Monday, April 27, 2009

Bullying – An Information Clearinghouse


You may have found this article because you are desperate to find help and support for you or your child who is being bullied. If so, please know that as a community of parents, we are here to help and support as much as we can. Most of us have been navigating DeKalb County School System for many years and we are here to help you by serving as a guide to the best of our ability. That said, the school system is your first line of defense, and we strongly encourage you to use it, find the people in the system with authority, ask for their help and never give up. Start with your child's teacher, move up to the school counselor and if necessary, on to the principal or the system administrator in prevention/intervention.

This thread came about after the tragic suicide of one of our DeKalb students, Jaheem Herrera, a fifth-grader attending Dunaire Elementary School in Stone Mountain, who was so deep in despair, his mother says, due to relentless bullying at school, that he could not see a way out other than taking his own life. We all grieved and continue to grieve over this 11 year old boy’s senseless death and together have pledged to at least create a place to offer information and serve as a guide.

We have learned that according to experts, bullying refers to intentional actions repeated over time that harm, intimidate or humiliate another person [the victim] and occur within the context of an imbalance of power, either real or perceived, between the bully and the victim. Bullying can be physical, verbal or relational, meaning that it can involve excluding or isolating the victim.

Now, we have to add cyber-bullying as a whole new type of abuse. In fact, in Missouri, responding to the suicide of a Missouri teenager who was teased over the Internet by an adult woman posing as a teenaged boy, state lawmakers gave final approval to a bill making cyber harassment illegal. The bill updates state laws against harassment to keep pace with technology by removing the requirement that the communication be written or over the telephone. Supporters say the bill will now cover harassment from computers, text messages and other electronic devices.

Bullying is not something to be brushed off as part of growing up says Barbara Coloroso, author of The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander. Ms. Coloroso gave this advice - do not minimize, rationalize or explain it away. Bullies must be held accountable. Restorative justice for bullies requires restitution, resolution and reconciliation.

In fact, The Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says Children who are bullied experience real suffering that can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. Some victims of bullying have even attempted suicide rather than continue to endure such harassment and punishment.

PROGRAMS IN PLACE in DEKALB SCHOOLS

DeKalb County Schools has an exemplary anti-bullying program according to many experts. Click on the comments link below to view what the DCSS Code of Conduct has to say about bullying.

• The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) works with DeKalb Schools in implementing their program called No Place for Hate® and the Community of Respect. ADL's No Place for Hate® program empowers school communities to promote respect for individual and group differences while challenging prejudice and bigotry.

Becoming a No Place for Hate® School is simple, but requires commitment and follow-through. Participants sign a Resolution of Respect, complete at least three anti-bias activities, and document those activities through a fulfillment form.

• In addition, a HOTLINE sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education provides a 24-hour reporting system for students to report weapons, violence (including bullying), or drugs anonymously by calling 1-877-SAY-STOP. Information is recorded and shared with the local school system and local law enforcement. An investigation is conducted upon receipt of the report.


OTHER PROGRAMS

Programs that DCSS may wish to look into, or individual principals and parent groups may wish to implement in their own schools include:

• Dr. Dan Olweus, a Norwegian research professor of psychology, developed a bullying prevention program that was implemented in Norway, Clemson University and other U.S. schools. Olweus Bullying Prevention Program which is designed to reduce fighting, vandalism, theft and truancy. Cobb County uses this program and based on pre and post bullying prevention surveys, the rate of bullying has dropped by 40% according to Jeff Inman, Cobb County Coordinator for Safe and Drug Free Schools.

• Flyers found at the Cobb Schools website, can be downloaded and given to parents when their child may be a victim of bullying and or identified as a bully. The flyers cover the following topics: Adult Sayings, Bullying Myths, Bystanders, Code of silence, Definition of Bullying, Intervention Strategies for Bully, Relational aggression, Teasing, Tips for Parents and resources,

What Does Bullying and Victim Behavior Look Like
 and the
Bullying Podcast (mp3) of a radio interview with Jeff Dess, Cobb's Prevention/Intervention specialist.

