Creating a Culture of Connectedness A Bully-free School Community

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1 Creating a Culture of Connectedness A Bully-free School Community A Toolkit for Educators, Parents and Students

2 About This Toolkit The Creating a Culture of Connectedness bullying toolkit was written and developed by Dr. Christi Monk, DM, of Christi Monk & Associates. Dr. Monk realized through her own experiences of being mistreated and through extensive research that bullying behaviors are learned at the onset of childhood. When not addressed, those behaviors are transferred into the workplace. Dr. Monk s research revealed that there are similarities in school bullying and bullying in the workplace. Those traits are imbalance of power, unwanted or unwelcomed aggression towards an individual, and repetition. Additionally, the term bullying has been difficult to understand by those who implement and enforce policies for the individuals who are required to follow those policies. Her research also revealed that regardless of industry, there are terms that can be written into policies that support better initiatives and guidelines for creating sustainable anti-bullying awareness programs. As a regular consultant for a variety of workplaces, Dr. Monk has a passion for ensuring schools and organizations foster a safe and healthy environment. Furthermore, she is an advocate for the fair treatment of students and employees. This toolkit is designed to provide schools and their surrounding communities with guidance that supports a bully-free environment. While bullying is not 100% preventable, this toolkit is a blueprint for educators, parents, and students to help limit bullying in schools. Bullying prevention and awareness is the responsibility of everyone. This toolkit is the framework that will catapult schools into developing comprehensible, sustainable programs and initiatives to support school safety and improve learning. A bully-free environment fosters a community of connectedness within the entire organization. Dr. Monk received her doctoral degree in Management of Leadership Studies from the University of Phoenix. Additionally, Dr. Monk graduated from the Workplace Bullying Institute and is a certified trainer in workplace bullying. She is also certified in Life Purpose Coaching and Conflict Resolution and Family Mediation (Dallas Baptist University). Her published writings include Workplace Bullying In Research of a Clearer Definition by Christi Monk & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

3 Creating a Culture of Connectedness A Bully-Free School Community The National Education Association defines bullying as systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt and/or psychological distress on another. Bullying can be physical, verbal or social. It can be as direct as teasing, hitting, threatening, destruction of property or forcing someone to do something against their will, or as indirect as in rumors, exclusion, or manipulation. Bullying involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the one who bullies and their target. As you can see, bullying is a term that is difficult to understand and assess because it is simply based on perception. It is difficult to define because it is viewed from different perspectives the bully, target, and bystander. Key Terms To Know A Toolkit for Educators By: Dr. Christi Monk, DM Who is Responsible? The entire school is responsible for creating a bully-free culture. This toolkit is specifically for educators. As a teacher, you already have enough to do Bullying involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the one who bullies and their target. right? This toolkit is simple to understand and implement as part of your daily classroom management strategy. As an educator, you are instrumental in this process. Next to parents, you spend the most time with your students and have the ability to influence your students positively and negatively. You witness bullying acts on a daily or weekly basis. Understandably, you do not have the time to focus on addressing the behavior of one student when you have a classroom full of students. Bully Also known as the perpetrator. A perpetrator is someone who commits crime or an evil offense. Bystander Also known as a witness. A witness is someone who observes an action made by another but does not participate directly. Target Also known as the victim. This is the person who is mistreated verbally or physically by another person. Mobbing This is a group act in which more than one person attacks an individual verbally or physically. Here are a few tips that you can use daily to provide a consistent awareness of creating a culture of connectedness through classroom management. Educators Community of Connectedness Parents Other School Staff Students Counselors Administration

