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Bulling Awareness Month: How to Spot Bullying

A new report shows as many as one in three students nationwide report having been a victim of bullying. That's a dramatic increase from just two years ago, when only about one in four students reported the same victimization. At some schools, the number of students claiming to be bullying victims has nearly doubled.  Despite what you may hear about cyberbullying, most bullying reports say the offense happens in person.

At Midland ISD, we recognize that when adults respond consistently and quickly to bullying behavior, they send a message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time.

We aim to educate parents about ways to identify bullying, and ways to prevent it. There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying - either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or bullying others ask for help.

It is imprtant to talk with children who show signs of being bullied or bullying others. These warning signs can also point to other issues or problems, such as depression or substance abuse. Talking to the child can help identify the root of the problem.

Warning signs could include:

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kinds may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwor, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaiors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide.

If you notice any of these signs, ask questions, and get help.

Kids may be bullying others if they:

  • Get into physical or verbal fights
  • Have friends who bully others
  • Are increasingly aggressive
  • Get sent to the principal's office or to detention frequenly
  • Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • Blame others for their problems
  • Don't accept responsibility for their actions
  • Are competitive and worry about worry about their repoutation or popularity

Why don't kids ask for help?

  • Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale.
  • Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them.
  • Bullying can be a humiliating experience. Kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them, whether true or false. They may also fear that adults will judge them or punishthem for being weak.
  • Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand.
  • Kids may fear being rejected by their peers. Friends can help protect kids from bullying,and kids can fear losing this support.