One of the flyers lists the following facts regarding bullying:

• Children are more likely to be bullied in elementary school.

• Most bullying is non-physical behavior such as name-calling.

• Most bullies use bullying behaviors with more than one victim.

• In elementary school, most students who are bullied tell a teacher or parent. When students reach middle and high school, children are less likely to reach out for adult intervention.

• Bullying is most likely to occur during school hours.

• Most students think that they should be involved but do not know how.

• Class size does not increase the frequency of bullying behavior.

• Students who bully have average to above average self-esteem.

• Most victims who are bullied are not bullied because of external deviations like red hair, glasses, etc.

• Empathy crystallizes in elementary years.

• If a child is being bullied, ask the student to log the bullying behavior (where, what type of bullying, when, how and who’s doing it).

• Bullies do not pick on others at random but instead engage in a shopping process
targeting preferred victims.

• Bullies consistently see other children as more aggressive than themselves. They see threats where none exists and take these imagined threats as provocation to
strike back.

• Children who are potential victims must learn to recognize the importance of body language.

• As a result of a bullying episode, there must be contrasting feelings. The child who bullies may feel excited, powerful or amused while the victim feels embarrassed or hurt.

• Bullies are as popular as well adjusted students. Victims occupy the bottom of the schoolyard food chain, the lowest rungs of the social ladder and the bottom of the pecking order.

The point that consistently jumped out in all of this research is the fact that the Bystander is the Key. Training students to step in, diffuse, protect and tell will go a long way to creating safe schools.

Jimmy Carter stated it well with the following poem.



Peace is active, not passive; Peace is doing, not waiting; Peace like war must be waged. 



Our goal then is to wage peace on bullying.

Call it what it is, bullying behavior, and insist that it will not be accepted at school or at home. Every student has a right to come to school and not be called names, threatened, ostracized, or isolated. School should be a safe haven.

-------------
Bloggers, please share any links, information or helpful tips regarding bullying in the comments section below. We will keep this post going for as long as it takes. We will create a photo-link to it on the right hand panel so that it will never get buried.

34 comments:

Cerebration said...

DCSS CODE OF CONDUCT.

Here's what the "Code of Conduct" says about bullying
 --

VIOLENCE, WEAPONS, DRUGS HOTLINE
6
Sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education, the HOTLINE provides a 24-hour reporting system for students to report weapons, violence (including bullying), or drugs anonymously by calling 1-877-SAY-STOP. Information is recorded and shared with the local school system and local law enforcement. An investigation is conducted upon receipt of the report.

BULLYING
State law prohibits bullying. State law mandates a discipline hearing after the third incident of bullying with a referral to an alternative school setting upon a finding of guilt (O.C.G.A. 20-2-145). The DeKalb School System will not tolerate bullying and other forms of harassment and, therefore, reserves the right to punish students after the first incident and upon a finding of guilt. Such punishment may include suspension, expulsion, or a referral to an alternative school. Please note: Any form of electronic bullying (cyberbullying) using school equipment, school networks, e-mail systems or committed at school is strictly prohibited.

