October is National Anti-Bullying Month | Corona, CA

Rumors, nasty comments, pushing, shoving, hitting – they have no place in our schools. It’s not just “kids being kids”. It’s not just something they will outgrow. Bullying and harassment are serious issues with serious consequences. Students who are bullied are more likely to be depressed, to think about and attempt suicide, and have behavior problems and difficulty learning.

Bullying contributes to poor school attendance, which is a barrier to improving student achievement for all. It affects efforts to close the achievement gap, a longstanding priority for the PTA. Nationally, an estimated 160,000 children miss school every day because of bullying. Prevention of bullying is a priority issue of the PTA because quite simply– children need to attend school in a safe environment.

Governor Jerry Brown signed important legislation sponsored by PTA to protect students from bullying and harassment. AB 1156, by Assembly member Mike Eng, gives students, their families and their teachers effective tools to help better ensure school is a place where everyone is free to learn and teach without the threat of harm. The bill requires training of school site personnel in the prevention of bullying, and it gives victims of bullying priority for transferring out of a school, if requested.

Training sessions on bullying prevention and intervention are now available through the California Department of Education for teachers, administrators, parents, students, certificated staff, risk management and community members. These sessions provide knowledge about the dynamics of bullying, a greater understanding of a systematic approach to bullying, and increase skills in identifying and implementing strategies to address bullying.

If you would like to learn more about National Anti-Bullying Month, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month | Corona, CA

Now that we are smack-dab in the middle of back-to-school season, it is important that parents are sensitive to our children as they report the day’s events. Keeping an eye on their daily attitudes will help catch any signs of depression or adverse effects from fights with friends or bullying.

It is a fact: one in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Sadly, children are cruel when it comes to physical differences, so unfortunately, a child suffering from obesity is likely to suffer from bullying. It is important to teach your child not to let words affect them, but it is also important as parents to prevent unhealthy lifestyle choices for our tiny humans. Thankfully, childhood obesity can be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for kids to eat healthier and get more active.

How can National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month make a difference? We can all use this month to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic and show people how they can take steps toward a solution. Celebrate this health awareness month with these tips:

  • Make small changes as a family, like keeping fresh fruit or going on a family walk after dinner.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to make schools a healthier environment for every child by providing healthy food options, daily physical activities and lessons about bully prevention.

If you would like to learn more about National Childhood Obesity Month, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

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.

Thirteen Reasons Why We Need Good Friends | Corona, CA

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have at least heard of the newest Netflix show “13 Reasons Why”. The basic synopsis is this: a high school student commits suicide, but before she does, she makes 13 cassette tapes with the reasons that led her up to committing the act. It is up to those she left behind to figure out that everything could’ve been prevented had they just been a good friend to her. Kind of makes you ask yourself – am I a good friend?

But what exactly makes one a good friend? If you really want to know, ask yourself what it is that you look for in your friends. Do you reciprocate those same actions to them? Here is a quick list of traits people look for when finding themselves a friend…how many do you do?

Honesty is the best policy. Trust is important in any relationship, but especially in friendships. After all, if you can’t trust your friends’ opinions, who do you turn to when you need them? Same goes for you. If your friends ask for an opinion, give them an honest one.

A friend ‘til the end. After trust is earned, loyalty is expected. If you hear someone is talking about your friend, stand up for them. Always remember the golden rule!

A shoulder to lean on. One of the most important aspects of friendship is support. Listen to them and give good advice. Being there for one another is the best defense against any kind of bullying.

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.

Good or Bad, Words Matter | Corona, CA

One of the biggest problems we have in schools is bullying. Thankfully, we have a week every year focused on the impact of words in our communication. During Words Matter Week, we need to consider the importance of our words in our day-to-day lives. This isn’t about of talking just to talk, this is about carefully crafted language. Words Matter Week is a time to focus on banishing grammatically incorrect and hurtful words from our written and spoken communication.

The quote for Words Matter Week 2015 is simple – “If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it”.

