Psychological Impact of Bully Reporting by Victims

By Paul Langhorst   May 22, 2012

Late last week I co-presented on a webinar with Dr. Nicole Yetter entitled Encouraging Bullying in the Online Age. (We will post a link to the archive of the webinar shortly.)

One thing I love about working in education is the opportunity to learn something new everyday and my experience on this webinar was no exception. As we have rolled out the CyberBully Hotline our information and promotional efforts have mainly focused on the benefits to the school that anonymous reporting can deliver when added to the overall bully prevention program. During the webinar Dr. Yetter presented brief, but powerful information on the positive, psychological impact on the victim or witness when they report on a bullying or harassment incident. Dr. Yetter summarized work by Dr. Peter Sheras and Sherill Tippins and their book: Your Child: Bully or Victim, Understanding and Ending School Yard Tyranny (Library Journal, 2002).

In summary, Dr. Yetter shared that:

  • Students, who voice their concerns and successfully intervene, build courage to do the right thing.
  • Children learn and feel satisfaction in knowing that they are saving others from future harm.
  • When a child does a good deed, it helps to build and strengthen their self- esteem.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to develop a sense of pride.

When implementing a bully prevention program, and specifically discussing with students the need to come forward and report on things that that are happening to them or that they see, educators should consider including discussion on the above points. It’s common sense that when a person shares their troubles or concerns with others, that it creates relief and an uplifting feeling. The fact that they are not the “only one to know what’s going on” is relief in itself.

The challenge for educators, administrators and counselors is to take action to resolve the situation. There is nothing more disheartening than to bare your soul to another and than have negative or no results as a consequence.  Research also indicates (Olweus) that students often don’t report bullying because they feel that nothing will get done. It is important that the trust a student shares when making a report, be returned with positive action and results.

 

Cyberbullying – How can schools cope?

By Paul Langhorst   May 15, 2012

Our business partner, SchoolWebmasters, has shared a great article in their monthly newsletter on how to cope with cyberbullying and how to encourage and respond to bullying reporting. There is some really great info in these tips, which you can read here.

SchoolWebmasters is a unique company that develops and manages websites for K-12 schools. Their high-touch solution puts them in direct contact with school administrators on a daily basis. Bonnie Leedy, CEO of SchoolWebmasters has shared that they hear from their clients on a daily basis about troubles with cyberbullying, which was the impetus behind offering the tips. “Because we are managing their websites, its common for us to hear laments and cries for help on how to best address cyberbullying,” commented Leedy. “Kids will say and do things online that they would never think of doing face to face, and our clients, as do most schools, really struggle with addressing the problem.

To help educate SchoolWebmaster clients on how to encourage bully reporting in the digital age, the CyberBully Hotline is offering a free webinar, which they or anyone can join by clicking here.

 

 

 

10 Things Teachers Can Do to Go from Average to AWESOME!

By Aric Bostick  – CyberBully Hotline Contributor

1. Walk Your Talk! – A teacher must be a role model. It is hard to teach students how to succeed in school and in life if you aren’t living the principles that you want to convey to your students.

During my first year of teaching, the principal revealed his complete lack of exemplary behavior. He would attempt to enforce the no-smoking policy within the school parking area while he drove around the parking lot in his truck smoking!

2. Be Honest with your students!  – As kids say, “Keep it real!” Youth respect those who are honest and “tell it like it is.” If students are  pessimistic, lazy, or indifferent during class activities, tell them the truth- to revitalize their attitude! Remember, the truth always prevails.

3. Keep kids moving!  Make your lesson student-centered, interactive, creative, and kinesthetic whenever possible to engage your students and achieve higher-level thinking. If you are doing all the teaching, you will also be doing the majority of the learning. Your students must be participants in the process, so fuel your lessons with student-driven responses. A good rule to judge your lessons: if you are bored, chances are your students are too!

