Advice for Parents Concerned About Bullying
Carl Sumi (bio) reminds parents of the importance of staying involved and advocating for their child.
It's good for parents to understand what the effects of trauma are for their students or for their child, and if they do have a concern, they contact the school. Parents supporting and being part of the school obviously is huge, and that works for trauma-informed care and schoolwide PBS. Understanding what the school rules are: be safe, be responsible, be respectful. And using that language in your home, rewarding your children when they get Caught Ya! cards, or whatever they're reward system is at the school, making sure to follow up.
And if you're talking to your child, it's the same things that you hear all the time for getting parents involved. If you have any concern about your child being bullied, you just make sure you get to the school. If they're part of a trauma-informed school, then they would have understanding of what to do. If they're a PBS school, they would definitely have a process to follow. And the schools just don't see everything all the time, they may not know, so it takes a full team effort to help the students and support them.
If you're concerned, you always contact the school. I mean they didn't have a lot of these anti-bullying programs a long time ago, but we didn't have a lot of ways to get bullied, as many as they do these days with technology, and the cell phones, and all the ways to do it.
So I wouldn't just assume that everything's okay. If you feel your child's getting bullied, or if there's any concern whatsoever, you contact the school. And then you say, "What is going on in my school regarding anti-bullying or helping students in these situations? How can I help at home?" And then, you follow those. It's different for elementary, middle, high school. It's different where you're at, but it's important to contact the school if you ever have any concern.
Excerpted from an interview at CBITS Summit 2013 in Santa Monica, CA.
Dr. Sumi's work is fully funded by United States Department of Education Grant Number R324A110027, a $3,383,527 grant awarded to SRI International. The views and conclusions expressed are those of the presenter and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the USDE or the U.S. Government.