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.

Why Having Pride Is So Important | Corona, CA

simple acts of care and kindness

As long as you aren’t living under a rock, you know that we recently wrapped up Pride Week, a celebration of the LGBT community and their culture. There are plenty of events, parades and celebratory events surrounding this time of year, but did you ever wonder why it exists at all? Bullying.

At 1:20 a.m. on June 28, 1969, New York City Vice Squad Public Morals Division raided The Stonewall Inn, a notoriously gay bar. It was then that the Stonewall Riots broke out, in response to the brutal treatment those in the LGBT community who attended that night. These violent demonstrations are what we now believe to be the first acts of the modern day gay rights movement.

Since the Stonewall Riots, there has been many advancements in the gay rights movement. They can participate in the armed forces protecting our country, marry and have children. But there are still plenty of steps left to take. Bullying this community is still very prevalent around the world and it needs to stop. This is why the Pride events that take place worldwide are such a major step towards equality. Pride Parades and events are celebrated in every major city and country across the world.

Bullying should never happen to anyone, regardless of your race, sex, creed or gender. We need to try to live in a place of peace and harmony, free from bullying and bigotry. So, in honor of Pride Month, we should take extra steps to come together. Not just for ourselves, but for those that are hurting.

If you would like to learn more about Pride 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.

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.

Cyber Bullying: The Complete Resource Guide | Riverside, CA

Zack W VanWe recently come across this amazing e-guide to cyber-bullying. We all know bullying is becoming more and more common these days, and cyber-bullying is the worst. Not only because a cyber bully believes he/she is safe behind the screen, but because they cannot see how their words can affect their target.

But what is cyber-bullying exactly? What makes it different from typical playground teasing amongst children? But most importantly, what kinds of things can we do to prevent it from becoming progressively worse? All of this is covered for you in one e-guide. For more information, read more:

http://backgroundchecks.org/cyber-bullying-helping-the-bullied-stopping-the-bullies.html

Thank you, Jenny Holt, for such an eloquent way of explaining what has become such a hurtful way to bring someone down, instead of lifting them up.

If you would like to learn more about cyber-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.

Bullying Prevention Tips | SACK of Corona, Ca

ThinkstockPhotos-480003524Are you being bullied? Do you see bullying at your school? There are things you can do to keep yourself and the kids you know safe from bullying.

If You Are Bullied:

Stick with friends. There is safety in numbers. Avoid being alone in target areas like locker rooms, restrooms, and places where the bully hangs out.

Be assertive and confident. Stand up for yourself. Use body language to show you are not afraid. Stand up straight and make eye contact.

Ignore the bully. Walk away. Don’t respond. Get out of the situation. Agree with the bully’s comments. Say “Whatever” or “You’re right.” Then walk away.

Don’t seek revenge. Remember that using violence to solve problems only makes things worse.

Get help. If you are being bullied, don’t keep it a secret. Ask friends or adults for help. Report all bullying incidents.

If Someone Else Is Bullied:

Don’t be a bystander. When no one speaks up, bullies learn they can get away with it.

Refuse to join in. Don’t take par in the bullying. Refuse to even watch.

Speak out. Distract the bully by changing the subject or using humor. Talk to the bully later, in private. Stand up for the victim. Tell the bully to stop. Get a group to do this with you.

Give support. Talk to the person being bullied in private. Be a friend to that person. Make an effort to include others who are normally left out or rejected.

Get an adult. Report any bullying you see to teachers or other adults. They can set clear, nonviolent consequences for future bullying behavior(Source: preventchildabuseny.org).

Think about what could help and share your ideas. There is a good chance that adults don’t know all of what happens. Your friends can go with you to talk to a teacher, counselor, coach, or parent and can add what they think.

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

Take Action Against Bullying | SACK of Corona, Ca

Every day, thousands of children, teens, and young adults around the country are bullied. Estimates are that nearly one-third of all school-aged children are bullied each year – upwards of 13 million students. Students involved in bullying are more likely to have challenges in school, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and to have health and mental health issues.

