional incentives such as providing dinner or child care.

Adults: How to deal with Cyberbullying


  • BLOCK AND REPORT

Block and report anyone who starts to become abusive. Most websites have strict rules about trolling and will take action. Some social media platforms have a mute facility so you don’t need to be bothered by them.

  • INITIAL WARNING

Send a short formal warning such as “do not contact me again” and record this along with any further contact in a screenshot evidence file. Learn how to take screenshots and store evidence correctly in our technical advice section.

  • ON-SITE PROTECTION

Always make sure the websites and social media platforms you use have clear abuse and harassment reporting facilities. If they don’t – it is probably representative of the way they treat their users.

  • CHECK YOURSELF

Privacy policies are forever changing and updating. Google your own name to double-check what personal information you have made public. You’ll be surprised to see how much of your data is out there!

  • IDENTIFYING YOUR CYBERBULLY

Remember, you may become the target of someone you already know. This could be an ex-partner or jealous friend, someone you have fallen out with or even a business rival. These kinds of hate campaigns can be devastating and affect all areas of your life. Explore our reputation management section to learn how to manage your online presence.


Children: How parents can help with their children.

  • listen calmly and offer comfort and support

  • Praise your child for doing the right thing by talking to you about it.

  • Remind your child that he or she isn't alone

  • Let someone at school (the principal, school nurse, or a counselor or teacher) know about the situation. They are often in a position to monitor and take steps to prevent further problems.

Advice to tell your kids

  • Avoid the bully and use the buddy system. Use a different bathroom if a bully is nearby and don't go to your locker when there is nobody around. Make sure you have someone with you so that you're not alone with the bully. Buddy up with a friend on the bus, in the hallways, or at recess — wherever the bully is. Offer to do the same for a friend.

  • Hold the anger. It's natural to get upset by the bully, but that's what bullies thrive on. It makes them feel more powerful. Practice not reacting by crying or looking red or upset. It takes a lot of practice, but it's a useful skill for keeping off of a bully's radar. Sometimes kids find it useful to practice "cool down" strategies such as counting to 10, writing down their angry words, taking deep breaths, or walking away. Sometimes the best thing to do is to teach kids to wear a "poker face" until they are clear of any danger (smiling or laughing may provoke the bully).

  • Act brave, walk away, and ignore the bully. Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop, then walk away. Practice ways to ignore the hurtful remarks, like acting uninterested or texting someone on your cell phone. By ignoring the bully, you're showing that you don't care. Eventually, the bully will probably get bored with trying to bother you.

  • Tell an adult. Teachers, principals, parents, and lunchroom personnel at school can all help stop bullying.

  • Talk about it. Talk to someone you trust, such as a guidance counselor, sibling, or friend. They may offer some helpful suggestions, and even if they can't fix the situation, it may help you feel a little less alone.


NAMI KDK is here to help you through these difficult times. NAMI offers free support groups that help you or a loved one with their mental health conditions. The programs are NAMI KDK Connections Support Group, is for any adult who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition, and NAMI KDK Family Support Group, is for any adults with a family member or loved one who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition. Please visit our website namikdk.org/programs to register for your desired support group.


NAMI KDK offers an educational program for students, parents and educators called Ending the Silence. Ending the Silence is a free, education presentation provided to high school students. These presentations are available for families and staff members of schools and other facilities to provide education and support to individuals who are supporting loved ones or clients with mental health conditions.



For more information or assistance, please feel free to call us at 630-896-6264 or email us at info@namikdk.org


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