Going Back to School and Making Friends | Corona, CA

Welcome to another school year! For some, it is returning to the same school with the same friends. For others, this may be a very scary time as they are starting in a new place without anyone familiar. Here are some helpful tips to think about when it comes to making friends and having a great school year:

Smile. Smiles make you seem friendly and make others feel special.

Make eye contact. When you look people in the eye, they feel like you’re interested in them and what they are saying.

Say hello. Greet classmates you haven’t talked to before – hello is the first step toward making a new friend. Make a goal to talk to one new person a week.

Forget stereotypes. Don’t stereotype schoolmates by the groups they belong to and don’t limit yourself to your current group.

Be involved. Extracurricular activities are opportunities to meet others who like the same things you do.

Be better. You don’t have to be the same as you were last year. The older you become, the more life experience you have, the better your social skills become.

Ask for advice. If you’re having trouble making friends or keeping friends, turn to people you respect to talk about your difficulties.

Be a good friend. Treat others the way you want them to treat you.

Be trustworthy. Keep your friends’ secrets and confidences, no matter how tempting telling others might be.

Be truthful. Lying might feel easier, but the truth eventually comes out and makes the situation much worse.

Speak up. If you see someone bring bullied or called names, stand up for the victim.

Apologize. If you hurt someone or mistakenly do something you shouldn’t have, say you’re sorry.

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

A Catchy Tune with an Anti-Bullying Message | Corona, CA

An anti-bullying song is one of the tracks on the new album “Hazel Eyes” by local Hawaiian band Kolohe Kai. The song was used as part of the Hawaiʻi Department of Health’s Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week campaign earlier this year.

Lead singer Roman De Peralta wrote the track “I Think You’re Beautiful,” and describes it as an uplifting song with an empowering message. The Conversation sat down with De Peralta to discuss the inspiration behind the music.

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

When It Comes to Bullying of LGBTQ Teens Local Politics Matters | Corona, CA

By Cara Murez, HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ suffer more bullying at their schools when they live in areas with politically conservative voting records, a new study finds.

School boards should do more to implement policies that go beyond minimum protections for LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of political affiliation, the researchers suggested.

“To my knowledge, nobody has really looked at this connection between a school district’s political attitudes and the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in schools,” said study co-author Paul Kwon, a professor of psychology at Washington State University. “This project highlights an inequity that is not talked about a lot and shows the need for more explicit and inclusive anti-bullying legislation and policies that help mitigate the risks to LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of district political attitudes.”

The study examined school district voting records in the 2016 presidential election, as well as bullying experiences in schools and mental health outcomes of LGBTQ+ students in Washington state using the 2018 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. The survey included 50,000 students in grades eight to 12, asking about sexual and gender identity, bullying and whether or not teachers intervened during instances of bullying. About 20% of the students included in the survey identified as being LGBTQ+.

Researchers found that LGBTQ+ students are at a higher risk for psychological distress and suicidal thoughts as a result of bullying, particularly in school districts that voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. These students also reported their teachers were less likely to intervene in instances of bullying than students who responded from more liberal voting districts. The study only found an association between political leanings, bullying and teacher intervention; it wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect link.

In areas where teachers intervened almost always, instances of bullying for LGBTQ+ students matched their non-LGBTQ+ peers, whereas without intervention the LGBTQ+ students reported more bullying.

“This was especially prevalent in more conservative school districts where LGBTQ+ youth report less teacher intervention despite experiencing more bullying,” Kwon said in a university news release. “Over 35% of youth in our study are students in a conservative-leaning school district, possibly placing them at greater risk for more bullying experiences and higher psychological distress.”

The researchers suggested school policy should include explicit parameters for training and education for teachers regarding LGBTQ+ bullying, as well as steps for teachers and administrators to intervene following LGBTQ+ bullying experiences. All school websites should explicitly describe anti-bullying policies as they relate to LGBTQ+ youth using specific examples, the authors said.

“We also recommend educators discuss anti-bullying policy with students and families at the start of each school year, while concurrently highlighting LGBTQ+ identities, particularly in conservative districts,” Kwon said. “After all, students have little choice in the school they attend, almost no choice in the school district they belong to and are unable to vote until they are 18. Thus, they are subjected to the environment of the school and broader culture of the school district chosen for them.”

The findings were published recently in the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

The Trevor Lifeline provides LGBTQ+ individuals with crisis intervention and suicide prevention help.

SOURCE: Washington State University, news release, July 19, 2021

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

Abbotsford Boy Aims to Educate with Anti-Bullying Bracelets | Corona, CA

bullying

BY RIA RENOUF

Posted Jan 26, 2021 7:11 pm PST Last Updated Jan 26, 2021 at 7:12 pm PST

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) — When nine-year-old Hudson Walters saw and heard some of his classmates being bullied, he was disappointed.

“A lot of kids in my school were getting bullied because of their weight, and how they look,” he tells NEWS 1130.

While Hudson is a big fan of telling the bullies to leave the victim alone and inviting the person at the receiving end of taunts to come play with him, he wanted to do more.

After some time to think about it, he decided to go to his mom to figure out if there was some way to send a message of kindness and positivity.

Tonight on @NEWS1130: we’re hearing from a 9 y/o boy in #AbbotsfordBC fundraising to give friendship bracelets to kids at his school. Hudson wants to share a message of positivity & to educate those who bully…he also wants to change the perception around bullies. Details at 7p.

— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) January 27, 2021

Karen Walters says she was proud to hear of her son’s ambitions, but he wasn’t sure how exactly to help.

“He was like, ‘I don’t really like calling kids bullies because they’re just kids and learning and they need to learn, so I want to show them a way to tell other kids that they’re your friend,’” she says.

