There are many ways to help junior high girls deal with bullying effectively. Whether you are a parent, student or school official, there are several ways to put an end to this criminal behavior.
How to Help Junior High Girls Deal with Bullying
If you are a parent, you may remember being bullied, or know someone who had to put up with it. Being bullied is a stressful and tormenting experience for anyone to endure. Facing the prospect of going to school each day worrying about fights is an exhausting experience. It is no wonder that students who are victims of bullying tend to withdraw from friends and family, and experience a drop in their school grades.
Girls can help put an end to bullying in their school by doing the following:
- Don't gossip about each other, especially anonymously on the Internet.
- Don't participate in slam books. Whenever you write something mean about someone, it reflects badly on you too. Consider how you would feel if someone did that to you.
- It is never okay to physically hit or push someone. This is bullying of the worst kind. It is also illegal and you could be held accountable in court.
- Don't let your friends convince you to bully someone. Peer pressure is strong, but you are stronger.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. Things don't always get better on their own.
Definition of Bullying
According to the National School Safety and Security Services, bullying is defined as:
- Verbal, physical, or other acts committed by a student to harass, intimidate, or cause harm to another student. The behaviors attributed to bullying may include verbal threats, menacing, harassment, intimidation, assaults, disruption of the school environment and associated disorderly conduct, and related behaviors.
Know the Law
Victims of bullies do not have to endure this type of treatment silently, as they are slowly becoming empowered by the law, which has changed significantly in the past twenty years. A few decades ago the thought process was "let kids be kids" or "they'll work it out amongst themselves." As a result, the level of bullying has increased over the years, and finally local and state authorities have recognized that bullying is both abuse and a criminal activity. If you are the bully, you can no longer hide from the law because you're a minor. Older teens are being tried everyday as adults in some of the more serious bullying cases.
In the United States, forty five of the fifty states now have anti-bully laws to protect children and teens from bullies. Anti-bully laws empower students to put an end to their tormenting, and schools must comply with the legislation or face loss of funding. A few of the recent laws that have passed legislation include:
- Florida: The Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act. This law was signed into effect in 2008 after fifteen year old Jeffrey Johnston hung himself after being bullied for two years by fellow student, Robert Roemmick.
- Michigan: House Bill 4746, Matt's Safe School Law. This bill was introduced after Matt Epling ended his life after being attacked and bullied as part of a "Welcome to High School" hazing.
- Vermont: Ryan Patrick Halligan Bully Prevention Law was signed into effect in 2004 after Ryan Halligan committed suicide after being relentlessly bullied.
What You Can Do About Bullying
No one should have to put up with bullying from others, and no one has the right to publicly humiliate another person. Many states have realized that bullying is a criminal activity that needs to be stopped. If you are being bullied, or are the parents of a child being bullied, please take the following steps to put an end to it promptly:
- If you are a student, don't put up with bullying. Tell someone, whether that is a teacher, school counselor or principal. Most importantly, always tell your parents. Teens that bully rarely stop unless they are pressured by authorities to do so.
- Document any bullying incidents. Save notes, email messages, text messages or photos that are sent to you. The easiest way to prosecute someone or prove your side of the case is to produce valid evidence. Even if the evidence is embarrassing, you'll need to present it in effort to support your case.
- Parents need to set up a meeting with their school's principal to discuss the problem and to present the evidence. Do not allow the principal to remove your child from classes or accommodate the bully in any way. Insist that the bully have their schedule changed instead. Take notes at the meeting and send a copy of your notes to the principal after the meeting so that each of you have a record of what transpired.
- If the principal doesn't take the complaint seriously, go to the school superintendent with the same information.
- If the complaint still isn't dealt with to your satisfaction, take the complaint to your state's Board of Education.
- If the problem still hasn't been resolved, hire a lawyer and sue the school district for school choice.
- Parents should also consider protecting their child's safety by placing them in another school (public or private) that has a better grasp on what constitutes bullying. In addition, homeschooling is always an option.
More Help for Parents
There are many resources available on the Internet to help junior high girls deal with bullying:
More Help for Teens
Teens can help themselves and support each other. Asking for help doesn't mean your weak, it means you're smart. The following websites have resources to help you deal with bullying: