Mean Girls Isn’t Just a Movie | Corona, CA

If you’ve ever seen the classic movie, Mean Girls, you know that girls don’t really take feelings into consideration when they choose to prey on another girl. It’s a dog eat dog world, especially in schools and sadly, girls are often worse than boys in that they use verbal abuse over physical bullying. Most Anti-bullying programs don’t look at friendship issues, but for girls, that’s where the aggression usually happens. Here are some tips that can help:

Start by building strong connections at home. You want to be understanding and a good listener. But that doesn’t mean asking questions that can be leading or suggest that she has been wronged.

Validate the range of emotions she is experiencing are valid. Help your daughter understand that all emotions, both positive and negative, are normal.  Remind her that bad emotions don’t make her a bad girl. By allowing her anger or irritation to play out will help her calm down quicker than if you just play down the situation.

Avoid problem-solving for her. You want your daughter to learn how to handle herself in these situations and in life. Be there for her and don’t just tell her what to do. Helping her work through what is going on by asking her questions.

Try role play to work through the problem. Help your daughter hold her ground with her own strong but not aggressive statements. Sometimes, a better idea is to start developing new friendships and avoid that “friend.”

If you would like to learn more about what you can do to prevent bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

4 Simple Solutions We All Can Do To Stop Bullying | Corona, CA

Kids in classBeginning to foster a culture of caring, respect, and awareness starts with a few simple steps that make the biggest change:

1. Increase Your Own Awareness

Realizing when bullying is taking place is a necessary first step in finding solutions. By understanding the scope and roots of the problem, you will get an idea of how to start proactively working to address bullying, including teasing, name-calling, shunning, and physical intimidation or assault. Does your school, sports club, or youth group create a culture of respect, caring, and safety for everyone? Are children appropriately supervised during recess periods, lunch and before and after school?  Do educators have adequate support and training for addressing bullying?

2. Respond Forceful and Respectfully

If you see bullying take place or hear about it, remember that your reactions provide a context for how the kids involved will respond to and interpret the situation. Kids need to see adults being powerful and respectful in responding to problems. If parents or teachers get upset and overreact, kids are more likely to get upset and might even avoid telling adults about future problems. Staying calm, respectful, and persistent will make you more effective in talking to administrators, educators youth group leaders, or parents about their response to a bullying problem. Not everybody reacts in a helpful way when first approached so be prepared to persist.

3. Teach Your Kids Protective Skills

Positive peer relationship skills help to prevent and stop bullying. Tell your children that they have the confidence and power to walk away from any situation. Making safe choices like stepping out of a line or changing seats is sometimes all that is needed to make a bullying problem stop. Ensure that your child is persistent in getting help and is prepared to continue to ask for help even if an adult does not respond immediately.

4. Become Involved

Know what other parents and adults in your community are doing to stop bullying. Insist that your child’s school has a mandatory district-wide anti-bullying policy and educates their staff on diffusing and recognizing all forms and types of youth bullying. Write to your county- and state-level officials telling them of the seriousness of bullying and demand they make it a top priority in their campaigns.

If you would like to learn more about bullying and what you can do to prevent it, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information regarding bullying.

The Story of Lizzie Velasquez Could Become the Most Inspiring Film Against Cyber-Bullying Yet

We’ve seen many documentaries on bullying. We’ve seen them about kids bullied at school, and we’ve seen them about kids bullied on the Internet. We don’t see much on adults who’ve been bullied, but that is something that exists, often at the workplace. Cyber-bullying doesn’t only occur with kids, either. Although Lizzie Velasquez was a teenager when she became the victim of online bullying, the person responsible for posting a YouTube video labeling her as “The Ugliest Woman in the World” might have been an adult. Same with all the hateful commenters.

The type of bullying that Velasquez has experienced is similar to the issue I have with critics who pass moral or physical judgement on documentary subjects. It’s similar to the way our culture has been cruel overall but is now exposed more through the Internet, whether through social media or professional or amateur posts on the web. Celebrities are victims of cyber-bullying all the time and are thought to be deserving of it because they’re on TV or something. But we’re all out there on screens today, and that makes us all susceptible to bullying. And none of us deserve it.

