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SMS Bullying and Harassment

What to do if your child is being bullied at Schofield Middle School…

1. First, focus on your child.  Be supportive and gather information about the bullying. 

  • Never tell your child to ignore the bullying. What the child may “hear” is that you are going to ignore it. If the child were able to simply ignore it, he or she likely would not have told you about it. Often, trying to ignore bullying allows it to become more serious.
  • Don’t blame the child who is being bullied. Don’t assume that your child did something to provoke the bullying. Don’t say, “What did you do to aggravate the other child?”
  • Listen carefully to what your child tells you about the bullying. Ask him or her to describe who was involved and how and where each bullying episode happened.
  • Learn as much as you can about the bullying tactics used, and when and where the bullying happened. Can your child name other children or adults who may have witnessed the bullying? Write everything down so you can remember the events later.
  • Empathize with your child. Tell him/her that bullying is wrong, not their fault, and that you are glad he or she had the courage to tell you about it. Ask your child what he or she thinks can be done to help. Assure him or her that you will think about what needs to be done and you will let him or her know what you are going to do.
  • Do not encourage physical retaliation (“Just hit them back”) as a solution. Hitting another student is not likely to end the problem, and it could get your child suspended or expelled or escalate the situation.
  • Check your emotions. A parent’s protective instincts stir strong emotions. Although it is difficult, a parent is wise to step back and consider the next steps carefully.
2.  Contact your child's teacher, counselor or principal. 
  • Parents are often reluctant to report bullying to school officials, but bullying may not stop without the help of adults.
  • Keep your emotions in check. Give factual information about your child’s experience of being bullied including who, what, when, where, and how.
  • Emphasize that you want to work with the staff at school to find a solution to stop the bullying, for the sake of your child as well as other students.
  • Do not contact the parents of the student(s) who bullied your child. This is usually a parent’s first response, but sometimes it makes matters worse. School officials should contact the parents of the child or children who did the bullying.
  • Expect the bullying to stop. Talk regularly with your child and with school staff to see whether the bullying has stopped. If the bullying persists, contact school authorities again.

Please Report Incidents to:  Schofield Middle School  803-641-2770

1. Katrina Brooks, Guidance Counselor              
2. Tasha Miller, Guidance Counselor             
3. Daniel Bartley, Assistant Principal              
4. Celia White-Rhines, Assistant Principal       

Steps to Follow if You Believe You Are Being Bullied:

Your Rights
Remember that everyone has the right to live, work, study and play in an environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence. No one deserves or asks to be bullied.

Asking Someone for Help

To stop bullying - whether verbal, written or cyberbullying - it can be helpful to tell someone that you are being bullied.  This can seem scary at first, but telling someone can lighten your load and help you to work out how to solve the problem.  Talking to someone is particularly important if you fee unsafe or frightened, or if you don't have many friends.  Asking for help or talking to someone about your situation is not being weak or "giving in."  In fact, telling someone can take a lot of strength and courage.

There are many people who might be able to help, including friends, older brothers and sisters, teachers, family, counselors, administrators or parents. Teachers and counselors are specially trained to help you.

Some Tips for Getting Help
It might be easier if you talk to someone you know well and trust. This person can give you much needed support and might have suggestions for dealing with the situation that you might not have considered.

  • If you decide to talk to a teacher or counselor, speak with him/her privately if possible. If you feel you might get too nervous to speak, write down what you’d like to say on paper.
  • If you think that the person you’re speaking with doesn’t believe you, or isn’t taking you seriously, or if that person doesn’t help you take action, it doesn’t mean that your feelings aren’t valid or that the bullying should continue. It’s important you tell someone else and continue to do so until you get the help you need.
  • Being bullied can be upsetting and stressful, and it can affect your life in many different ways, including your self-esteem, relationships, work and education.

Steps to Follow If Someone Else is Being Bullied...
1.  Refuse to join in if you see someone being bullied. It can be hard to resist if a bully
            tries to get you to taunt or torment someone, and you may fear the bully will turn on
            you if you do not participate, but try to stand firm. 

2.  Attempt to defuse bullying situations when you see them starting up. For example, try to draw attention away from the targeted person, or take the bully aside and ask him/her to "cool it." Do not place yourself at risk, however.

3.  If you can do so without risk to your own safety, get a teacher, parent, or other responsible adult to come help immediately.

4.  Speak up and/or offer support to bullied teens when you witness bullying. For example, help them up if they have been tripped or knocked down. If you feel you cannot do this at the time, privately support those being hurt with words of kindness or condolence later.

5.  Encourage the bullied teen to talk with parents or a trusted adult. Offer to go with the person if it would help. Tell an adult yourself if the teen is unwilling to report the bullying. If necessary for your safety, do this anonymously. You can use the “Bully Boxes” located in the guidance office, the media center, and the cafeteria. 

Steps for Reporting Bullying at Schofield Middle School
Talk to a teacher or another adult immediately about the situation. Teachers and office staff will make time for you to meet with the school counselor or an administrator.

Put it in writing – Write down what happened including the names of any witnesses, the bully, the victim, and any others that joined in the bullying activity. Please ask for permission from your teacher to hand-deliver your statement to Ms. Brooks or Ms. Miller in Guidance, to Mr. Bartley. There may be another form we use to gather additional information, but the guidance office and administration will provide those forms.

Tell your parents. Keep them informed of what is happening at school.