7. VIOLENCE AGAINST STUDENTS, SCHOOL PERSONNEL, SCHOOL VISITORS
a. ASSAULT/BULLYING


Verbal threatening and/or intimidating teachers, administrators, bus drivers, other school personnel, other students, or persons attending school-related functions without actual physical contact; an attempt to hurt another without physical contact, or actions which cause reasonable fear of immediate bodily harm (including bullying – three bullying violations could result in expulsion, O.C.G.A. 20-2-145). NOTE: Threatening witnesses may result in expulsion.
Penalty may range from in-school suspension to expulsion. A Local Formal Hearing must be held when the verbal threat is a threat to life, when the bullying incident is the third such incident, when the verbal threat is directed to a person expected to testify in a hearing, or when the verbal threat is directed to a school employee. Based on a finding of guilty at the Local Formal Hearing, the student is suspended for up to ten (10) school days and is referred to the Student Evidentiary Hearing Committee, which may result in suspension, a referral to an alternative school, or expulsion.
b. SIMPLE BATTERY/BULLYING
Fighting or making physical contact of an insulting, offensive or provoking nature with teachers, administrators, bus drivers, other school personnel, other students or persons or causing physical harm to another (including bullying or hazing — three bullying violations could result in expulsion (O.C.G.A. 20-2-145). NOTE: if the incident involves intentional physical contact with a school employee, see Offense #4a.
Penalty may range from in-school suspension to short-term suspension, if the incident involved a fight between or among students without injuries and without causing a school disturbance. A Local Formal Hearing must be held when a student physically contacts a school system employee or if the incident caused a major school disturbance. Based on a finding of guilty at the Local Formal Hearing, the student is suspended for ten (10) school days and is referred to the Student Evidentiary Hearing Committee, which may result in suspension, a referral to an alternative school, or expulsion.

Cerebration said...

VICTIM’S PARENTS FIGHT BACK.

Many programs have been created as a response to bullying by parents of victims. For example, after her 13-year-old son Jared committed suicide in 1998, Washington state resident Brenda High sued her son’s school district, saying they failed to protect him from older children who bullied him. In the most serious incident, Jared was thrown against a wall in the gym by a much larger eighth-grader and beaten; afterward, he vomited and had blood in his urine.

High later founded the organization Bully Police USA to advocate for anti-bullying laws and policies and authored the book “Bullycide in America: Moms Speak Out About the Bullying/Suicide Connection.”

The term bullycide, she said, describes a suicide caused by bullying. “If we want to prevent kids from killing themselves, we’ve got to stop the bullying,” she said.

Cerebration said...

DANGER SIGNS OF SUICIDE.

Talking about suicide, or killing oneself, even in a joking manner -

Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness

Preoccupation with death

Suddenly happier, calmer

Loss of interest in things one used to care about

Visiting or calling people one cares about

Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order

Giving things away

To learn more about depression and suicide in teens visit Jared’s Story. While there, be sure to read her story, “The Skittles War” as a reminder that the simple happy moments in life are such treasures.

http://www.jaredstory.com/teen_epidemic.html

Dunwoody Mom said...

Also, tonight on PDS-TV 24 at 9:20 there is a segment on the "No Place for Hate" followed by the Parents Advisory Council on Cyper-bullying.

Cerebration said...

Have you ever heard of the “9 Line”? This is a hotline for teens sponsored by Covenant House – covering any kind of crisis or simply to talk about feelings – be it for a runaway, abuse, drugs, alcohol or someone thinking of suicide. Free and confidential help is a 9-Line phone call away.

Just dial 1-800-999-9999.


http://www.covenanthouse.org/nineline/

Cerebration said...

If you have taken a stand against bullying, the authors of a new book being written would like to hear your story. We are looking for real stories about kids who have stepped in to help their peers when they have faced bullying problems, and real stories from victims of bullying who tell how their peer-hero or peer-heroes saved them from being bullied or protected them from bullies. Find out more by clicking here.

http://www.heroesinthecrowd.com/

Ella Smith said...

Again, very nice information.

I do feel in many incidences as a teacher that teachers with poor self-esteem bully also in order to make themself feel better about themself. I see this alot.

I also as a Health teacher make sure I teach students that if a friend talks about suicide to you this is life threatening and you must go to an adult. Anytime anything is life threatening you must go to an adult. My students know they can come to me and I will forget who told me but I will make sure the student gets the help they need. Students are so afraid to go to adults and many times they try to handle suicide situations with their friends when they are not equipped to do so.

No Duh said...

A common form of non-physical bullying is known as Relational Aggression. Defined by The Ophelia Project as:

"Relational aggression is behavior that is intended to harm someone by damaging or manipulating his or her relationships with others (Crick and Grotpeter, 1995). Relationally aggressive behaviors include exclusion, malicious gossip and rumor spreading, teasing and name calling, alliance building, covert physical aggression and cyberbullying."