Velasquez has turned her situation into a campaign against bullying, and she’s been a big hit on talk shows and a very successful TEDx event in Austin last December. Now she’s going to be the subject of a documentary. The film will tell her life story, how she was born with a very rare disease that has caused her partial blindness and makes her incapable of gaining body fat. More importantly it will show how she has overcome her physical hardships as well as the social hardships that her disease has led to. Currently titled The Lizzie Project, this documentary is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, and after 10 days they’ve raised 37% of the $180k goal.

The director of the film is Sara Bordo, an executive producer of that TEDxAustinWomen event featuring Velasquez. The two women met there and Bordo decided that it was necessary for them to work together on something else. “After the event, I started spending more time with Lizzie, her incredible parents Rita and Lupe, and her fantastic sister Marina and brother Chris,” Bordo told us via email. “I knew there was so much more that people could learn from her life and her story — far more than what an 18-minute TEDx talk could allow. She and her family have been waiting to tell their story for some time, and even more so waiting to find someone they were comfortable with to bring it to life. I don’t take the opportunity lightly, and I’m hopeful to treat her message with the authenticity that it deserves.”

The Lizzie Project won’t be just some documentary telling the inspiring story of adversity centered around a singular individual with a rare disease. Velasquez is fighting for everyone who has been or could be the victim of harassment like the bullying she dealt with or some other sort. “The documentary is necessary simply because we’re losing way too many young kids to online bullying and it needs to be addressed,” she explains to us, also via email. “I know first hand how devastating it can be, but in sharing MY story, I hope to be the example of what’s possible when you choose to come out on the other side of being bullied.”

Velasquez has an amazing effect on people, and it’s easy to believe that she will be that example that is needed for this issue. As you can see in the Kickstarter video below, she even has a ton of celebrities who stand beside her in supporting the cause and this film, including Kristen Bell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Hilary Duff, Felicia Dey, Noah Segan, Ross Mathews and Bill and Giuliana Rancic.
Source:

Read more at http://nonfics.com/lizzie-velasquez-documentary/#E2yUgcv7gpWJyq6x.99

Bullying Facts and Solutions | Corona, CA

Despite all of the media attention that has been given to the mostly tragic consequences of bullying, you simply need to scan the comments sections in on-line articles regarding bullying to sadly see what percentage of adults stay in the dark while not really understanding the negative impact that bullying has on such a large amount of kids on a daily basis.

Below are some of the facts and statistics that we’ve found that make the most important impact on how adults and parents begin to understand bullying as an issue, not just in their community, but also throughout the entire country as well.

Bullying Facts and Statistics

  • 160,000 children within the United States stay home each day due to bullying situations.
  • Eighty-three percent of bullying incidents receive no intervention and continue to happen.
  • Those who bully are four times as likely to participate in criminal behavior in adulthood and frequently develop self-destructive thoughts
  • There are four types of bullying: physical, verbal, cyber,  and social. Male bullying a lot of the time consists of verbal and physical abuse, whereas female bullying a lot of the time involves verbal abuse, cyber, and social bullying by spreading of rumors.
  • Only half of educators have received coaching on the way to handle bullying incidents.  Not teaching educators a way to handle bullying is like not training doctors to treat the flu!
  • Children are additional more likely to receive verbal assaults targeting their appearances and behaviors instead of race or spiritual beliefs.  In several cases, bullies felt that the victim was responsible for these behaviors or appearances.
  • A study by the National School Board Administration reported that 33.1% of the Middle and High School students that participated in the study agreed or strongly agreed that teachers and adults can stop bullying.  This implies that 2/3 of those students don’t seem to be assured that they will get the help they need in bullying situations from their teachers or other adults in power.
  • In 2005, approximately 1 out of 10 internet users aged 10-17 had been the victim of cyber bullying and “on-line harassment”.  Half of victims that were bullied off-line and on-line by one single individual reported being extremely troubled by the incidents.

“If there are no heroes to save you, Then you be the hero”
― Quoted from a Japanese Comic book

Contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness today at 866-459-7225 or visit our website for more information.

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Mean Girl Bullying…. What adults can do! | Corona, CA

Do schools and teachers pick up on this happening?

Often parents and teachers dismiss the mean girl behavior as part of being a girl.  They often say, “It’s what girls do,” or “Girls will be girls.” Often with younger elementary school girls, parents are not as tuned in to the situation to watch out for this type of behavior because it just seems that the girls are too young for it to be happening to them. But if you talk to teachers, they will tell you they see it on a daily basis.

