Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
In Cherry Creek Schools, we take a proactive approach to preventing bullying by educating students and parents about how to recognize the signs of bullying and how to take action to prevent or stop it from happening. This page provides resources about bullying prevention.
How to Help: Steps to Bully-Proof Your Child
- Let the school know your safety worries immediately.
- Keep a record of time, date, names and circumstances to show a pattern of harassment.
- Teach your child self-respect – confident kids are less likely to become a target.
- Let your child know it is OK to express anger if done appropriately.
- Encourage and promote friendships – there is strength in numbers.
- Build social skills early.
- Help shy kids with social skills training – role play together situations that have occurred previously.
- Explain the difference between telling and tattling. Tattling is when you report something just to get someone in trouble. Telling is when you report that your or someone else is in danger. (Verbal abuse and being excluded are dangers too.)
- Stress the importance of confident body language.
- Teach your child effective skills for making friends such as sharing, compromising, apologizing, using "I" statements, changing the topic to avoid conflict and using a "diplomatic" approach.
- Teach your child strategies to deal with bullying – HA HA SO (Help, Assert, Humor, Avoid, Self-Talk, Own It)
- Don't advise either ignoring or physically attacking the bully.
Source: Bully-Proofing Your School: A Comprehensive Approach for Elementary Schools, Garrity et al, 2000.
Bullying prevention programs and curriculum in the Cherry Creek School
For 25 years we have been using the Bullyproofing Your School curriculum and aligned bullying prevention strategies in all of our schools.
The curriculum and strategies are in place for grades K-12, with developmentally appropriate topics delivered via teacher-taught lessons throughout the year. In addition to class lessons on bullying prevention, students practice role play strategies and learn how to respond to bullying situations.
Students learn to define and recognize bullying, and are given tips for how to respond if they see someone being bullied or if they, themselves, experience bullying. Students are taught to be "upstanders" and to stand up for and support a friend who is being bullied. They are also taught to tell a trusted adult if they know another classmate is being bullied or is in a dangerous situation.
The curriculum was designed in-house and is research based. In addition to the curriculum, schools employ work to prevent bullying through strategies that foster what we call "caring communities" in every school. We strive every day to ensure schools are safe, welcoming and supportive places in which all students can thrive.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Learn more about cyberbullying and how to protect your child.
Diversity, Race and Religion
Schools and communities that respect diversity can help protect children against bullying behavior. However, when children perceived as different are not in supportive environments, they may be at a higher risk of being bullied.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) youth and those perceived as LGBT are at an increased risk of being bullied. There are important and unique considerations for strategies to prevent and address bullying of LGBT youth.
Students with Disabilities
Children with disabilities — such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional and sensory disabilities — are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges or intolerant environments — may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well.
Report Tips and Safety Concerns Using Colorado Safe2Tell, the 24/7 Anonymous Reporting Tool
Call 1-877-542-7233 (SAFE) or make an anonymous report at www.safe2tell.org.