How Hollywood Has Shed a Light on Bullying | Corona, CA

In this climate, bullying seems to be on the forefront of everyone’s minds. From playground cruelty to the online rumor mill, we’re hearing more about bullying than ever, but are we getting better at helping kids and teens cope? Let’s take a look at how Hollywood has shown us various forms of bullying.

Mean Girls

Cady has been home-schooled for her first 16 years, so when she enters a public school for the first time, the movie introduces her (and us) to the complicated interactions of adolescent girls. She initially bonds with two social outcasts, who devise a plan for Cady to infiltrate the Plastics, a trio of popular girls led by the vindictive Regina.

Mean Girls brings shades of gray to the typical bully/victim paradigm. Everyone here is a player in an endless cycle of bullying and being bullied. When Cady succumbs to the pettiness and vanity of the Plastics, the movie shows how intoxicating popularity can be, and how easy it is to switch from victim to bully, and back again.

Dazed and Confused

Bullying is an institutionalized ritual that one Texas town implicitly endorses in Richard Linklater’s 1993 coming-of-age film. It’s the last day of school in 1976, and upperclassmen are hazing the incoming freshmen as they leave junior high.

Dazed and Confused reflects ’70s culture, when this sort of teasing and initiation was seen as a natural part of growing up. To escape hazing, the logic goes, would be to miss a key character-building experience in one’s adolescence. Small acts of rebellion or revenge are permitted, but opting out of this ritual is never seriously considered: After the initial hazing, many kids begin to bond and form friendships with those who have just tormented them.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

National Bullying Prevention Month | Corona, CA


October marks National Bullying Prevention Month, this is a time that all of us to should together to combat, while also bringing awareness to bullying, harassment and cruelty. Of course one of the most important actions we can take is to be a part of the solution, and not the devastating problem that harms many children and even adults. There are many actions that you can take to keep yourself and your children safe from bullying.

If You’re Being Bullied:

  • Stick with friends, there is safety in numbers. Also, try to avoid being alone in targeted areas like locker rooms, restrooms, and places the bully tends to hang around.
  • You must be assertive, while also showing confidence when standing up for yourself. You can use body language to show the bully you aren’t afraid of them. One thing you can try is standing up straight and making eye contact. Shying away make bullies think you are more vulnerable.
  • Ignore the bully by walking away or by not responding to their insults at all. You can also try to get out of the situation by agreeing with the bullies comments. Say something along the lines of “Whatever” or “You’re Completely Right” then calmly walk away. Don’t let buddies get a rise out of you, that’s what they’re usually looking for.
  • Don’t seek revenge, by doing that, you would be making yourself a part of the problem rather than the solution. Also remember violence doesn’t solve any problem, it will only makes things worse.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re being bullied, don’t keep it a secret. Ask your friends or an adult for help. Also report any bullies incidents to a teacher.

If Someone Is Being Bullied:

  • Don’t be a bystander while someone is being bullies, speak up for them. When no one speaks up, bullies tend to think they can get away with their terrible and harmful actions.
  • You must refuse to join in the act of bullying, and refuse to even watch someone being bullied. It’s not right to stand around while someone is being bullied, you never know what that someone may be going through.
  • Speak up for victims that are bullies are attacking.  You can try to tell the bully to stop harassing and being rude to the victim. It’s best to do this with a group of friends, as is mentioned before, there is safety in numbers.
  • Give support by talking to the person being bullied in private; extend your friendship and listening ear. Making an effort to include others that aren’t typically included can help someone greatly.
  • You should report any bullying you see to teachers or another adult. They can set clear, nonviolent consequences for the bully’s behavior, thus preventing the bullying from continuing.
  • You can think about way to help others being bullied and share those ideas with fellow classmates or teachers. There’s a good chance that not all adults know what’s going on our schools on a daily basis. Talk to a parent, teacher or counselor and see what they have to add to your ideas.

Our program’s here at West Coast Fundraising have focused on helping children understand what to do if they are being bullied or witness someone else being bullied. We must put a stop to this epidemic, starting with our elementary schools. For information regarding our programs here at Simple Acts of Care and Kindness, contact 866-459-7225 or visit our website at www.simpleacts.org. Let’s take a stand and put an end to bullying!