Many Anti-bullying programs focus only on managing physical aggression, so the issue of mean girls fall outside the scope of the majority of programs. Boys often tend to be more physical, so when there is a fight on the playground with one child being aggressive towards another, there is cause for concern. The school does not want a child physically injured.

Most Anti-bullying programs don’t look at friendship issues, but for girls, that’s where the aggression usually happens.

What can you do when the bully is the girl’s best friend?

If safety is issue and your child is in danger or endangering someone else, get professional help.

Preparing girls for what they might face with a new classroom full of girls is a great idea. Every year there are different  in the classroom. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Start by building strong connections at home. You want to be understanding and a good listener. But that doesn’t mean asking questions that can be leading or suggest that she has been wronged.
  • Validate the range of emotions she is experiencing are valid. Help your daughter understand that all emotions, both positive and negative, are normal.  Remind her that bad emotions don’t make her a bad girl. Try telling her things like, “I understand  how angry you are about what happened. It hurts our feelings when friends are mean.” By allowing your her anger or irritation to play out will help her calm down quicker than if you just play down the situation.
  • Avoid problem-solving for her. You want your daughter to learn how to handle herself in these situations and in life. Be there for her and don’t just tell her what to do. Helping her work through what is going on by asking her questions like, “I understand that your friends are telling everyone that you’re poor and you shop at the thrift store. Why do you think she is she doing that?” Help her understand what is going on in the situation.
  • Try role play to work through the problem. Help by practicing with your daughter her responses to bullying but asking questions like, “Why are you worried about my clothes? If you really are my friend, then why would you be so worried about this?” Help your daughter hold her ground with her own strong but not aggressive statements. Or, if your family has had enough of the situation, a better idea is to start developing new friendships and avoid that “friend.”
  • Work with teachers and school staff. At this young age, girls look up to their teachers and other adults at the school. If they see an exclusion situation happening, sometimes these adults can offer your daughter an opportunity to join him or her for lunch or a special activity to increase her “social value.”

Contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness today at 866-459-7225 or visit our website for more information.

Contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness proudly serves Norco, Riverside, Lake Elsinore, San Bernardino, Eastvale and surrounding areas.

The “Mean Girl” bully… No longer just in Middle School | Corona, CA

Kids are starting to heading back to school and one important situation to cover is “mean girlbullying. Typically we think of it as a middle-school issue, but it’s now happening at younger ages. Below we will talk about the problem of young mean girls and how parents can prepare their daughters for more difficult social situations they may face before the school year begins.

What does young mean girl bullying really look like in the first- or second-grade?

Typically it can be cruel words, the spreading of rumors, and systematic teasing. Some parents have said it even started in kindergarten. A study done at SUNY Buffalo in New York concluded that some girls understand these tactics as young as preschool.

Official the term for this is called “relational aggression.” As girls get older and move into third grade, they get more sophisticated and cliques really begin to form. Additionally during this time, you see actions with intent to hurt. Although in kindergarten through second-grade girls, these actions may not be intend to hurt; the girls involved are trying establish their place on the social ladder and often don’t realize that what they are doing is  actually causing pain to others.

One of the most difficult things about this for the younger girls involved is that it can be their best friend who is also their bully. These back and forth friendships can be destructive for the girl who doesn’t know from one day to the next if her friend will play with her, or round up other girls and start a club where she is the only girl that is not allowed to join. Research has shown that the collection of the mean-girl experiences over time can significantly impact a girl’s ability to learn.

See next weeks article on what adults can do to help.

Contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness today at 866-459-7225 or visit our website for more information.

Contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness proudly serves Norco, Riverside, Lake Elsinore, San Bernardino, Eastvale and surrounding areas.

Discriminatory harassment and bullying: a definitional sticky wicket? | Corona, CA

Bullying in the news

Part of the confusion arises from the word’s increased popularity and the public’s tendency (fueled by the media) to apply it too broadly. This is what Emily Bazelon, senior Slate legal editor and author of Sticks and Stones, argued in a New York Times op-ed in March: “(The word) is being overused — expanding, accordion-like to encompass both appalling violence or harassment and a few mean words.   The misdiagnosis of bullying is making the real but limited problem seem impossible to solve. If every act of aggression counts as bullying, how can we stop it?”