4. Connect with your students! Effective teaching requires building meaningful student-teacher relationships. Get to know your individual students by asking them questions regarding their own dreams and aspirations, i.e. what do they want out of life? You can even inquire about everyday occurrences; what they did over the weekend or what type of foods/hobbies/interests they like. Youths become much more responsive and well behaved during class lessons and activities once they realize how much you care about them as individuals.

5. Greet Your Students. Stand at your door with a smile and give a high five or handshake to students as they walk in the door of your classroom. Do you ever wonder why restaurants have hosts, hotels have doormen, and department stores have greeters? It’s because we have a natural desire to feel wanted and welcomed. Establish an inviting presence within your classroom and you’ll see a change in the overall mood and attitude of your class.

6. Have High Expectations! Students respect the teachers that encourage them to reach their full potential. They may become vexed, critical, and even resentful of you at times, but they will eventually come to respect you. After accomplishing seemingly impossible goals, students will thank you for holding them to a higher standard and teaching them to do their best. Don’t be afraid not to pass students or get on their case to perform better. We learn from owning our actions and their consequences, not from free passes and reprieves.

7. Empathize With Your Students. Being a kid today is tough. Bullying, especially cyber-bullying, has become an epidemic in our classrooms. Due to the countless pressures and illusions of reality portrayed on television and in social media, students are more confused about life and reality than any other generation. In this rapid technological-driven age, many students may act entitled, self-absorbed, aloof, and distracted by their various hand-held devices and online social life. However, it is our job as their educators and role models to understand first where they are coming from, and then to persuade them to “turn-off” their gadgets, so they can reconnect with themselves and each other. Students need to overcome these social pressures and distractions in order to achieve success both inside and outside the classroom.

8. Compliment Your Students. Complimenting your students on even the smallest actions is the best way to motivate and instill a sense of confidence within them. However, you must recognize the skills and talents of each individual student in order to give meaningful approval. Encouragement is like water to flowers. They will blossom from your words of praise. Mark Twain once said he could live for two months on a good compliment. Unfortunately, the statistics on how many students attempt suicide each day is staggering. We can help more children avoid a tragic end through the comfort of our kind words, helping them realize they do have a life worth living.

9. Don’t Take Thyself Too Seriously. Practice this “11th commandment.” Relax and think to yourself, “This is just school by the way. This isn’t life and death. This is just math, science, history, physical education etc…” Simply put, being a teacher should be fun! You are the leader and the catalyst to make your subjects come alive. By keeping your job in perspective, you will achieve a more successful career.

10. Take care of you! You must make time for exercise, friends, family, and most importantly rest and relaxation!

About the author:

Aric Bostick is a former teacher and coach and is now one of the most sought-after education experts in the country. He has worked with over half a million students, teachers, and parents nationwide. To learn more about Aric and watch videos of him speaking and engaging his audiences go to: http://aricbostick.com

A Visit with the Megan Meier Foundation

I had the opportunity to visit with Tina Meier of the Megan Meier Foundation earlier this week. It was a wonderful experience to learn about her extensive bullying and cyberbullying education and prevention efforts.

I will not go into all the details of the Megan Meier story here, but I encourage you to visit www.meganmeierfoundation.org to learn about this tragic cyberbullying story for yourself. The Megan Meier story happened in  a suburb of the St. Louis area, which is home to SchoolReach and the CyberBully Hotline, so it is near and dear to all of us in this area.

Tina shared her extensive vision for the Megan Meier Foundation and it is truly wonderful and far reaching – much more so than the 100 plus speaking events/year that Tina does today. I hope she ultimately achieves her goals as it will be a great benefit to bullying and cyberbullying prevention and education. Tina was thrust into this role by the tragic events that took Megan’s life and her response to those events and their challenges is truly amazing. Tina has skillfully become the leader of a non-profit organization, successful government lobbyist, national speaker, adept marketer, publicist, writer, and much more.

I was grateful for the time Tina shared with me and look forward to helping the Megan Meier Foundation in the future.

Speaking of helping out…Tina said they are looking to fill foursomes in their 4th Annual Megan Meier Foundation Golf Tournament. If you are free on June 25th and in the St. Louis area – come out and play with us!

Golf Registration Details here….