4 Tricks of the Trade: Set rules of the classroom that foster accountability and respect among students. This should include using words that demonstrate respect. Have students define what bullying looks like to them and use those words to frame the rules of the classroom and hold the students accountable when those actions occur. Make a conscious effort to ensure you model behaviors that do not encourage the mistreatment of others. A Top Level View What Does Bullying Look Like Imbalance of power: a higher grade student mistreating a lower grade student or mistreatment of special needs students. Physical: any act of using force to harm someone else (hitting, kicking, biting, slapping). Verbal: any act that criticizes another person directly or indirectly (gossiping, name calling, making remarks about a person s race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation). Social: acts of intimidation, exclusion, coercion, embarrassing others, rejection, spreading rumors, displaying negative body language (rolling eyes, whispering) Cyberbullying: using text or as a means for bullying (can involve sexting). Bullying Signs to Watch Out For Research shows that students typically tell family members and friends they are being bullied. Additionally, only 16% of parents report bullying to the school. This is indicative of an opportunity for educators to identify and intervene before it is too late. A student who is being bullied may experience one of the following: Grades decline Becomes isolated from others Harms themselves (cutting or suicidal attempts) Begins to act out Starts using drugs or alcohol Disrespects authority Low self-esteem Migrates towards adults instead of peers Increased claims of illness No eye contact, walks with head down, or crosses arms as a means to protect themselves Talking Points Do: Investigate any claims of bullying behaviors immediately. Document what happened. Speak to all individuals involved to understand the issue without being judgmental. Send a clear message that bullying is not acceptable, regardless of the findings. Review the school s code of conduct with the students. Inform the parent or guardian. You may be able to provide additional insight regarding the bully or target s behavior that the parents were not aware of. Enforce consequences based on outcomes and school policies. Follow up, I repeat, follow up regardless of the outcome. This is critical to creating a safe school culture. Don t: Take sides. Treat the bully as an adult and the target as a child. Keep in mind, you are dealing with children and we must keep that in perspective. Talk to the bully and the target at the same time. Reprimand students publicly as it only continues the cycle of bullying and further embarrassment of the students (imbalance of power). Rules of Engagement Before you can intervene, you have to understand the protocol within your school. Know your rights and responsibilities as the educator. What are the intervention/reporting requirements of your school? Keep the lines of communication open with students. Create a safe classroom. As part of the classroom rules, encourage bystanders to see something/say something. Know the consequences associated with bullying within your school. Get Involved ~ Bullying Prevention is the responsibility of All. For More Information Dr. Christi Monk, DM, offers trainings, seminars, and workshops to help educators provide sustainable bullying solutions in their classrooms. Visit or contact (972) to start your journey to a bully-free community by Christi Monk & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

5 Creating a Culture of Connectedness A Bully-free School Community The National Education Association defines bullying as systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt and/ or psychological distress on another. Bullying can be physical, verbal or social. It can be as direct as teasing, hitting, threatening, destruction of property or forcing someone to do something against their will, or as indirect as in rumors, exclusion, or manipulation. Bullying involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the one who bullies and their target. As you can see, bullying is a term that is difficult to understand and assess because it is simply based on perception. It is difficult to define because it is viewed from different perspectives the bully, target, and bystander. Key Terms To Know Bully Also known as the perpetrator. A perpetrator is someone who commits crime or an evil offense. Bystander Also known as a witness. A witness is someone who observes an action made by another but does not participate directly. Target Also known as the victim. This is the person who is mistreated verbally or physically by another person. Mobbing This is a group act in which more than one person attacks an individual verbally or physically. A Toolkit for Parents By: Dr. Christi Monk, DM Who is Responsible? The entire school is responsible for creating a bully-free culture. This toolkit is specifically for parents. Coping skills are learned based on our influential Bullying involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the one who bullies and their target. environments. As a parent you should be the one person who knows your child better than he or she knows him or herself. This toolkit is simple to understand and implement as part of your daily parental interactions with your child. Our internal and external environments influence how our children respond to life both positively and negatively. As a parent you may view what is considered bullying by definition as child s play or simply supporting negative actions by saying that s just who he/ she is? Unfortunately, that is not completely true. Mistreatment of others is a choice and is a learned behavior. Here are a few tips that you can use daily to help support your child and the school on preventing bullying. Educators Community of Connectedness Parents Other School Staff Students Administration Counselors

6 Tricks of the Trade: Set aside time daily to discuss your child s day at school by asking open-ended questions to get your child to truly reflect on his or her day. The emotional connectedness between a parent and child is important to preventing all forms of bullying. Make a conscious effort to ensure you model behaviors that do not encourage the mistreatment of others. Reduce the amount of time your child spends using technology each day. Know who your child s friends are. Check their cell phone call logs and text messages often. Monitor all social media accounts. Know all the social media apps that are available to children beyond Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The real question is should children be on social media? A Top Level View What Does Bullying Look Like Imbalance of power: a higher grade student mistreating a lower grade student or mistreatment of special needs students. Physical: any act of using force to harm someone else (hitting, kicking, biting, slapping). Verbal: any act that criticizes another person directly or indirectly (gossiping, name calling, making remarks about a person s race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation). Social: acts of intimidation, exclusion, coercion, embarrassing others, rejection, spreading rumors, displaying negative body language (rolling eyes, whispering) Cyberbullying: using text or as a means for bullying (can involve sexting). Bullying Signs to Watch Out For Research shows that students typically tell family members and friends they are being bullied. Additionally, only 16% of parents report bullying to the school. This is indicative that there are opportunities for parents to connect with their children on a deeper level to intervene before it is too late. A student who is being bullied may experience one of the following: Grades decline Becomes isolated from others Harms themselves (cutting or suicidal attempts) Begins to act out Starts using drugs or alcohol Disrespects authority Low self-esteem Migrates towards adults instead of peers Increased claims of illness No eye contact, walks with head down, or crosses arms as a means to protect themselves Talking Points Do: Ask clarifying questions to gain an understanding of the issue if your child makes statements regarding being mistreated by his or her peers. Seek to understand the entire story. Find out how long this has been happening. Find out if your child reported the bullying to an adult. If so, who and when, and what happened. Actively listen. Seek to remain calm in front of your child. You can express your anger and frustration in private. Follow-up with the school to ensure they are aware of the bullying. Hold the school staff accountable for fully investigating the incident. Enforce consequences based on outcomes and school policies. Follow up, I repeat, follow up regardless of the outcome. This is critical to creating a safe school culture. Don t: Take sides. Minimize your child s feelings. Children should not be taught to just cope because people will be mean anyway. Tell your child to confront the bully directly. This will only add fuel to fire. Treat your child like an adult. Children do not understand what s happening to them and why. Rules of Engagement Before you can intervene, you have to understand the protocol within your school. Create a safe home environment first. By doing so, your child will be more prone to sharing his or her negative experiences at school. Know your rights and responsibilities as the parent. Know the school s policies, reporting requirements, and consequences for bullying. Keep the lines of communication open with your child and his or her teachers. Get Involved ~ Bullying prevention is the responsibility of All. Help start initiatives to support anti-bullying awareness programs in your child s school and in your community. For More Information Dr. Christi Monk, DM, offers trainings, seminars, and workshops to help educators provide sustainable bullying solutions in their classrooms. Visit or contact (972) to start your journey to a bully-free community by Christi Monk & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