In a later column in Pyschology Today (March 31), Bazelon drew a distinction between the overused definition of “bullying,” on the one hand, and the consistently clear definition of “discriminatory harassment” under federal discrimination laws. She urged care in “distinguishing discriminatory harassment from other kinds of bullying. In the case of discriminatory harassment (based on race, disability, sex, etc.), the law is clear and so are the definitions. The federal Department of Education wrote a letter to schools reminding them of their obligations in 2010, and it sets out clear guidelines for shielding students from bullying that’s based on what’s really discrimination.”

So, according to Bazelon, the definition of bullying has been abused, but the definition of discriminatory harassment is clear and always has been. This requires some deconstruction.

The standard definition of “bullying” among educators and psychologists comes not from the law but from a Swedish psychologist, Dan Olweus, according to Bazelon. While researching aggression among youth during the 1960s, Olweus identified a whole range of cruel behaviors but found a particularly wounding form of aggression he labeled “bullying.” This behavior had three basic elements: verbal or physical aggression; repetition over time; and a power differential.

“A onetime episode of meanness or violence could be bad in the moment, but it was the repetition and the power imbalance that were most often associated with lasting, scarring impact. Bullying, as Olweus defined it, was the behavior that constituted real abuse in the eyes of the children themselves: a serious rupture in their lives with potentially devastating consequences,” Bazelon wrote.

California law does not contain a definition of prohibited “bullying” conduct, except to the extent that it outlines school findings necessary for the most severe disciplinary consequences, as stated in Education Code section 48900(r). In order to suspend or recommend expulsion, a school must find “bullying” that fits these requirements:

“Severe or pervasive physical or verbal acts or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act … directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

(A) Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that pupil’s or those pupils’ person or property.
(B) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health.
(C) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance.
(D) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by a school.”

Federal law does not directly address bullying. However, both California and federal law prohibit “harassment” of students based on legally protected attributes (race, sex, disability, etc.). “Harassment” is defined as conduct that creates a “hostile environment” that limits students from participating or benefiting from school activities or services and can include conduct that might also be considered “bullying” under the Olweus or other definitions.

California Education Code section 48900.4 provides that the school may suspend or recommend for expulsion students in grades 4 to 12 when the school has determined that “the pupil has intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation, directed against school district personnel or pupils, that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to have the actual and reasonably expected effect of materially disrupting classwork, creating substantial disorder, and invading the rights of either school personnel or pupils by creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment.”

While “harassment” conduct may overlap with what is known as “bullying,” it is not the same as bullying. The concept of bullying is based on a psychological construct designed to identify the most emotionally harmful behavior; by contrast, harassment is a legal construct designed to protect certain students from discrimination. Harassment, which may include bullying, may also include conduct outside the standard definition of bullying; for example, harassment under federal law does not need to be directed at a specific target, is not necessarily motivated by intent to harm and is not always repeated.

The preceding is a recent story posted on the website Palo Alto Online dated June 14,  2013.  Use this link to read the story in its entirety.

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

S.A.C.K. also proudly serves Norco, Corona, Lake Elsinore, San Bernardino, Eastvale, and surrounding areas.

Blackboard develops anonymous texting hotline to report bullying | Corona, CA

Bullying in the news

By Rebecca Forand/South Jersey Times

In the ever-increasing fight against bullying at the elementary and high school level, Blackboard, an education technology company, has introduced a way for students to anonymously text in reports.

Blackboard Inc.’s TipTxt program is aimed at young students who have moved to texting as their main form of communication. The confidential texts will be routed to school officials who use the program.

While Blackboard is used in nearly half the schools in the country, in this area it is mostly at the post-secondary level, but local educators believe this type of program is something that could be beneficial at the middle and high school levels.

At the Deptford school district, which goes from kindergarten through 12th grade, there is an anonymous call-in system for bullying incidents, as well as suicide prevention, vandalism and any other offenses students want to report, but a texting program is one that the administration would look into.

“Especially as the kids get older you see a lot of hesitance to go out and report things,” said Matt Huminski, the district’s bullying coordinator. “To have an avenue where a student who may be afraid to be seen in the assistant principal or principal’s office, I think it’s very important.

Huminski said TipTxt is something he would look into in order to give the students one more way to report what they witness.

