There are a lot of different ways schools address the issue of bullying. At Serene Lake, we start by defining what bullying is.
Is it Bullying?
Bullying is a topic that is often discussed in today’s society. As a parent it is a topic that can strike fear in your heart. No one wants their child to either be bullied or be the bully. However it can sometimes be hard to tell when it is bullying or when it is something else. One of the best things you can do as a parent is to provide a listening ear and ask clarifying questions. Here’s how to discern if the behavior being reported to you is RUDE, MEAN, or BULLYING.
- RUDE: Behaviors and words that are considered rude are often unintentional, inconsiderate, and/or thoughtless. Rude words are said without the intent to hurt someone. For kids, rudeness might look like cutting in line or bragging about being the best reader.
- MEAN: Purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once or maybe even twice. The goal of mean words is to hurt feelings. Mean behavior and words can be motivated by anger or a student’s attempt to make themselves feel better. For kids, meanness might include negative comments about the way a person is dressed, the way a person looks, or the person’s learning ability.
- BULLYING: Behavior that is intentional, repetitive, and aggressive. Another element of bulling is an imbalance of power. Bullying may be physical (punching), verbal (words and threats), relational (excluding friends or spreading rumors), or cyberbullying (involving technology).
Students at Serene Lake are taught that bullying is when someone keeps being mean to someone else on purpose. The person it’s happening to hasn’t been able to make it stop. It is unfair and one-sided. We encourage our students to report bullying to staff as soon as they witness or experience it. As we cannot always see everything that happens, it is so important to reach out to an adult for help. Our students also learn about being a bystander and how to help when a peer is being bullied. The curriculum we use is the Second Step Bully Prevention Unit. For more information about the bully prevention units, click here.