The Truth about Bullying

When we distributed the Fall issue of the North Idaho Family Magazine, we asked parents, school administrators, and teachers about topics they’d like to see covered in future issues of the North Idaho Family Magazine. From pre-school teachers through middle school age, the overwhelming response was bullying. Administrators in elementary schools said that there is still confusion as to what constitutes “bullying.” A pre-school teacher told us that “you would be amazed at just how early bullying can start.”

As a parent, we all hope that our child will neither BE bullied, or BE a bully. Communication is critical.

The Coeur d’Alene School District website includes information for Parents and Students on their Anti-Bullying Initiative, including a “Stand Up, Speak Up” section that includes a “Report a Bully” form, information about their online reporting system, in addition to their Policy on Bullying and a Parent Guide to Bullying PDF. These resources can be found at www.cdaschools.org/Domain/2000.

What is Bullying?

The uniform definition describes bullying as “any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated.”

To be considered an act of bullying, the following must be present:

  • There is aggressive behavior by another student or group of students
  • The behavior creates an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim, either socially or emotionally
  • The behavior has been repeated

How do I respond?

Things to do immediately:

  • Intervene immediately. It is ok to get an adult to help.
  • Separate those involved.
  • Make sure everyone is safe.
  • Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
  • Stay calm. Reassure those involved, including bystanders.
  • Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
  • See the stopbullying.gov’s site for more ways to respond

If you think someone is in danger:

  • Contact the SPAN (Suicide Prevention Action Network) of Idaho or call 1-800-273-8255
  • Call the local police:
    Kootenai County Sheriff -(208) 446-1300
    Coeur d’Alene Police Department – (208) 769-2320
    Hayden Lake Police Department – (208) 772-2161

IS IT REALLY BULLYING?

RUDE

When someone says or does something upsetting, but they weren’t trying to be hurtful and they don’t continue to act that way.

MEAN

When someone says or does something on purpose to be hurtful, but they don’t keep doing it.

BULLYING

When someone says or does something on purpose to be hurtful and they keep doing it– even when you tell them to stop or show them you are upset.

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