Because it seems bullying starts at a young age, it is a good idea to speak to your students about the way various forms of speech affects others, both positively and negatively. Try these questions to spark a discussion in the classroom:

  • Words can change history. What word, speech, or document do you believe to be most important?
  • What writers make your heart sing? Why?
  • What word, said or unsaid, has or could change your life? How?
  • Communication breaks down when words are misused. What is the funniest or worst break-down you’ve ever observed?
  • What person in your life helped you understand the importance of choosing words carefully?
  • If you had to eliminate one word or phrase from the English language, what would it be? Why?

Words Matter Week is celebrated annually, with celebrations held online at www.WordsMatterWeek.com and at libraries, bookstores, and schools nationwide and is sponsored by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE).

If you would like to learn more about Words Matter Week and 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.

The History of Seth’s Law | Corona, CA

bullyingIn the current climate, it’s fitting that we take a moment to reflect on a law passed in California that protects public school children from bullying. That law? Seth’s Law. Seth’s Law is a 2012 law that strengthens existing state anti-bullying laws to protect all students. This law requires CA public schools to update their anti-bullying policies and programs, focusing on protecting students who are bullied based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression, as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion.

California law says that all public school students should have equal rights and opportunities. Yet many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students report that they experience significant bullying in California schools. And teachers, administrators, and other staff often fail to address the bullying when they see it.

Seth’s Law is named after a 13-year-old California student who tragically took his own life in 2010 after years of anti-gay bullying that his school failed to address.

Under this law, school districts will adopt a strong anti-bullying policy that prohibits bullying and implement a specific process for receiving and investigating complaints of bullying, including a requirement that school personnel intervene if they witness bullying. Additionally, publicize anti-bullying policy and complaint process, including support materials in all schools, offices and district websites.

Seth’s Law specifically contains the following requirement: “If school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.” (Education Code Section 234.1(b)(1))]

If you would like to learn more about Seth’s Law and 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.

Are You a Bully? | Corona, CA

BystanderWhen we think about the typical bully, we think of the big, tough kid on the playground who pushes everyone around. Sure, but those aren’t the only types of bullies. The cheerleader, the class clown, even the quiet kid can be a bully. Bullies can be any size, age, gender or grade.

So, what does it mean to be a bully? When someone uses words or actions to hurt someone who has a hard time defending themselves. Sometimes kids who bully think that it’s cool, but what is cool about hurting someone? Name calling, tripping someone, laughing at them, leaving them out, ignoring them on purpose – how can hurting someone possibly be “no big deal?” If kids think about why they are bullying, they can then deal with those reasons and change their behavior. Not only will they feel better about themselves, but others will think so too.

Do you think you are a bully? Do you think you know someone who is? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may want to rethink the way you treat others:

  • Do you hurt other kids on purpose?
  • Do you like to tease kids about how they look or act?
  • Are kids afraid of you?
  • Do you hit, threaten, or leave kids out?
  • Do you take or ruin other kids’ stuff?
  • Do you enjoy it when you upset other kids?
  • Do you blame others for your problems?
  • Do you say mean things about others, either in person or on social media?

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.

What To Do If Your Child is Being Bullied

It’s extremely important that you talk to your children about bullying. Explain to your child what bullying is and tell him or her that it is never okay to be a bully. Not only can bullying make a child’s daily life very difficult, but it can also affect them down the road in life.

If your child is being bullied, there are a few things you as a parent can do about the situation, starting with telling him or her that it is not their fault. If your child approached you about the bullying go on to praise him or her and assure your child that you will help.  The following includes what action you should take if you child is being bullied:

Provide them with comfort and advice. Unfortunately, we can’t put a stop to bullying as immediately as we would like, but we can provide our children with tips for avoiding such harassment. If your child is being cyber bullied, you can walk them through the steps of privacy settings or discuss staying off the internet for a while to avoid the bully. Teach your child how to stay calm when responding to the bully, as reacting may encourage the bully more. Some experts have said to remove the bully’s incentives. For example, if your child’s lunch money is being stolen, try packing them a lunch instead. There is no shame is taking the high road. You should remind your children that if your advice does happen to fail, they are in no way at fault or responsible for being bullied.