A few years ago at a national conference the President of the United States addressed the issue, “If there’s one goal it’s to dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up.  It’s not,” said President Obama.  “Bullying can have destructive consequences for our young people.  And it’s not something we have to accept. As parents and students; teachers and communities, we can take steps that will help prevent bullying and create a climate in our schools in which all of our children can feel safe.” The First Lady added, “As parents, this issue really hits home for us. It breaks our hearts to think that any child feels afraid every day in the classroom, on the playground, or even online,” First Lady Michelle Obama said. “I hope that all of you will walk away from this with new ideas and solutions that you can take back to your own schools and communities.”

Early in the Obama Administration, six federal agencies (Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Justice, Defense, Agriculture, and Interior) joined together to establish the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Steering Committee to explore ways to provide guidance for individuals and organizations in combating bullying. This interagency group was recently joined by the National Council on Disability and the Federal Trade Commission.  In August of last year, the Steering Committee brought together non-profit leaders, researchers, parents, and youth to begin the national discussion and identify issues requiring additional guidance and clarification.  Since that convening, the Steering Committee has focused on the following activities:

  • StopBullying.gov:  This website was launched to provide  information from various government agencies on how children, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying.  The website will provide information on what bullying is, its risk factors, its warning signs and its effects.  It will also provide details on how to get help for those that have been victimized by bullying.
  • Enforcing Civil Rights Laws:  Last October, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights issued guidance as a “Dear Colleague” letter to clarify issues of bullying and violation of federal education anti-discrimination laws.  The guidance explains educators’ legal obligations to protect students from student-on-student racial and national origin harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment, and disability harassment.
  • Shaping State Laws and Policies:  In December of last year, Secretary Duncan issued a memo to Governors and Chief State School Officers in each state providing technical assistance and outlining key components of comprehensive and effective state anti-bullying laws and policies.

In addition to the Steering Committee’s work, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has also created the Stop Bullying Now! Campaign to raise awareness about bullying; prevent and reduce bullying behaviors; identify interventions and strategies; and encourage and strengthen partnerships.  SBN was developed by a steering committee and implementation work group that included  more than seventy organizations from in and out of government.  The campaign covers ages five to eighteen years old, and includes tool kits to encourage and empower youth to mentor younger children to take action again bullying.

The Department of Education’s  Safe and Supportive Schools competitive grant program requires recipient states to measure school safety, which includes issues of bullying and harassment, at the building level by surveying students.   Federal funds are available for interventions in those schools identified as having the greatest need.   The Department of Education has awarded grants to 11 States for activities under this program.

If we fail to address bullying we put ourselves at a disadvantage for increasing academic achievement and making sure all of our students are college and career ready.

For more information visit our website at: http://simpleacts.org/

Bullying Facts and Solutions | Riverside, CA

With as much media attention as has been given to the sometimes tragic consequences of bullying, one only has to read the comments section of online articles about bullying to really see that many adults still don’t fully comprehend the negative impact that bullying has on so many children every day.

Below you will find some facts and statistics to help adults and parents come to realize bullying is a big problem for not only their community but, likewise, across the entire country.

Bullying Facts and Statistics

  • Because of bullying, 160,000 kids in the US stay home from school every day.
  • 83% of bullying incidents receive no intervention and continue to happen.
  • Bullies are four times more likely to engage in criminal behavior as an adult and often develop suicidal thoughts.
  • Male bullying more often consists of verbal and physical abuse, whereas female bullyies more commonly use more verbal abuse and social bullying by spreading of rumors.
  • Only half of educators have received training on how to handle bullying situations. That is like going to a dentist to get treated for the flu!
  • In a 2007 report it showed that nearly 80% of students who experienced bullying stated that it occurred inside the school grounds.
  • Verbal assaults amongst children more often target appearances and behaviors rather than race or religious affiliations. Often in those instances, the bullies felt that the victim was at fault for these behaviors or appearances.
  • 33.1% of middle and high school students surveyed agree or strongly agrees that teachers can stop bullying.  And 2/3 of these students are not confident that they can get help from their teachers.
  • A study conducted in 2005 showed that approximately one out of ten Internet users aged 10-17 had been the victim of cyber bullying and “on-line harassment”.  Half of victims who were bullied off-line and on-line by the same people reported being very distressed by the incidents.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
― Desmond Tutu

 

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