Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reduce Bullying and Improve School Learning Environment

The evidence-based 5 Steps To Handle a Bully Without Fighting program teaches elementary, middle school and high school students to identify, defuse, and safely report bullying, be assertive, and build friendships. In fact, recent research found that programs using our techniques led to an over 30 percent decline in bullying and a 70 percent reduction in destructive bystander behavior.5 Steps To Handle a Bully Without Fighting lessons can help children feel safe and supported by the adults and teachers around them so that they can build stronger bonds to school and focus on academic performance. Additionally the program supports the school's staff with school-wide policies and training. Now everyone can work together to build a safe environment free from the fear of bullying and messy lawsuits.

5 Steps To Handle a Bully Without Fighting is a unique program designed by professional protectors (Executive Security Bodyguards) , educators and the latest research on bullying prevention.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

13 Year Old Boy Bullied. Mother Seeks Help to Deal With Bullying in School.

Recently a mother of a 13 year old boy wrote to me to inquire about a situation her son is facing at school with bullying and cruel comments. I included the response in this blog because I know that many children are facing difficult situations like these and are not sure what to do about it.

Parents become frustrated in trying to protect their children but sometimes find they are not getting the cooperation from schools and teachers as much as they would like. I have encountered this numerous times and hear the frustration of parents facing these circumstances. While my first recommendation is to work with the school teachers, counselors and administration, it may not always yield the desired results.

There are a broad range of responses from schools and school teachers regarding bullying. I have encountered schools who take bullying quite seriously and are well equipped to take positive action. Other times, I have seen teachers turn a blind eye to bullying behavior under the misguided notion that, "Boys will be boys." Worse yet, I have encountered teachers who are manipulative bullies themselves who believe on a gut level that "the kid is getting what he deserves" or "needs to toughen up". In any event, the school nor the teacher will ever be the child's parent. Your child needs you to help him learn how to deal with this situation so he can be equipped to properly manage it for the rest of his life. But this isn't something he should do alone.

"“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”—Chinese proverb

Our 5 step how to handle a bully process uses a multi-faceted approach that treats the targeted child (the bullied), the bullying behavior (the "bully" or "bullies"), the social environment fostering and tolerating the bullying behavior, the policies of the school, as well as the parents of the involved children.

Good communication and a little knowledge with role playing can go a long way in handling bullying problems. Don't give up! Keep trying to work with the school, coaches, teachers, counselors and the administration - your child is worth it. There is hope and some great options available. I hope this advice to a concerned mother on How To Handle Bullying in School is some assistance and encouragement to mothers (and fathers) and their children suffering from bullying.

Dear Mr. Nottingham:

Krystal said...

Thanks for posting this advice [Verbal Judo Comebacks for Bullying]. My son has been harassed every day for a year and a half. He is 13 and has several disabilities that make school alone a challenge. He also takes medication that has produced bad body odor in the past. We have since changed it and the smell is gone. He is very conscious about his hygiene and is very clean but the kids still insist that he smells and mention it whenever they can. The other children were justified by the school staff when I called the counselor about it. She told me that the teachers and she agreed with the kids and they (the other children) should not have had to be near him. There has been no help now that we have eliminated the problem of body odor except to answer an email inquiring if they notice the smell anymore. They said the "don't think" they have. The children not wanting to sit near him and blocking their noses etc., is still tolerated by the staff. Worse things are said behind the teacher's backs. He feels that it will never change and he will always be the "loser kid that smells". I am heartbroken for him. He is so lonely and would love to have just one friend. He is a sensitive caring person and anyone would be lucky to have him as a friend, but I think the other kids find it too risky. I finally told him to fight back. I am not afraid of him getting attacked. He is 5'11" and 165lbs. These kids are much smaller than he is so I doubt he would have to defend himself anyway. Is this bad advice? Should I tell him to keep ignoring him? It has not helped yet, and don't think it will. I'm not sure what to expect from you, I just thought your ideas were well written and felt safe to vent here. If anyone else has advice or a blog to suggest, it would be appreciated.

John D. Nottingham EPS, PI, 6th Dan said...

Thank you for writing a response and sharing your story. I think it can help others who identify with your son's situation with bullying. My heart goes out to you and your son because I know the pain that difficult situations with bullying and cruel comments can cause. It isn't just the words that hurt but the social ostracization and an undeserved reputation.
I would suggest enrolling your son in a quality martial arts program with bully prevention training. A good Martial Arts instructor will help him build on positive experiences, learn social skills in a safe-haven, as well as effective tools for how to handle a bully without fighting. It is a positive place where he can also have a clean start and learn to make friends.
With several of my students we had an instructor from our martial arts academy visit the school where the bullying was taking place. They conducted bully prevention training and then highlighted our student (the child being bullied) by having them come up and demonstrate how to break a board. This usually wins the peers over and gives them a new reputation that supersedes any previous one. I think your son is blessed to have such a caring and involved mother. With you on his side I think he is already on his way to a brighter future.
Strength in safety,
John D. Nottingham