March 2, 2016


This information on Bullying was originally posted by Alicia on 10/22/14.  It is worth repeating.  The definition of bullying is the intentional aggressive behavior directed at another person.
  • There is a difference between Conflict vs Bullying: 
  • Conflict is a one-time incident that wasn’t pre-planned and there was an effort from both parties. 
  • Bullying is repeated incidents, is about dominance, and damages the victim.

  • Bullying affects the entire school climate, victimizes 20-30% of students, and happens on the playground, lunchroom and hallways. 
  • Three types of Bullying are: Physical, Social and Cyber.
  • The Cyber victims are 8x more likely to carry a weapon to school.
Bullying Prevention: 10 Things to know and consider
  1. Understand why your youth may not confide in you 
  2. Recognize Warning Signs like change in eating or sleeping, headaches and stomach aches, avoiding school, declining grades, complaints about peers, complaints about peers, complaints about lunch and recess and unexplained bruises or injuries 
  3. Stay Calm & Be Strong Advocate For Your Youth, ask your youth about bullying, support your youth and work with the school 
  4. Establish Open Lines of Communication 
  5. Partner with the school to address concerns, set up a plan and ask questions 
  6. Build Your Youth’s Empathy, use feeling words, ask questions, encourage sharing and compromising, emphasize similarities with diverse peers and praise empathic comments and behaviors, Promote empathy: recognize others’ perspectives even if you do not agree with their point of view. 
  7. Enhance Perspective - Talking Skills, Identify teachable moments, ask questions, point out the benefits of seeing both sides of a situation 
  8. Promote Friendships, develop one good friendship, short, structured outings, involvement in at least one setting outside of school, enter social groups and include others in activities 
  9. Enhance Problem Solving Skills, pay attention to facial cues and body language, calm down strategies, evaluate others’ intentions, slow down to consider options for responding, use modeling and role playing and praise youth’s appropriate problem solving steps 
  10. Support Positive Bystanders by reminding your youth to: contribute to a positive environment and make safe and positive choices. 
The best prevention to bullying is building relationships with your youth, their friends, teachers and administrators.

Partner for Prevention: A Bullying Prevention Program of the Violence Prevention Initiative at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

If your youth is complaining of being bullied, here are some initial recommendations:
  1. Take the bullying concerns seriously, while always remaining calm and not reacting emotionally. This will help your youth be comfortable to come to you when they are having a problem. 
  2. Do not contact the parents of the bully or others involved in the conflict, instead use the school as a mediator to address the issue 
  3. The School District of Philadelphia has a form parents can use to report bullying: A verbal report is also acceptable, note the importance for parents who believe their youth is being bullied or harassed to report the incident to the school and cooperate with the school’s investigation of the allegations, give concrete information: who, what, where and when of what is going on.
  4. Ask your youth in what ways were they bullied or treated poorly by peers and write down their response. Some helpful questions: Can you describe what happened the last time you were bullied? What led to the conflict? Where did the conflict occur? How long has this been going on? How have you managed the situation? Are school staff aware and if so how have they tried to address your concerns? 
  5. Contact school administrators to make sure they are aware of the problem and to work with them on developing a plan. Setup a meeting with the schools dean or principal. Stay calm, if you cannot stay calm take a trusted friend with you. Ask school administrators to designate a point person for your youth to talk with when having difficulties, this person should be some they can trust and respect
    1. Inform administrators that you do not want your youth to be viewed as a snitch or tattle-tale, you are trusting them to use good judgement for how and when to talk with the youth involved in the ongoing conflicts. 
    2. Jointly decide how you and the school will monitor progress 
    3. When possible follow up with an email summarizing your conversation and your understanding for the next steps that both the school and you are taking to address the problem  
  6. Parents have the right to expect the school to investigate the situation and take appropriate action, which is going to vary according to the circumstances. Some possible questions you may want to ask administrators to help support the school’s investigation: Who will be conducting the investigation? Will there be a joint meeting with the other youth’s parents? How long will the investigation take? What is the best way to follow-up on the investigation? What should I tell my youth/have him or her do while the investigation is going on? How will my child and I know this has been addressed?
  7. Try to set aside 5-10 minutes each night to check in with your youth about their day, establishing good communication helps prevent future problems 
  8. Encourage your youth to develop a set of friends who they can trust will treat them nicely, this may mean helping your child to find friends outside of the school setting that he or she feels comfortable with, if the bullying is occurring online, help your youth delete accounts, create new ones and block unfriendly peers 
  9. Consider having your youth talk to school counselor or psychologist about the situation to help them cope more successfully 
District Attorney Seth Williams created a program last year to address bullying. Currently they are only giving workshops to fourth and fifth grade students, to have them come to your school and conduct a bullying presentation please email

Kelly Hodge Esq. of the office of Safe Schools Advocate gave us books “Bullying in Schools What You Need To Know” if you would like a copy and a representative to come to your school you may contact their office 440 N. Broad Street, Suite 1198, 215.656.5381

Bullying Hotline 215.400.7233 or 1.877.730.6315
Federal Letter to Schools on their obligations to address Bullying

Bullying of Students with Disabilities Addressed in Guidance to America’s Schools

As part of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued guidance to schools reminding them that bullying is wrong and must not be tolerated – including against America’s 6.5 million students with disabilities.

The Department issued guidance in the form of a letter to educators detailing public schools’ responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the bullying of students with disabilities. If a student with a disability is being bullied, federal law requires schools to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the issue and, as necessary, take steps to stop the bullying and prevent it from recurring.

Since 2009, OCR has received more than 2,000 complaints regarding the bullying of students with disabilities in the nation’s public elementary and secondary schools. This guidance builds upon anti-bullying guidance the Department has issues in recent years concerning schools' legal obligations to fix the problem.

Help is available for those who are either targets of disability bullying or know of someone who might be, such as:

  • A fact sheet for parents on schools’ obligations under federal law to address bullying. The fact sheet is also available in Spanish.
  • Visiting the federal Web site,, which provides useful information on bullying prevention and remedies.
  • Asking to meet with the student’s team that designs his or her individualized education program – the IEP or Section 504 teams.
  • Asking to meet with the principal or school district’s special education coordinators to have the school address bullying concerns.
  • Seeking help from OCR. The office investigates complaints of disability discrimination at schools. To learn more about federal civil rights laws or how to file a complaint, contact OCR at 800-421-3481 (TDD: 800-877-8339), or OCR’s Web site is To fill out a complaint form online, go to


  1. This Saturdat from 9 am til 12:30 pm 2nd annual safety summit for Women & Children @ The High School for The Future 4120 Parkside Ave. Workshop topics: "Escaping Abusive Relationships" "Preventing Child Sexual Abuse" "Internet & Social Media Safety for Teens and Children" "Self Defense Tips for Women" childcare provided by for youth 2-12, for more info: 215.686.8715 or email Bring a friend or two!!


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