Eye-rolling would definitely be a common form of Relational Aggression. And while RA is a typical form of bullying that girls employ, it is seen in boys and adults.

RA is so "under the table" that teachers are typically stunned when parents complain about how other students are treating their children. Teachers see the girls interacting and smiling at each other, but they don't see -- or can't interpret -- the eyerolling, shunning and other behaviors.

If your child is friends with a "Queen Bee" -- a female bully who is an RA expert, you might want to study up on RA. It won't be long before your child is sucked into perpetrating RA or being victimized by it.

Ella Smith said...

I was watching a segment on the "No Place for Hate" produced by Miller Grove HS. at about 8:30-9:00 or until my husband came home. His comment was, "Why are they showing this all of a sudden?"

This segment includes bullying as violence.

No Duh said...

Jaheem Herrara's mother will appear on Oprah this Wednesday.

pscexb said...

I planned to ask No Duh for the source however went to this link:

http://www.oprah.com/dated/oprahshow/oprahshow-20090501-bullying

Though Ms. Bermudez is not 'explicitly' mentioned, one can easily draw the conclusion she is one of the guests.

Cerebration said...

One of the audience members has a post about the show and her response to Mrs. Bermudez - it very much is her. I don't know how I feel about Oprah having her on so soon after this tragedy - It's good that the topic is being discussed, but to showcase two grieving mothers seems a bit raw, invasive, voyeuristic.... I just kind of feel sick that we as a society think it's "entertaining" to sit, have some tea and watch vicariously as others unravel. It's unsettling - I'm not so sure I'll watch.

1. Re: Bullied to Death: Two Devastated Moms Speak Out
May 4, 2009 9:40 AM

On Friday 5/1, I attended a taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show, I sat and listened to Masika Bermudez, mother of the Virgin Island's boy talk about the loss of her son. After she spoke, I proceeded to watch her agony from a nearby seat. I felt her pain. It was awful seeing her sit through the remaining portion of the show about sexual bullying. Very painful. I wanted to hug her, and help her somehow. I felt guilty for watching her in such a position. It was horrible......

No Duh said...

Remember, no one forces anyone to appear on Oprah. The picture sure look like Jaheem's mother.

I will watch in order to see if she uses Jaheem's story to help others or just to point fingers.

Cerebration said...

That's just it though, she is in deep, deep grief. She's most likely in the anger stage - so she'll most likely be angry. Will the world judge her for that? What if she waited a couple of years? Would she have a different perspective? Would she be more likely to be in a frame of mind to help others?

I just think this is too raw and I think Oprah is taking advantage of these ladies grief (the other woman just buried her son recently as well.) Think about it - what condition would you be in if you had just buried your child? I'm certain she's not thinking straight and will most likely be very angry - it would be natural. I won't judge her for that for one minute.

No Duh said...

Cere, you are right. Ms. Bermundez has no business being on Oprah. And, Oprah and her producers have no business using these two women on a show about bullying.

But, Ms. Bermundez has a lawyer -- and there's no doubt in my mind that this lawyer agreed to this interview and that Ms. Bermundez will regret agreeing to it as soon as it airs.

It will still be interesting to hear what she has to say and to see if she has been coached in any way by her lawyer.

Sorry, I'm a cynic.

You can bet where the DCSS lawyers will be tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Cerebration said...

Yep. All true. All sad. I wonder if Dr. Lewis has had a chance to meet with her yet. He has said that he plans to.

Cerebration said...

I noticed on the post by psc regarding the May 5 Cabinet Meeting, he mentioned that the National School Safety Center will be visiting DCSS on Monday, May 11. I hope this meeting is honest and productive.