7 Creating a Culture of Connectedness A Bully-free School Community A Toolkit for Students By: Dr. Christi Monk, DM Students define bullying in many ways. Bullying can be stopped when students hold their peers accountable to how they treat others. Bullying in simple terms is defined as the INTENTIONAL mistreatment of another person through verbal, mental, or physical contact. If a person thinks he or she is being bullied, it should be deemed as bullying. One s perception is his or her reality. Bullies don t necessarily have to be physically stronger than their victims, but it can go as far as teasing, threatening or spreading rumors, and leaving your peers out of activities or conversations on purpose. Cyberbullying and sexting are also considered bullying. This type of bullying happens online, through text messages or s. In particular, cyberbullying occurs when you post rumors on sites like Twitter or Facebook, share embarrassing pictures or videos, and make fake profiles or websites to portray someone else in a negative manner. Are you part of the problem or will you be apart of the solution? Key Terms To Know Bully Also known as the perpetrator. A perpetrator is someone who commits crime or an evil offense. Bystander Also known as a witness. A witness is someone who observes an action made by another but does not participate directly. Target Also known as the victim. This is the person who is mistreated verbally or physically by another person. Mobbing This is a group act in which more than one person attacks an individual verbally or physically. Who is Responsible? The entire school is responsible for creating a bully-free culture. This toolkit is specifically for students. Students do not realize the power they have to impact Students do not realize the power they have to impact change in their schools. change in their schools. Students seek approval from their friends and will follow those whose opinions they value. This toolkit is simple to understand and implement as part of your daily interaction with your fellow peers. Students can and will influence other students. As a student, you have first hand exposure to others students who bully or who are being bullied. You have full control of over the culture of your school. Mistreatment of others is a choice and is a learned behavior. Here are a few tips that you can use daily to help you support your school in bullying prevention and creating a culture of connectedness. Educators Community of Connectedness Parents Other School Staff Students Administration Counselors

8 Tricks of the Trade: Quick Wins Learn how to be a good friend. Good friends do not talk behind their friend s back. They are supportive. Set aside time daily to discuss your day with your parent or guardian. Your parent has your best interest in mind. Make a conscious effort to ensure you model behaviors that do not encourage the mistreatment of others. Reduce the amount of time you spending using social media in a negative way. If your parents wouldn t approve of your actions (verbally or physically), then you shouldn t be doing it. Make friends who with others who will hold you accountable to doing what s right even if it are not popular among your peers. Do not use social media or text to say things about other people that you do not want said about you. Do not remain silent. When you witness bullying report it to an adult immediately. A Top Level View What Does Bullying Look Like Imbalance of power: a higher grade student mistreating a lower grade student or mistreatment of special needs students. Physical: any act of using force to harm someone else (hitting, kicking, biting, slapping). Verbal: any act that criticizes another person directly or indirectly (gossiping, name calling, making remarks about a person s race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation). Social: acts of intimidation, exclusion, coercion, embarrassing others, rejection, spreading rumors, displaying negative body language (rolling eyes, whispering) Cyberbullying: using text or as a means for bullying (can involve sexting). Bullying Signs to Watch Out For Make sure you tell your parents when you or someone else is being bullied so they can report the incident to the school. Remember, this could be happening to you or your friends. A student who is being bullied may experience one of the following: Grades decline Becomes isolated from others Harms themselves (cutting or suicidal attempts) Begins to act out Starts using drugs or alcohol Disrespects authority Low self-esteem Migrates towards adults instead of peers Increased claims of illness No eye contact, walks with head down, or crosses arms as a means to protect themselves Talking Points Do: Know your rights as a student. Know the procedures for reporting bullying. Report bullying incidents to an adult immediately. Even if you don t know how many times this has occurred. Tell your parent as soon as you get home. Provide details and openly share your concerns with your parents. Ask your parent to report the incident to the school. If you do not see any positive improvements in your school s environment, discuss this with your parent again. Be an encouraging and supportive to the child that s being bullied. Follow-up daily to make sure the person is okay. Hold the adults accountable to addressing and resolving conflicts between students. Don t: Take sides. Retaliate. Let the adults handle bullying incidents Tell the bullied student to confront the bully directly. This will only add fuel to fire. Keep quite. This only makes matters worse. Rules of Engagement Before you can intervene, you have to understand the protocol within your school. Keep the lines of communication open with your parent or guardian. Know your rights and responsibilities as a student. Know the school s policies reporting requirements and consequences for bullying. Get Involved ~ Bullying prevention is the responsibility of All. Help start initiatives to support anti-bullying awareness programs in your school and community. For More Information Dr. Christi Monk, DM, offers trainings, seminars, and workshops to help educators provide sustainable bullying solutions in their classrooms. Visit or contact (972) to start your journey to a bully-free community by Christi Monk & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

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