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Anti-bullying resources for parents and students

Statement of Purpose

     Fort Plain Central School District believes children have the right to be educated in a safe, happy and supportive environment. This page is a resource to all parents, highlighting anti-bullying efforts being made across the country and at Fort Plain. The goal is to make school a place where every student feels included by their peers and accepted for who they are.

     “Be the Change” is the  Fort Plain student anti-bullying group that encourages everyone to take a stand against bullying in school.
The organization has about 50 members in grades 7-12. Staff members include Kolbe Gray, Sarah Ackroyd, Michelle Boylan, Sue Summerfield and Lisa Trembley. Goals include creating a positive environment in our school so that everyone including students, faculty, staff and visitors feel safe and to make school a place where every student feels included by their peers and accepted for who they are.

List of anti-bulling websites ( bottom of this page)

Understanding Bullying

Adapted from “Steps to Respect” Program Guide -- Steps to Respect is a bullying prevention program is designed to decrease bullying at school and help students build more supportive relationships with each other.

What is bullying?

      People of all ages experience conflict in relationships so distinguishing bullying from normal conflict and behaviors such as rough play or disagreements between friends is a crucial task for children and adults.

     Research suggests that adults tend to confuse aggression and play fighting in children. A study that looked at lunchtime supervisors’ ability to distinguish play fighting (rough and tumble play) from true aggression in children found they were more likely to err in the direction of labeling aggression as play rather than the other way around. (Bolton, 1996).

     In order to intervene effectively in bullying, adults need to be able to discriminate play from bullying and other forms of aggression.
     • Positive and neutral facial expressions – more typical of rough and tumble play
        Negative facial expressions characterize aggression
     • Children are free to choose to participate in rough and tumble play
        Children are often forced or challenged to participate in aggression
     • Children tend not to use full force in rough and tumble play
        Full force is often seen in aggression
     • Children are more likely to alternate roles (e.g. chased and chaser) in rough and tumble play
        Aggression usually involves unilateral roles.
     • Children tend to stay together after a bout of play fighting
        Children often separate following aggression


BULLYING IS UNFAIR AND ONE-SIDED. IT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE KEEPS HURTING, FRIGHTENING, THREATENING, OR LEAVING SOMEONE OUT ON PURPOSE.

Distinguishing features of bullying

     • Bullying involves a power imbalance in which the child doing the bullying has more power due to factors such as age, size, support of peer group, or higher status
     • Bullying is usually a repeated activity in which a particular child is singled out more than once and often in a chronic manner.
     • Bullying is carried out with intent to harm the targeted child.
     • Bullying includes aggression, verbal insults, the spreading of malicious rumors or gossip, and threats of exclusion from the peer group.

Types of Bullying

      DIRECT BULLYING is characterized by open attacks on the targeted child, including physical and verbal aggression. Both the child being bullied and others in the environment are likely to know the identity of the person(s) doing the bullying. Direct physical bullying is the easiest form to recognize because it is the only type with physically observable signs of damage like physical injury, torn or dirty clothing. Examples include: causing physical harm or threats; insulting, taunting or name calling; telling a child in a mean way to his or her face that he or she cannot participate in play or other activities

     INDIRECT BULLYING  is more difficult to recognize because the person being bullied may not be present when the bullying happens and may or may not know the identity of the bully. The primary purpose of indirect bullying is social exclusion or damaging a child’s reputation within a peer group. Examples include spreading malicious rumors; writing hurtful graffiti; using e-mails, social media, text messages, and other forms of electronic communication to exclude a child or damage his/her reputation; encourage others not to play or associate with a particular child.

     SEXUAL BULLYING occurs when one student is targeted by another with unwanted words, actions or images about sex. Examples include: Sharing unwanted jokes comments, or taunts about sexual body parts; teasing about sexual orientation or starting rumors about sexual activities; passing unwanted notes or pictures about sex; engaging in physically intrusive behaviors such as brushing against someone, grabbing someone in a sexual way, or forcing someone to engage in unwanted sexual behavior. E-mails, social media, text messages, and other forms of electronic communication can be used for sexual bullying purposes.

Anti-bullying websites

Stop Bullying Now - http://www.stopbullying.gov/
Dealing with bullying - http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/problems/bullies.html
Anti-Bullying Network - http://www.antibullying.net/
Medline Plus: Bullying - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/bullying.html
Eduction.com: Bullying at School - http://www.education.com/topic/school-bullying-teasing/
Teaching Tolerance: Bullying - http://www.tolerance.org/search/apachesolr_search/bullying
Glossary of Terms (Net Cetera) - http://www.onguardonline.gov/tools/learn-terms.aspx
Microsoft's Online Safety and Privacy Education - http://www.microsoft.com/protect/
Addictions Care Center of Albany - http://www.theacca.net/
NYS Office of Cyber Security - http://www.dhses.ny.gov/ocs/awareness-training-events/