I looked up their website and found a lot of helpful information regarding bullying. You can download the items here -
http://www.schoolsafety.us/Bullying-p-26.html.
Some interesting highlight from their fact sheets include -

What do bullies do?
They can bully in direct ways, such as:
• hitting, tripping, shoving, pinching, excessive tickling;
• verbal threats, name calling, racial slurs, insults;
• demanding money, property, service; and
• stabbing, choking, burning and shooting.

They can also bully in indirect ways, such as:
• rejecting, excluding, isolating;
• ranking or rating, humiliating;
• manipulating friends and relationships;
• writing hurtful or threatening e-mails and postings on web sites; and
• blackmailing, terrorizing, and proposing dangerous dares.

Do boys and girls bully in different ways?
Traditionally, boys tended to bully in direct and physical ways, and girls tended to bully in
emotional or indirect ways. However, influences, such as media, technology and new forms of
social power, are beginning to blur the gender lines.

Other things to know about bullying:
• Some students are bullies; others are targets of bullying.
• A student can be both a target and a bully at the same time.
• Some students are bystanders; bystanders can be either passive or active.
• Some acts of bullying at school can result in suspension and/or expulsion.
• Bullying breaks the law when it becomes stealing, assault and battery, extortion, sexual
harassment, hate crimes and other criminal acts.
• Administrators, teachers, school staff, students and parents must accept the responsibility
to recognize, report and/or intervene with bullying when it occurs.
• Bullying that goes unchecked tends to escalate into more serious forms of bullying or
even criminal behavior.

Schools that allow bullying to continue are promoting violence. Studies show that acts of
serious school violence often have their roots in bullying issues. A school may develop a
reputation for being non-caring, irresponsible and persistently dangerous. Some schools have
faced costly and embarrassing litigation or loss of enrollment for these very reasons. Bullying
endangers the academic mission of a school community. Bullying compromises the school
safety mission.

Cerebration said...

DCSS has an informative "booklet" online shedding light on research on bullying as well as actions that should be taken.

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/administration/safety/files/bullying/.


Intervention Examples --

Administer an anonymous standard student survey to assess the extent of the bullying problem.

Results of the survey are presented to all staff to apprise them of the situation and to identify steps which will be taken.

Results of the survey should indicate which areas of the school are most likely to harbor incidences of bullying.

Schoolwide posters, bulletins, and rules should be produced to make sure the anti-bullying message is clear.

Disciplinary action should be taken against bullies, depending on circumstances; there should be a consequence for any type of bullying.

Counselors and administrators should provide counseling for the victims of bullying and for the bully.

Parents of the victim of bullying and the bully should be informed of the behavior and given advice on effective ways to stop bullying.

High prevalance of bullying in school may require a schoolwide conflict resolution, problem solving, and human relations effort that involves all school Human Resources and students.

Cerebration said...

ACTIONS FOR PARENTS --

~Watch for symptoms. (withdrawn, drop in grades, loss of appetite, afraid of school, torn clothes or unexplained bruises)

~Talk, but listen too.
(Communicate openly, but don't pry; encourage talk about school, school bus, activities, other students.)

~Inform school officials immediately. (Keep a written record of the times, dates, names, and circumstances of any bullying incident; this will enable the school to take action.)

~Don't bully your child yourself. (Take a look at your family's discipline measures.)

~Teach your child to be assertive, but not aggressive. (Don't simply say "fight back" against bullies or "just ignore them and they'll go away." Teach them to verbally stand up for themselves, but also teach them the importance of reporting problems to adults and the importance of friendships.)

Cerebration said...

Next month, the American Academy of Pediatrics will, for the first time, address the problem of childhood bullying when it publishes a policy statement on preventing school violence. Goals include changing school culture and re-socializing the bully to change behavior.

In this week’s 18 and Under column, pediatrician Dr. Perri Klass discusses the role of pediatricians, parents and schools in solving bullying problems.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/health/09klas.html?_r=1&ref=health

Cerebration said...

And more interesting research on the topic:

There is some recent imaging research that suggests bullies’ brains may be hardwired for sadism. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), images of bullies’ brains showed that inflicting pain stimulated the brain pleasure centers of males who are unusually aggressive, but showed no activity in brains of normal males.

