The Charter Features By SAMANTHA RANDS
What is bullying?
abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful, etc. : the actions and behavior of a bully
- Her own childhood had been made miserable by bullying …
- —Michael Holroyd
- … underestimates the plain meanness behind the pleasure people take in bullying.
- —George F. Will”
Bullying is defined by someone of larger power causing harm to someone else: either physically or verbally.
Examples of physically bullying includes:
- Spitting on
- Stealing or breaking another kids items
- Making rude hand gestures
Examples of verbal bullying includes:
- Name calling
- Threatening to physically harm someone
- Spreading false rumors
- Making unwanted sexual comments
Victims of bullying sometimes show signs of:
- Unexplainable bruises, scratches, and broken bones
- Unexplained broken or lost items
- Sudden changes in eating
- Sudden changes in sleeping
- Sudden loss of interest in school
- Low self esteem
- Self harm, or talking about suicide
According to National Center for Education Statistics, one in three teenagers has been bullied; and Alliance Charter Academy (ACA) students is no exception.
The Charter surveyed 27 students at ACA about bullying. According to the survey, 63% said they have been bullied. 25.9% said that they haven’t been bullied, and 11.1% said they didn’t know if they were bullied.
37% said that the bullying did not occur at ACA.
55.6% said that they told an adult. 44.4% said they didn’t tell an adult/ they weren’t being bullied.
In the survey, it asked students “Did it stop? Did it get handled well?” Here’s the 27 responses.
“Yep cause nothing happened”
“Yes. I told my mom and we went to the dean of students, who said that it wasn’t the first time they got a complaint about that person and it stopped after that.”
“No, but the person bullying me switch schools”
“I’m not sure if it stopped, because I started avoiding them.”
“Not really. If anything the adults caved in and let it happen.”
“I stopped talking to them”
“If I saw bullying, I would completely find a way to stop it. Bullying in any form is unacceptable.”
“Yes it stopped, I just stopped going near him because he was my neighbor, and then we moved so that wasn’t even a problem.”
“It got handled with, and the guy who was bullying me apologized.”
“It really didn’t. Really, it got worse.”
“I don’t know if gossip counts as bullying, because the only thing that I can think of happening to me is that I’ve had people gossip about me in the past. The only thing that I did was tell a parent about it and other than that I didn’t do anything about it. Again, I don’t know if gossip counts as bullying.”
“Eventually, but I didn’t handle it responsibly, so it took longer and caused more pain.”
“Yes right away.”
“The bulling did stop and I and was friends with that person.”
“I was not bullied”
“At first I would have just told them to quit it then if that did not work I would have went to a adult about it.”
“Yes, it was taken care of and did not last long.”
How does ACA help and prevent bullying?
At ACA, when bullying is reported to a staff member the student in question ES and parent will be notified. The consequence of reported bullying differs from the severity; from going over the “Bullying Prevention Practices” in the ACA Family Handbook, doing community service, parent having to attend the classes with the student, and suspension.
“ACA has a no tolerance policy for bullying meaning that if we see if or are informed of bullying that it is immediately dealt with. Sometimes students meet with me to process what is happening and I handle it, or at times Mr. Chapin will be involved. It depends on the circumstance, but if a staff knows about bullying, it is always dealt with.” says Megan Coggins, the school’s Students Support Specialist.
Students are also encouraged to create a welcoming environment; by showing respect to everyone, saying no to bullying others, and reporting bullying to staff members.
How to reach help
If you see anyone being bullied, or you are being bullied, report it to an ACA staff member, and/or an adult you trust. Coggins says, “please let a staff know immediately so that we can intervene and help you feel safe. We want ACA to be a place where all students feel safe and welcome. Mr. Chapin, myself, or any staff member that you feel comfortable with is a great starting person to let them know what is happening.”
ACA’s Student Support Specialist – Megan Coggins – firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more about suicide and its connection to bullying, read The Charter article “Youth Suicide Awareness” by Anna Krieske, here.
Coggins, Megan. Personal Interview. May 6, 2018.
Anonymous ACA Survey. April 25- May 8, 2018. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1NPvWHUkSQI4vRmDwpu_U3wTR_ZONI9QOqSva2YpBoXU/edit
https://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/warning-signs/index.html Accessed Mar 30, 2018.
http://www.clackamas.us/behavioralhealth/suicideprevention.html Accessed Mar 30, 2018.
https://www.safeschools.com/hot-topics/bullying-prevention/ Accessed Mar 30, 2018.
https://theacacharter.com/2017/05/08/youth-suicide-awareness/ Accessed Mar 30, 2018.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bullying Accessed May 11, 2018.