They ended up going with friendship bracelets, and Hudson’s goal is to give one to each kid in his school just in time for Pink Shirt Day, which is set to take place on Feb. 24.

Hudson thinks that if kids may say or do something mean and they’re looking at the bracelet, it’ll make them think twice about their actions.

“I want it to succeed and I hope everyone has a voice,” he says.

Karen believes the bracelets will be a simple reminder that kindness is key.

“It’s hard when there’s a group of people, and he didn’t really know what to do in a group of people, and I said, ‘well, what about if you could give them something?’ And he said, ‘yeah! I could give them like…a friendship bracelet!’ And that would show them that they always have a friend.”

They’re looking forward to ordering the silicone bracelets – and hope to put the word ‘friendship’ on each one.

Just days after the GoFundMe was posted, Hudson’s efforts raised more than $600. His mother is hoping the extra money can be used for a program at the school that can help Hudson’s message continue to last.

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

Back-to-School with Coronavirus | Corona, CA

Summer is officially coming to a close and it’s time to start preparing for a new school year. But what kind of school year are we preparing for? With this new way of getting an education, there are going to be lots of changes to look forward to. But it can be a scary time for our little students – with the new classes and schedules to get used to. Let’s help our tiny scholar’s off on the right foot with these back-to-school tips:

Meet the new teacher. If you are going to be exposed to in-house classes, there will be lots of changes to the typical classroom experience. Take advantage of any of your school’s open house or back-to-school night. Some teachers welcome phone calls or e-mails — take advantage of the opportunity. Open house is also a great way to get your child familiar with the new areas they will be using on a daily basis. Together you can meet their teacher, find their desk, or explore the playground.

Connect with friends. A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. If there’s a change for a socially distant play date, it could help ease fears about the changes.

Tool up. While keeping the class supply list in mind, allow for a couple of splurges like a cool notebook or a favorite-colored pen. These simple pleasures make going back to school a lot more fun.

Ease into the routine. We have been living inside for a long time now, schedule changes will take a minute to get used to. Balancing in-house and home school sessions will take some time.

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

Stop the Bullying Between Children | Corona, CA

We are in a very scary time and the last thing we want is to perpetuate violence or bullying. But how? When it comes to students, it is important for us, as adults, to 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. 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.

Separate and diffuse. 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 stern. 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.

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 leave it to the children.  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.

Stay put. Remain in the area until you are sure the behavior has stopped.

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

It’s Got to Stop Somewhere | Corona, CA

We all would like to live in a world where bullying doesn’t exist, but these days it feels like it is getting worse than ever. Everywhere you look, someone is bullying someone for something and at times it feels like it’s never going to end. And it needs to begin within ourselves. But where do we even begin to make the changes that will spread to our neighbors? Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind for you and your family. It all begins at home – let’s teach our children how to be better.

Can you recognize a bully? Recognizing when bullying is taking place is an important step in finding solutions. By understanding the reason and roots of the problem, you and yours will begin to form an idea of how to spot bullying, like teasing, name-calling, shunning, and physical intimidation or assault.

When you see or hear about bullying taking place, remember that your reactions provide a framework for how the little ones involved will respond to and understand the situation. Children need to see adults being powerful and respectful in reacting to problems – stay calm, respectful, and persistent.

Positive peer to peer relationship skills help to put a stop to bullying. Teach children that they have the confidence and power to walk away from any situation, like stepping out of a line or changing seats. 

Lastly, keep yourself informed as to what your child’s school and school district have a mandatory district-wide anti-bullying policy and that they educate their staff on how to stop bullying and recognizing all forms and types of youth bullying.

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

It’s Time We Stop Cyberbullying | Corona, CA

As parents, we all want our children to be safe and sound, even when we aren’t around to watch them. Unfortunately, the world has really taken an aggressive turn for the worse with our access to the internet. The more we become closer, the easier it is for those with ill intentions to find us. And with social media, we have a new form of bullying to be concerned about – cyberbullying.

Because social media is now the way of the world, we need to be aware of any changes to our children’s demeanor, in case it takes a turn for the worse. And because it is online, it’s difficult to run away from the bully. Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. It’s a shame that these tools can also be used to hurt other people.

  • Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.
  • Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
  • Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.

For a short video/film on cyberbullying, click here.

Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar. If you or someone you know is being cyberbullied, talk to someone you trust.

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

Don’t Be Scared of Bullies | Corona, CA

October marks National Bullying Prevention Month, but today is Halloween, so let’s go into this spooky night with the idea of having a really sweet time. No one should have to tolerate people being mean to them, and if they do, they need to know it will be okay. Not only will things get better, but there are things that can be done to get the bullying to stop. After all, this is the time of year we pretend to be anything we want to be – there is no place for bullies. So, as we gather together with friends to trick-or-treating, here are some tips to think about, in case someone tries to ruin your Halloween fun:

  • Stick with friends and try to avoid being alone in targeted areas like locker rooms, restrooms, and places the bully tends to hang around.
  • Be assertive and show confidence when standing up for yourself. Body language can work wonders – standing up straight and making eye contact will show you aren’t going to stand for it.
  • Ignore the bully by walking away or by not responding to their insults at all. They want to get a rise out of you.
  • Don’t seek revenge – it will only make things worse.
  • Don’t keep it a secret. Ask your friends or an adult for help.

If you see someone bullied:

  • Speak up for those being bullied.
  • Don’t join in the act of bullying and refuse to even watch someone being bullied.
  • Give support by talking to the person being bullied in private; extend your friendship and listening ear.
  • You should report any bullying you see to teachers or another adult.

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