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Tips From a Former Frisco ISD Teacher on How Parents and Kids Can Take Action to Prevent Bullying

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Tips From a Former Frisco ISD Teacher on How Parents and Kids Can Take Action to Prevent Bullying

By S. Holcombe

 

Before I ever became a mom, I was a teacher. While I don't claim to be a perfect teacher or a perfect mom, I do believe that I relate to children quite well, thanks in part to my time spent "in the trenches". Those 13 precious years of forging relationships, offering guidance, and teaching taught me several things that have also served me well as a parent. One of the main things that I gained insight about while teaching was the prevalence of bullying in schools and how to best handle it as a parent. Students of Frisco ISD complete a yearly survey regarding various factors, including bullying and the statistics are staggering! Bullying is an epidemic, widespread, pervasive and the effects can be catastrophic.

Most of the time, bullying happens outside of the classroom setting. It can take place in a variety of places throughout the school, including on the bus, the hallways, the lunchroom, and the locker room. As a result, it is often difficult for educators to be aware of bullying within the building.

Bullies usually know exactly where the teachers and other adults are before they target someone and for this reason, it is often unlikely that adults will witness bullying firsthand. The teachers who make a joint effort to connect with students will know what is happening outside of the classroom walls.

That said, when you make a bullying complaint, it is realistic to expect that it will be taken seriously and be properly investigated. If your child is in immediate danger of harm or if threats have been made, you may also need to request a safety plan or even involve the Frisco Police Department.

It's also common to expect that when the school begins its investigation into the bullying allegations that your child's privacy will be protected. However, you should still stress this to the people you talk to.

Make sure they know that you do not want your child's name mentioned to the person bullying them nor should they mention it to the people they are interviewing. Bringing your child's name into the mix not only violates their rights to privacy but also puts them in harm's way and increases the likelihood of retaliation.

Additionally, request that they not interview your child and the person bullying them at the same time. When bullying occurs, there is almost always a power imbalance, and subjecting a person who has already been victimized to this type of meeting only further injures them and puts them at risk. Conflict resolution usually does not work for bullying situations.

If your child is still experiencing bullying after you've contacted the school, or if you feel like the school has not adequately addressed the situation, there are other things you can do to ensure your child's safety.

Frisco ISD offers a way for parents and students to report bullying through an app, called  the STOPit app.  This app is a free safety resource available to all FISD students. The tip line is an anonymous reporting system that accepts both calls and texts 24 hours a day.

This tip line allows students and adults to anonymously share information with school officials and law enforcement about threats to student safety. Threats that involve a mass incident or harm to a single student can be reported and will be investigated.

STOPit App

It is important for students to report any bullying to a parent or an adult they trust. Frisco ISD students have the option to download and use the STOPit app to anonymously report bullying.  The school has no ability to identify the submitter of a report or message. At their discretion, an end user may choose to voluntarily provide identifying information in the content of their report or message. Click here for more information about the STOPit app.

Tips for Collaboration

Here are some tips for parents addressing bullying incidents.

  • Talk with the classroom teacher first.

  • Remain calm and in control during meetings.

  • Go into meetings level-headed and open to information.

  • Chat with recess monitors to see if anything is being noticed.

  • Have open and honest conversations with your child.

  • Encourage your child to speak up right away and tell an adult.

  • Ask for ongoing communication and a plan to keep your child safe.

  • Become familiar with the school's student handbook and policies.

  • Understand that privacy laws prevent you from being told how kids are disciplined.

  • Refrain from asking for personal contact information (like the parent's phone number).

 

Until something can be done on an administrative level, work with your child to handle bullying without being crushed or defeated. Practice scenarios at home where your child learns how to ignore a bully and/or develop assertive strategies for coping with bullying. Help your child identify teachers and friends that can help them if they’re worried about being bullied. 

Enroll your child in the Rockstar Martial Arts North Frisco Anti-Bully Program.  Our Anti-Bully program will teach your child to use verbal assertiveness to deter bullies and several non-violent self-defense techniques to stay safe if physically assaulted. Importantly, we don’t teach how to punch or kick, since this often does more harm than good. Instead, we use leverage-based control holds to neutralize threats without violence. Numerous FISD students have benefited from our Anti-Bully program year after year.  The bottom line is: we will prepare your child to defend themselves against bullies without turning them into one.

If you’re interested in instilling your child with unshakable confidence while reinforcing positive values and good character, the Rockstar Martial Arts Anti-Bully program is for you! 

The Rockstar Martial Arts Program Leads to Increased Confidence in Students

Studies suggest that bullying may be the leading cause of low self-esteem in children. A child’s inability to stand up to a bully is rooted in profound fear for their personal safety. Ironically, the victims know that they must confront the bully and would like nothing more than to stand up to them. But, they simply can't follow through for fear of the physical harm that backs the bully's every action. And, therein lies the challenge – how do you instill in a victim of bullying the confidence to face the tormentor, look them in the eye, and back them down? The answer is simple – teach the victims to defend themselves against physical attack, and the rest will follow.

Fighting Fire with Water

Most martial arts programs rely on striking the attacker with violent punches, kicks, knees, and elbows, but in the RockStar Martial Arts Anti-Bully program we take a different approach. All the techniques are purely defensive and utilize no strikes. Furthermore, we teach children how to defuse confrontations with words and never to initiate physical aggression. If attacked, we offer techniques to non-violently neutralize the threat and gain control until help arrives. In the Rockstar Martial Arts Anti-Bully program, we teach the children how to fight fire with water so that you never have to worry about your child becoming a bully under our guidance.

Students

The RockStar Martial Arts program is the only kid’s jiu-jitsu program that actually teaches children precisely when they can, and cannot, use the techniques they are learning. Our Anti-Bully Program teaches students to:

  1. Avoid the fight at all costs.

  2. If physically attacked, defend yourself.

  3. If verbally attacked, follow the Three T-steps (talk, tell, tackle).

    1. Talk:  The first time a child gets bullied, he or she should simply talk to the bully and let them know that their words or actions hurt them. Children can be brutally honest, and sometimes children simply do not know that what they’re saying is hurtful. The first T, talk, teaches kids how to have a conversation with someone about their differences. The problem can easily be nipped in the bud at this stage.

    2. The second T is “tell. If the bullying persists after attempts to talk, tell a trusted adult. This could be your parents, coach, teacher, or a school counselor. That adult can then mediate the issue and hopefully stop the hurtful words.

    3. The third T is “tackle.” This may sound violent, but the real objective here is for you to show the bully that you are in control of the situation. Tackling means establishing control of the bully.

  4. Never punch or kick the bully, establish control and negotiate.

  5. When applying submissions use minimal force and negotiate.

School is starting soon and there’s no better way to prepare your child to defend himself/herself.  Click here to schedule a complimentary session at Rockstar Martial Arts North Frisco.


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