Contact your child’s school. After talking with your child about the bullying situation, you should contact your child’s school. Though your child may be able to keep things to themselves, adult intervention is a necessary step in bringing the bullying to an end. Be sure to discuss the situation with your child’s teacher or principal, and make it clear that you want immediate efforts taken on their end. Also, make sure to familiarize yourself with your school’s bullying code and any relevant state laws. If you feel that your child may potentially be in danger, you may also want to contact local legal authorities. Before you approach anyone, make sure that you know the bully’s name and the specific instances when the bullying occurred.

You, as a parent, should listen calmly and carefully if your child does approach you about being bullied, meaning you shouldn’t overreact. Yelling or crying may intimidate your child, and possibly stop them from communicating in the future. There’s no doubt it’s an emotional experience discovering that your child is being bullied, however your child’s comfort should come first.

Take your child seriously and avoid laughing the situation off, or again, they may cut communication in the future. Your goal should be to show your child you care and understand the challenges of being bullied. Assure that you will stop the bully together as a team.

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.

10 Simple Acts of Care and Kindness | SACK of Corona, CA

Have you ever had a day where one person’s simple act of care and kindness made your entire day? It could have been a simple smile in passing to a kind person holding the door open for you. There are several simple acts of care and kindness that could make someone’s entire day turn around, even after having a terrible start.

In this day and age bullying is occurring more often than not in schools, making a simple act of kindness that much more important now. No matter what shape or form bullying comes in, it can make people feel hurt, depressed and alone. It’s up to us as individuals to help show others kindness and positivity prevails in any situation. Here are 10 simple acts of care and kindness that could possibly turn someone’s frown upside down:

  1. If people around are gossiping about another, chime in with something nice to say about them.
  2. Smile at someone, just because. Smiles are contagious!
  3. Try to make sure everyone in a group conversation feels included.
  4. Write a little positive note to a friend.
  5. Talk and make the new kid at school feel welcome.
  6. If someone is being bullied, stand up for them.
  7. Give your seat up to someone on the bus.
  8. Make two lunches and give away one.
  9. Talk to the shy person who’s sitting by themselves at lunch.
  10. Be kind to everyone, even if they are bullying you. “Kill them with kindness.”

Everyone one deserves with be treated kindly, so don’t wait another second to turn someone’s day around with a simple act of kindness. Think about what simple acts of kindness would make you smile and share those ideas with others. Let’s us all come together and contribute all sorts of simple acts of care and kindness.

For more information call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at www.simpleacts.org.

What Can You Do If You See Someone Being Bullied? | SACK of Corona, Ca

BystanderWhen you help someone who’s being bullied, you may also help yourself. It can feel great to support someone in need and to stand up for what you believe! Many of us see someone being bullied at some point. It may be easier to just stand by, or even to laugh. But if you are brave and kind, you can be a real hero. Remember, the person being bullied may feel awful and all alone.

Bullying usually involves one or more people teasing, being violent towards, or harassing somebody on an ongoing basis. Bullying can happen in person and online and through cell phones.

What can you do if you see or know someone being bullied?

  • Stand up for the person. If it feels safe, defend the person being bullied. Bullies often care a lot about being popular and powerful. If you make the bullying seem uncool, the bully may stop.
  • Tell an adult. If you feel uncomfortable telling an adult, ask the adult to keep your comments private.
  • Encourage the bullied person to talk to an adult. Offer to go with them.
  • Offer support. Ask if the person is okay. Be friendly the next day. You can make a big difference just by showing you care.
  • Don’t join in or watch bullying. Bullies love an audience. Walk away, and see if you can get others to leave, too. Of course, don’t just abandon someone who is in real danger. Go get help.
  • Stop any rumors. If someone tells you gossip, don’t pass it on to others. You wouldn’t want someone spreading rumors about you(Source: girlshealth.gov).

If you see someone being bullied and you don’t do anything to help them then it will just continue and may get worse. People who are being bullied can feel really distressed and it can have a serious impact on their life and health. In very serious cases bullying could lead to self harming, or even suicidal thoughts. Often other people at school don’t realize the effect that bullying has when it goes on day in day out. If the bullying involves violence or threats, or if you think your classmate is in danger of getting hurt or harming herself, talk to an adult about it right away.

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