Center for Problem-Oriented Policing

Sample Brochure Educating Parents About School Bullying

† This brochure is copied (with minor changes) with the permission of its author, Susan Limber, Clemson University, Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life. This particular brochure is most appropriate for parents of elementary or middle school students.

The ___________________ School District is collaborating with the ______________________ Police Department to implement the Bullying Prevention Program to address bullying among children in grades ____ to ____.

What is bullying?

Bullying occurs when one child or group of children repeatedly hurts another child through actions or words. Bullying may involve physical aggression, such as fighting, shoving or kicking; verbal aggression, such as name-calling; or more subtle aggression, such as socially isolating a child.

Why focus on bullying?

All of us are concerned about the levels of violence among young people in our communities and schools. Studies have shown that 60 percent of children identified as bullies in middle school go on to have arrest records. We need to address these children's behavioral problems at an early age, before they become even more serious. In addition, victims of bullies may have problems with depression, poor school attendance and low self-esteem. It is important to help create a school environment where all children feel safe and can learn to the best of their abilities.

What does this program involve?

The Bullying Prevention Program involves the total effort of all school staff (teachers, principals, guidance counselors, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, etc.), as well as students, parents and other community members, to reduce bullying.

The school's efforts will include:

  • identifying bullies and their victims, to address individual problems and needs;
  • establishing schoolwide rules and applying consistent sanctions against bullies;
  • holding regular classroom meetings to discuss bullying with children;
  • increasing supervision of children at school;
  • rewarding children for good social behaviors;
  • holding schoolwide assemblies on bullying; and
  • using videos, books and other resources on bullying.

Will this program help?

Studies have shown that the Bullying Prevention Program can be very effective in reducing bullying and related antisocial behavior among schoolchildren. In places where this program has been used, bullying has been reduced by 25 to 50 percent. Fighting, vandalizing, drinking, and other antisocial behaviors also have decreased, and children and school personnel involved in the program have reported that they felt more positive about school.

How can parents get involved?

  • Through mailings, PTA meetings and other school events, we hope to inform you about the Bullying Prevention Program and the many problems associated with bullying.
  • We will discuss ways to determine whether your children may be bullies or victims of bullying, and we will suggest strategies and resources for you.
  • We will encourage you to become involved in a variety of creative projects developed by your school to raise awareness of the problems of violence and of efforts to reduce bullying at school and in the community.

How can I tell if my child is being bullied? Your child may be the victim of bullying if he or she:

  • comes home from school with torn or dirty clothing, or damaged books;
  • has cuts, bruises or scratches;
  • has few, if any, friends to play with;
  • seems afraid to go to school, or complains of headaches or stomach pains;
  • doesn't sleep well or has bad dreams;
  • loses interest in schoolwork;
  • seems sad, depressed or moody;
  • is anxious or has poor self-esteem; and/or
  • is quiet, sensitive or passive.

If your child shows several of these warning signs, it's possible he or she is being bullied. You may want to talk with your child to find out what is troubling him or her, and schedule a conference to discuss your concerns with school staff.

How can I tell if my child is bullying others? Your child may be bullying others if he or she:

  • teases, threatens or kicks other children;
  • is hot-tempered or impulsive, or has a hard time following rules;
  • is aggressive toward adults;
  • is tough or shows no sympathy for children who are bullied; and/or
  • has been involved in other antisocial behavior, such as vandalism or theft.

If your child shows several of these warning signs, it's possible that he or she is bullying others. You may want to spend some extra time talking with your child about his or her behavior, and schedule a conference to talk about the issue with school staff.

For more information about the Bullying Prevention Program, please contact ___________________.