A young boy went through a very tough time in middle school with being bullied.  This went on for almost a year before his parents were finally made aware of the situation.  Thank goodness he had a friend that cared enough about him to tell her parents who then called his parents.  They were shocked and surprised that this was happening to their son as he was a very nice kid that easily made friends.  When they initially sat their son down to talk with him he made the situation seem a lot less serious than it really was.  He was being targeted everyday and had found school to almost be unbearable.  As they noticed the decline in their son’s attitude and emotional stability, they got involved to make sure that this situation was resolved.  Thanks to the support of his Vice Principal and the caring teachers on the staff the bullies left their son alone.  After the situation was resolved they asked their son what they could have done differently.  He told them the thing that he wishes they had known.   I would like to share their son’s insight with you:

1.       Your kids are not going to let you know that they are being bullied.  They feel like parents won’t listen or that there is nothing that can be done to stop it.  Some kids actually feel like it’s a rite of passage.
2.      The child that is being bullied is usually bullied by more than one child.  Once the child has become a target and others kids detect their vulnerability; they become victimized by others as well. 
3.       If you believe that your child is being bullied you should talk to someone that is capable of taking immediate action such as the principal or the resource officer.  This will bring the situation to the attention of someone in authority so that they will pay closer attention to what is going on with your child.  Remember, bullying can potentially escalate to something worse.
4.      Keep the home environment positive.  Be supportive of your child and validate his or her feelings during this tough time.  Some kids feel that not only are they bullied at school but at home as well.  For this unfortunate child, there is no safe haven.
5.      Be aware of any changes in your child’s behavior.  If you notice your child suddenly seems depressed or withdrawn after coming in from school, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Your children really do want your assistance; they may not know how to ask for it.
6.      Get your child help if he is having trouble coping with the after effects of the bullying.  Some kids need professional help to get over the ordeal.

     As parents and community leaders, its all of our repsonsibilities to protect our children.  Let's all pay attention, step up and let bullies know that their behavior will not be tolerated.