Ethic Soup blog has a good article on this research at:

http://www.ethicsoup.com/2008/11/bullies-may-be-wired-in-brain-to-enjoy-others-pain.html#more

Dekalbparent said...

Interesting articles. They did not fMRI any girls - I wonder what they would have seen, if anything. Do "Mean Girls" operate out of liking to see pain, out of power hunger, out of "insecurity"?

Cerebration said...

TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2009

Georgia State Nets Bullying Study Grant

Georgia State University has received a new federal grant to study school bullying. The $800,000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant will help the college's Department of Counseling and Psychological Services faculty conduct research on children in metro Atlanta school systems. The study is part of a five-year, $5 million grant awarded to the Emory University Center for Injury Control to look at how to prevent and treat a wide variety of injuries. The Georgia State researchers will work with students who are victims of bullying as well as those who have been identified as bullies.

Cerebration said...

To read, "Dunaire Elementary School and a Parent's Worst Nightmare" posted by O&T on the tragic suicide of Jaheem Herrera, go to this link:

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2009/04/dunaire-elementary-school-and-parents.html

Anonymous said...

2009
Don't forget bullying that is perpetrated and encouraged by teacher. Creating a climate of bullying and harassment for students. Chamblee High school 11th grade Language Arts teacher continuous and repetitive (harassing/bullying) questioning students on their relationships or lack of, in front of the class. Ridiculing and mocking them, and others who refuse to participate in the discussion. Same teacher, claiming that he was having a sexual discussion on the literature, when he told the students where Monica Lewinsky inserted the cigar, and told the students that Bill Clinton made a statement on how it tasted. Holding the class hostage to his inappropriate discussions, All under the guise of 11th grade Language Arts education. Manipulating students with grades, depending who is going along with his classroom harassment and comedy, and who is not, texting and following students on Facebook, prowling their photographs. Students have saved his Facebook page where he has students as friends. Some of his Facebook friends have pictures baring their asses, plus who knows what else. He manipulates the students and befriends the students beyond a "teacher student relationship", who calls him the "cool teacher" so they won't speak against him, while he has inappropriate contact and conversation and follows them on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

If what you say is true, as a teacher, this teacher should be investigated and have his license taken away if his behavior is anyway close to what you say.

I wish parents would listen to their children and raise some hell, if this is happening to their kids.

Cerebration said...

Very good news --

In Jaheem's memory: Anti-bullying bill becomes law today

Good for you Herrera family. Thank you for your hard work in spite of your grief.

The family of Jaheem Herrera will be at the Georgia Capitol today to watch Gov. Sonny Perdue sign an anti-bullying bill into law.

The 11-year-old DeKalb County boy committed suicide last year. His parents said he killed himself after facing anti-gay taunts from classmates.

"This is the first step in the long journey to end the terror that grips victims in the schoolhouse," Herrera's family said in a statement. "We applaud the governor and the fine lawmakers of the state of Georgia for hearing the cries of the innocent and oppressed victims of bullying. Jaheem's memory will forever be known as the agent for change in Georgia classrooms."

Sponsored by Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) in the wake of Jaheem's death, the bill sets a January deadline for the state Department of Education to develop an anti-bullying policy that can be a model for local school systems. That policy will include age-appropriate consequences for bullying from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The bill also requires school officials to notify parents when their child is involved as either the victim or instigator of bullying. It was passed as an amendment to a Senate bill dealing with disruptive behavior on school buses.

Cerebration said...

