Bullying is a conscious, deliberate and hostile activity intended to harm.

The Four Markers of Bullying

1. An imbalance of power.
2. Intent to harm.
3. Threat of further aggression.
4. When bullying escalates: unabated terror.

Bullying is not about anger, or even about conflict. It is about contempt – a powerful feeling of dislike toward someone considered to be worthless, inferior or undeserving of respect.

Contempt comes with three apparent psychological advantages that allow kids to harm others without feeling empathy, compassion or shame.

These are:
1. A sense of entitlement-the right to control, dominate, overpower, and abuse another human being.
2. An intolerance toward others.
3. A liberty to exclude – to bar, isolate, and segregate a person deemed not worthy of respect or care.

Five Steps to Stop Bullying

1. Discipline (including restitution, reconciliation, resolution)
2. Create opportunities to do the right thing.
3. Nurture empathy. Teach friendship skills.
4. Closely monitor TV viewing, video games and computer activities.
5. Engage in more constructive, entertaining, energizing activities.

The Warning Signs

If your child exhibits any of these warning signs, they may be a victim of bullying:
1. Shows an abrupt lack of interest in school or refuses to go to school.
2. Takes an unusual route to school.
3. Suffers a drop in grades.
4. Withdraws from family and school activities.
5. Is hungry after school.
6. Steals money from home.
7. Makes a beeline to the bathroom when arriving home.
8. Is sad, sullen, angry or scared after receiving a phone call or email.
9. Does something out of character.
10. Has torn or missing clothing.
11. Uses derogatory or demeaning language when talking about peers.
12. Stops talking about peers and everyday activities.
13. Has physical injuries not consistent with explanation
14. Has stomach aches, headaches, panic attacks, is unable to sleep, sleeps too much, is exhausted.
15. Plays alone, or prefers to associate with adults.

If Your Child Is Bullied

· Don’t minimize, rationalize, or explain away the bully’s behaviour.
· Don’t rush in to solve the problem for your child.
· Don’t tell your child to avoid the bully.
· Don’t tell your child to fight back.

Don’t confront the bully or the bully’s parents alone.

Say things such as:
· “I hear you”; “I am here for you”; “I believe you”; “you are not alone in this”; “It is not your fault”.
· There are things you can do.
· Report the bullying to school personnel.

How to Report

· Arrange a meeting for you and your child with the appropriate person at the school.
· Bring the facts in writing to the meeting: the time, date, place, children/youth involved, the specifics of the incidents and the impact the bullying has had on your child as well as how your child has attempted to try to stop the bullying.
· Work with your child and school personnel on a plan that addresses what your child needs right now in order to feel safe, what he/she can do to avoid being bullied and to stand up to any future bullying, and whom he/she can go to for help.
· Find out what procedures the bully will be going through and what kind of support the school is expecting from the parents of the bully.
· If you feel the problem is not being adequately addressed by the school, know that you can express your concerns and let the teacher and/or administrator know that you will take the next step to the school district board office and, if necessary, especially in the cases of serious abuse and racist or sexist bullying, to the police.

If you would like to speak with a police officer or need further information, please contact our Community Policing Officer who will connect you with the appropriate personnel.