Dear Parent & Guardians,
This month, the world comes together to raise awareness for bullying prevention and to reflect on where we have been, where we are now, and where we hope to be in the years to come. This year’s Bullying Prevention Awareness Month marks the 11th anniversary of its initiation by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center. Since 2006, the event has grown to an entire month of education and awareness activities, and is being recognized by schools and communities throughout the world.
This month serves as a reminder that bullying prevention must be addressed, and one way to accomplish this is through educating ourselves, our communities and the youth in our lives.
Hannah Gibbons – STEM School takes the issues of bullying and harassment very seriously. Recent research suggests that young people who are bullied, may not always tell adults, as they may be afraid or ashamed. This may result in a student being victimized for a prolonged period of time before it is discovered and carries the potential for serious short, medium and long-term side effects.
In order for the school to carry out its duty of providing all students with a safe environment in which to learn, grow and develop – the school seeks to enlist the support and cooperation of all parents in the school community.
In addition to the standard preventative measures endorsed and practiced by schools across the world, the school is committed to working in a proactive manner with parents.
The purpose of this letter is to share with parents some of the signs that they need to be alert to. Young people who are being bullied may display one or (usually) several of the following signs:
- Comes home from school with torn or disordered clothing, with damaged books.
- Has bruises, injuries, cuts, and scratches that cannot be given a natural explanation.
- Doesn’t want to go to school and finds excuses to stay at home (for example, feeling sick).
- Wants to go to school a different way to avoid the children who are bullying them.
- Seems very tense, tearful and unhappy after school.
- Talks about hating school or not having any friends.
- Refuses to tell you what happens at school.
- May not have a single good friend to share free time with (play, shopping, sports and musical events, chatting on the phone, etc.).
- Appears afraid or reluctant to go to school in the morning, has poor appetite, repeated headaches, or stomach pains (particularly in the morning).
- Chooses an "illogical" route for going to and from school.
- Has restless sleep with bad dreams, may cry in their sleep.
- Has lost interest in school work and gets lower grades.
- Appears unhappy, sad, depressed, or show unexpected mood shifts with irritability and sudden outbursts of temper.
- Requests or takes extra money from family (to accommodate the bullies)
These signs may not necessarily mean your child is being bullied, but if present, it is necessary to check out what is worrying your child. Be assured that the school is committed to continually reviewing its policies and practices in respect of bullying and harassment.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at Gregory.firstname.lastname@example.org or 216.838.0750.