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Five Ways Parents Can Tackle Bullying Like Katy ISD's App SpeakUp

Published September 14th, 2019 by The Silmon Group

Bullying the word no parent wants to hear when it comes to their children. Unfortunately, with the widespread use of social media it has become even more prevalent. 

In the past, bullying ended after you left the school grounds. However, students in this present age are faced with it on and off campus, sometimes relentlessly.  You have heard cases involving children going to drastic and even fatal measures to escape their tormentors. 

To be brutally honest, as a mother of four, I would go to pretty much any length to protect my child from being constantly bullied. I have no problem confronting the parents or even the child themselves, to let them know my child is not the one! 

Luckily, parents and students in Katy ISD  are not alone in safeguarding their children against  bullying on and off campus.  School officials recognize the devastating social and educational effects of bullying. Thereby creating a special app called SpeakUp. This app allows parents or students to report incidences anonymously in a safe and efficient environment 

While it is wonderful that KISD faculty and staff are working diligently to decrease the occurrence of bullying, parents are still the first line of defense. Here are five ways you can also fight against this pervasive phenomenon:

Teach them they ALWAYS deserve respect.

Teaching your child that being bullied is NEVER their fault is so important. Students who believe they are at fault are less likely to report it or even reach out for help.

For example, a boy who is not progressing physically as fast as the rest of his classmates can sometimes become the target of a bully. The bully exerts their perceived  power by making him believe they are irregular and therefore deserving of the hurtful treatment. 

You can instruct your child to expect respect from others at all times. Reiterate that they deserve a safe environment regardless of physical attributes or personal choices. This is best served as an ongoing conversation. Waiting until a problem manifests itself might be too late. 

Seek out adults they can trust even if it's not you

A culture of acceptance among adults, no matter how small, can unwittingly create an environment that makes it difficult for your child to share when bullying behavior occurs. The mindset that “kids will be kids” conveys that bullying, while not ideal, is an acceptable form of behavior.  Adults are the ones with the power to discourage this behavior. So having adults that kids can speak to is vital even if it is not you. 

This one can be hard. You want to kiss the boo boo away and slay the dragons. However it is difficult to do this when your child chooses not to share their problems with you.  

This is why it is crucial for your kid to have an alternate, trusted adult with whom they can share feelings regarding bullying. It is important to surround your child with adults they can relate with and who share your value system. 

Be in communication with your child and ask which, if any, adults they feel comfortable talking to at school. If they don’t have any, look to places outside school, like your local church, outside sports teams, and activities. 

Furthermore, getting to know these adults on a personal level allows you to assess if they share similar values to those you are trying to teach your child. 

Empower your child to empower themselves

This one is easier said than done because bullies are often good at making their victims feel powerless against their attacks. This is a lie.

In 2016, a girl named named Natalie Sherman, from Sherman Oaks, CA created an app called “Sit With Us” to help students find other students to sit with during lunch. Natalie was no stranger to the feeling of isolation and rejection that some students face during this time. She created this app to prevent other students from facing the same stigma.   

This app is a lunch planning app where students sign up to be ambassadors and hold an “open lunch” area for classmates to eat lunch together without fear of rejection. 

Powerful actions like this one can empower your child to find solutions instead of remaining a victim. When they focus more on the solution rather than the problem it leads to a better mental state and can inevitably make them feel better.

Not only should you teach your child to stand up for themselves, also caution them against standing by as other students are bullied. 

When you instill in them that they are indeed their brother's keeper and must speak out against the bullying of others, consequently it makes them less susceptible to tolerate this behavior for themselves.

Find positive friends outside of the bully’s environment

One of the advantages of parenting is that you have control over your children’s environment and their exposure to outside influences. Therefore you can offer other emotional outlets when bullying occurs within the school.  

By giving your child alternate environments from school you can decrease the negative emotional effects bullying has on your child. Exposing them to other positive peer groups, such as church youth groups or extended family members, who are accepting and non-judgemental can help with the ability to cope.  

Take matters into your own hands

While many experts say this should be your last resort because children need to handle issues with peers themselves. Coming in like a knight in shining armor robs your child of the learning and problem solving skills that experiences like this can give them.

 Although what happens when you have done everything imaginable and the bullying just does not seem to end? I know It is hard but remain calm and speak to school officials about the ongoing issue.

Also, take the time to learn Texas state laws regarding bullying so you can hold your school officials accountable if they are not being a proper advocate for your child. 

Being educated on these laws is even more important in the instance of cyberbullying. Which normally does not happen on school grounds. 

Know what constitutes cyberbullying in the state of Texas and what school officials are obligated to do when it occurs.

The good thing is that cyberbullying is taking very seriously in the state of Texas.

 A new law called David’s Law which is named after David Molak who killed himself after being cyberbullied.  Mandates Texas schools to take cyberbullying sternly, even if it occurs off  campus. Schools have the authority to punish children and even involve law enforcement if it serious enough.

Bullying isn't normal childhood behavior, accepting it as such can be detrimental. This is why it is  great when school’s like KISD implement policies which ensure every kid has a safe place to report this. Hence removing the isolation and fear bullying makes a child feel.

Resources For You

Texas Laws On Bullying And CyberBullying 

What Teens Can Do To Stop Bullying

Get Katy ISD App SpeakUp

Katy ISD Bullying Policies



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