California teacher Kathie Marshall posted a helpful article yesterday inTeacher Magazine called
Helping Students Get Proactive About Bullying

She tackled the subject by researching it with her students and getting them to write about it. Here's some of what they found in their research:

We then turned to an article from
bullybeware.com to examine some statistical evidence about bullying. Thirty percent of students in grades 6 through 10 are involved in moderate or frequent bullying. Many students avoid bathrooms and hallways because of bullies. Half of all bullying incidents go unreported. Cyber-bullying is growing as we speak. Bullying statistics show an increasingly strong relationship with homicide and suicide.
I pointedly mentioned that just 25 percent of students report that teachers intervene in bullying incidents, whereas 71 percent of teachers believe they always intervene. This led to a discussion about reporting or “snitching” on bullies, as well as an eventual discussion about how those who stand around and do nothing while someone is being bullied are a part of the problem—and can be a part of the solution.

We learned about the four main types of bullying: physical, verbal, relational, and reactive victims. We looked at the main causes of bullying:
• the desire to dominate peers;

• the need to feel in control;

• a deficient sense of remorse;

• a refusal to accept responsibility, and

• family and/or parental problems.

We learned, too, that bullies who don’t outgrow or change their ways suffer long-term consequences. These include alcohol use, smoking, inability to make friends, and poor academic achievement. Middle school bullies can be popular; older bullies are not. Most interesting to students was the statistic that by age 24, 60 percent of adult bullies have a criminal conviction.


Click the article link to read the rest.

Cerebration said...

In the comments of the above article, someone provided the link to a very good resource:

Eyes On Bullying Toolkit

Download this helpful pdf for free.

Cerebration said...

Came across another good resource for bullying and suicide prevention. The Trevor Project focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender youth who suffer from bullying, depression and suicide.

The Trevor Project

Often times, a suicidal person may indicate in some way that they plan to attempt suicide. Here are some warning signs you should know about. (NOTE: Refrain from using the phrase "commit(ed) suicide." Instead, use "completed suicide" or "died by suicide" when describing a fatal suicide attempt).
Warning Signs:

Increased Isolation – From family and friends
Alcohol or Drug Use Increases
Expression of negative attitude toward self
Expression of hopelessness or helplessness
Change in Regular Behavior
Loss of interest in usual activities
Giving away valued possessions
Expression of a lack of future orientation (i.e. "It won't matter soon anyway")
Expressing Suicidal Feelings
Signs of Depression
Describes a Specific Plan for Suicide
History of Suicide in the Family

A person who has been extremely depressed in the past may be at an increased risk for suicide if the depression begins to cease, as they may now have the psychological energy to follow through on a suicidal ideation.

If you or someone you care about displays any of these warning signs, please do not hesitate to call The Trevor Lifeline at: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) to speak with a trained volunteer counselor.

Cerebration said...

A sad story about bullying in Ohio -

1 Ohio school, 4 bullied teens dead at own hand

Anonymous said...

Today I heard a piece on CNN about an accussed bully committing suicide.

I am beginning to wonder if the focus needs to shift some from bullying prevention to suicide prevention.

I think there needs to be a clear message about "suicide not being the answer."

Anonymous said...

I am a parent that is currently dealing with a bullying situation in the DeKalb County School System. So far it seems that the bullying policy is moot unless your child states that they are being bullied over and over and has been beat up by another student. My daughter defended herself and received the same punishment as her aggressor even though the aggressor posted on her Facebook page her intentions two days before she came after my daughter; not to mention after my daughter walked away from her twice and informed a security officer of what was going on and a secretary at the school. All I can get from the principal is that if my daughter feels unsafe I should move her to another school. Mind you the school administration has copies if this child's Facebook page where she brags about being a thug, claims she beat my daughters backside (but she used profanity)and in a conversation with friends there is a comment about how when she returns to school they are going to "run dem hands." The school rather protect this child and "help her" than to protect or help an A/B student that does not claim to be a thug nor has any behavioral issues on her school record. Can someone explain this to me?!?! The public schools seem to prefer to be reactive instead of proactive in bullying cases and like to wait until a child dies or kills another before they do anything!

Cerebration said...

Below is a new article from Great Schools on what to do as a parent if your child is bullied.

If your child is being bullied - Advice from two mothers who decided to fight back

There are some very good suggestions in this article.