“I’m always trying to look out for different things that will be effective for our students,” he said. “A texting program would be a great additional step. That’s the level they are at now, they are always texting.”

A similar program is already in use at the Clearview Regional middle and high school district. An 800 number has been set up to accept text messages from students regarding bullying incidents, and while it doesn’t garner much use, the few tips it has received have helped the administration enforce its HIB (harassment, intimidation, bullying) rules.

“You never know who you’re going to help,” Clearview Superintendent John Horchak said. “Anything that has the opportunity to limit, eliminate or decrease HIB would be a benefit and we’d certainly look at it.”

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

S.A.C.K. also proudly serves Norco, Corona, Lake Elsinore, San Bernardino, Eastvale, and surrounding areas.

Bullying Intervention | Norco, CA

When you see or hear bullying . . . what can YOU do?

Intervene immediately. When you do nothing, you send the message that bullying is acceptable. If you ignore or minimize the problem, victims will not believe that adults understand or care, or that they can help. If you don’t intervene, children won’t either.

Intervene even if you’re not sure it’s bullying. Observing children’s actions, words, body language, and facial expressions will help you determine if bullying is occurring. Even if it’s not, aggressive behaviors need to be stopped.

Stand between or near the victim and the bully, separating them if necessary, so as to stop the bullying behaviors. For young children, consider removing them from the situation to a “time-out” area or room.

Respond firmly but appropriately. Remain calm, but convey the seriousness of the situation. Announce that the bullying must stop. Describe the behavior you observed and why it is unacceptable.

Get help if needed. If the bully is using physical force, or there is more than one bully, you may need to find another adult to help keep children safe and protect yourself.

Do not respond aggressively. Using aggressive behavior sends the wrong message that this is a good way to solve problems. It may also prompt a bully or a bystander to increase his or her bullying behavior or become aggressive toward you.

Avoid lecturing the bully in front of his or her peers. Your goal is to end the behavior, not humiliate or shame the bully. Rather than serving as a deterrent, lecturing and scolding often provide the bully with attention that he or she finds rewarding.

Don’t impose immediate consequences. Allow yourself time to consider the incident and obtain any clarifying information—then decide the best course of action.

Don’t ask children to “work things out” for themselves.  Bullying is different from an argument or conflict; it involves a power imbalance that requires adult intervention.

Give praise and show appreciation to helpful bystanders.  Children who try to help the victim or stop the bully are key to bullying prevention.

Stick around. Remain in the area until you are sure the behavior has stopped.

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

S.A.C.K. also proudly serves Lake Elsinore, Riverside, Norco, San Bernardino, and surrounding areas.

What can be done to help someone who is being bullied? | Norco, CA

Support a child who is being bullied:

  • You can listen to the child and let him or her know you are available to talk or even help. A child who is being bullied may struggle talking about it. Consider letting the child know there are other people who can talk with him or her about bullying.
  • Give the child advice about what he or she can do. You might want to include role-playing and acting out a bullying incident as you guide the child so that the child knows what to do in a real situation.
  • Follow up with the child to show that you are committed to helping put a stop to the bullying.

Address the bullying behavior:

  • Make sure a child whom you suspect or know is bullying knows what the problem behavior is and why it is not acceptable.
  • Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. If you know someone is being a bully to someone else, tell the bully that bullying will not be tolerated! It is important, however, to demonstrate good behavior when speaking with a bully so that you serve as a role model of good interpersonal behavior.

If you feel that you have taken all possible steps to prevent bullying and nothing has worked, or someone is in immediate danger, there are other ways for you to help.

The problem

What you can do

A crime has occurred or someone is at immediate risk of harm. Call 911.
Someone is feeling hopeless, helpless, or thinking of suicide. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in a national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
Someone is acting differently, such as sad or anxious, having trouble completing tasks, or not taking care of themselves. Find a local counselor or other mental health services.
A child is being bullied in school. Contact the:

  • Teacher
  • School counselor
  • School coach
  • School principal
  • School superintendent
  • Board of Education
Child is being bullied after school on the playground or in the neighborhood
  • Neighborhood watch
  • Playground security
  • Team coach
  • Local precinct/community police
The child’s school is not addressing the bullying Contact the:

  • School superintendent
  • Local Board of Education
  • State Department of Education

 

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
― Michael J. Fox, Actor

 

 

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

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