Were there bullies in your school when you were growing up? I would be very surprised if anyone answered, "No." There have been victims and aggressors in society since long before David and Goliath - and learning how to navigate through life, bullies included, is part of every child's individualized journey. Teaching our children how to make that journey successfully is part of every parent and educator's challenge and responsibility.

The Florence USD Governing Board adopted a new policy on August 10, 2011, defining bullying, providing reporting procedures and consequences, and adding new training and materials to the District curriculum. These include informing children about different forms of bullying and what to do to avoid being a victim. It is NOT about fighting our kids' battles for them; it is about teaching them positive alternatives that they can implement for themselves - now and into their adult lives.

This page is intended to provide resources to help you help your children. Some of the links provide insight about why kids become bullies, how social aggression has evolved in the age of technology, how to recognize signs that could indicate that your child is being bullied and, of course, what you can do to help.

The first step is awareness. The second step is changing the mindset. The third step is changing the culture. Walk with us into a better future for all of our kids!

YouTube Video

What Should I Do If My Child Is Being Bullied?
Excerpt from Bully-Proof Your Kids
By Laurie Tarkan

"Bullies pick on kids for who knows what reason," said Dan Rauzi, an expert on cyberbullying and senior director of technology services and programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "A lot of times there's no rational reason behind it." But there are certain responses that might attract the attention of a bully. Talk to your child about not responding reactively to a bully. "Bullies will target kids who overly react just to get them going, to watch the show," Rauzi said.

If your child is the target of a bully, there are several steps you need to take if your child describes being bullied.

  • First empathize. Tell your child that it's not his or her fault and that you know it's tough to be bullied. Share a story of when you were bullied if it applies, tell him or her you're proud of them for telling you, but don't get melodramatic or overreact (he or she is probably already upset about it).
  • Write down everything that has happened so that if you do call the school, you can present objective data rather than an emotional argument.
  • Make a plan, but don't take over. Brainstorm with your child about what to do. Assure her that you're not going to deal with it in a way that will make it more embarrassing.
  • If it's a small incident, you don't necessarily have to tell the school. But if it's affecting your child's ability to feel safe, then tell the school, and make sure the complaint is kept confidential. Some schools now have bullying prevention specialists.
  • Don't tell your child to hit the kid back. That can make a bully more aggressive and it makes the victim part of the problem. Try to get your child to use non aggressive strategies to handle it.
Parent Resources
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (8255)24/7 Help if you are in crisis, are in need of immediate assistance or have an emergency.
Bullies 2 Buddiesbullies2buddies.comProactive approach that teaches victims how to defuse a bully peacefully. Free manual for parents can be downloaded.
Stomp Out Bullyingwww.stompoutbullying.orgThis site has a lot of commercial content, but it also has some excellent information for both kids and adults.
National School Safety CenterFighting the Bully BattleSuggestions for parents of young children.
National School Safety CenterFighting the Bully BattleSuggestions for parents of teens.
 Stop Bullying This site includes parent resources, but parents of young children may also want to preview the webisodes for kids.