Child Protection Week Kicks Off with Launch of Anti-Bullying Campaign | Corona, CA

Bullying is a worldwide issue. Sometimes it’s nice to see how other countries are working to prevent it.

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published 10h ago

Johannesburg – Basic Education Deputy Minister Dr Reginah Mhaule has urged parents to pay attention to the behaviour of their children and speak to them regularly about school.

This came as the department launched an anti-bullying campaign.

The Department of Basic Education partnered with sister departments, social partners, and key stakeholders to roll out its school violence and bullying prevention initiative on Friday at Tshepana Primary School in Orange Farm.

Child Protection Week started on Sunday, and will run until June 6 under the theme, Let us protect children during Covid-19 and Beyond.

The intervention against bullying came after 15-year-old Limpopo learner Lufuno Mavhunga committed suicide after the release of a video of her being repeatedly slapped by a fellow learner last month. After the incident, bullying and violence in schools took centre stage in the national conversation on safety in schools.

Speaking at the launch, Mhaule spoke about the importance of parents and guardians playing a role in school activities and being equipped with tools to make a meaningful contribution to the success of their children.

“Sometimes when incidents happen, we indicate that the child did speak but we did not listen and we did not take it seriously. I am saying to the parents, let’s observe the attitude and behaviour of our children,” she said.

Mhaule added that if parents saw their children behaving badly or they did not want to go to school, they must dig deeper in case it was related to bullying.

“Parents must pay attention to the behaviour of their children and speak to them regularly about school,” she said.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Pinky Kekana, cautioned parents about giving their children cellphones too early and the risk they might have to their well-being.

“Your behaviour on social media is very important. There are dos and don’ts. If you know you cannot say something to someone face-to-face, don’t say it on social media,” Kekana told the learners.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza, spoke to the learners about the ID registration services that the department brought to the community.

“It might seem like a very small issue having an identity, an ID number, ID document or even a birth certificate. If you don’t have an ID number, you become what they call invisible, and even after you have passed on in life, not even your great-grandchildren will know you existed,” the deputy minister said.

During the launch, the department revealed a mural at the school, which would serve as a reminder to learners that with every right, as set in the Constitution, came responsibilities.

“We call on all learners to appreciate that their rights are inseparable from the duties and responsibilities towards others,” it said.

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

Sticks and Stones May Break May Bones…but Words Hurt Just as Much | Corona, CA

As schools slowly begin to open back up, it is important to remember that we still need to look after one another. Not only by physically washing our hands and keeping our distance, but by watching what we say so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. We’ve been separated for a long time and as we start to come back together, we need to appreciate all that has happened. No one liked being in quarantine, away from friends and family so it is important to make life so much better if we are friendly to one another and help out wherever we can.

Earlier this month was Words Matter Week, a week-long celebration of our language and the way we speak to one another. Created by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE), this week is a time to focus on banishing grammatically incorrect and hurtful words from our written and spoken communication.

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

  • 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?

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

What Is Seth’s Law? | Corona, CA

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. Now that we are in the midst of these types of discussions and legislations again, but on a national level, it’s a good idea to refresh our memories.

Seth’s Law requires public schools in California to update their anti-bullying policies and programs, and it focuses on protecting students who are bullied based on sexual orientation, gender identity/gender expression, 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.

What does state anti-bullying law require school districts to do?

  • Adopt a strong anti-bullying policy that specifically spells out prohibited bases for bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression.
  • Adopt a specific process for receiving and investigating complaints of bullying, including a requirement that school personnel intervene if they witness bullying.
  • Publicize the anti-bullying policy and complaint process, including posting the policy in all schools and offices.
  • Post on the district website materials to support victims of bullying.
  • School personnel must intervene

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 anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Anti-Bullying Webcasts | Corona, CA

Being in a pandemic is not only rough on us mentally; but can also begin to take a toll on our relationships. Thankfully, there are lots of resources you can turn to if you feel that you or someone in your life is being affected by bullying. The more information we can gain about how to actively treat a situation, the easier it will be to correct a bad situation before it gets out of hand and causes more issues. Here are just a few webcasts to give you some handy tips:

Anti-Bullying Supports for Peers: Be an Upstander

Be an Upstander is a video for use with middle and high-school students. It demonstrates strategies that can turn bystanders (persons not directly involved in the bullying incident) into Upstanders, those who can help diffuse a bullying situation.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Families: Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

We believe that all persons have the right to live life as the persons they are, with their similarities and differences to others, and not live in fear of being bullied.  This webcast shares a little bit about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help family members support the individual with special needs who is a part of their life.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Educators:  Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

Did you know that 60% of students with disabilities report being bullied compared with 25% of students without disabilities? This is why we need to focus on how to help the students who are usually the most vulnerable in schools. This webcast shares information about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help school staff support the individual with special needs.

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

Be Kind: It’s Time for the World Kindness Youth Conference | Corona, CA

It’s that time of year again – 2020 World Kindness Youth Conference! And yes, things are a little bit different this year, but even COVID-19 can’t stop kindness from shining through. Being kind can happen anywhere, anyway and anyhow. It could be as simple as smiling at a stranger or helping out a friend. It is a lovely feeling to be kind and the happiness it creates spreads faster than California wildfires. So much so, November 13th is officially declared World Kindness Day.

World Kindness Day was an idea created in 1998 that sprang from Japan’s Small Kindness Movement, which was created in 1963 after the president of Tokyo University was mugged in a public place and no one helped him. This international campaign was designed to bring people from a diverse background together to unite nations through acts of kindness regardless of politics, race, religion, gender, sexual preference, age and even zip codes. It has received support from heads of state and is now recognized as the official day to recognize the important role kindness plays in societies around the world.

We may not have schools to go to, but this doesn’t stop the fun. Each day this week, we will feature a different topic and speaker, all leading up to World Kindness Day. Topics will include: Empathy with John Pritikin, self-confidence with Grandma Rose, self-care mindfulness with Tami and Shred Away Your Worries and finally World Kindness Day and gratitude grateful activity and kindness acts.

It’s going to be a great week, filled with kindness, peace and love. Spread kindness throughout the world and it will come back tenfold.

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

Reasons Kids May Not Mention Bullying | Corona, CA

No one wants to be bullied. Growing up is hard enough as it is. Unfortunately, many times you don’t get the choice. It is estimated that an average of 160,000 students around the country stay home daily out of fear of being bullied each day. And more often than not, parents are unaware that the bullying is taking place. But why? Here are the top five reasons your child may not be mentioning that they are getting bullied:

Tattle tales. We are taught as children that no one likes a tattle tale. However, it is vitally important that children learn the difference between tattling about unimportant things and telling someone when bullying is taking place.

Retaliation. While the adult may be able to address the issue with the child doing the bullying at the time, but they aren’t always going to be around. There is nothing scarier than having a bully retaliate.

Liar, liar. Some children are skittish to tell an adult for fear of not being believed. Some will even believe that maybe they did something to bring the bullying on themselves.

No help. A majority of children believe that telling an adult does nothing to stop the bullying. Sadly, research tends to support this thought. Often kids are told to “toughen up”, or “that it is just a part of growing up”.

Shame. When children are bullied, they often feel ashamed or embarrassed. These feelings alone can keep them from reporting issues, because they don’t want people to know that they were being bullied.

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