How do I, as a mother of three, start a anti-bullying organization/committee in our school?
My son has been bullied on and off for the past 3 years. I have met with the teachers, vice principal, principle and guidance counselor. I have even talked with some of the parents that children are bullies or bystanders. No one seems to know how to fix these issues. I feel there must be a doable solution that needs to be implemented.
It's great that you want to start an anti-bullying program in your son's school. I'm sorry that you and your son have had to live through the experience of bullying, in addition to the fact that you were unable to get help for it. The best thing to do is be proactive about bullying and teach children the dangers before it starts, so it's wonderful that you are willing to step up and take on that duty.
A great way to find out how to start an anti-bullying program is to talk to those organizations or schools that have successfully implemented one. Find out how they started and organized their program. Ask to speak to the principal of a school that has used an anti-bullying program to find out what has and has not worked with their students. Ask your local school board or call around to other local high schools and talk to their counseling department to find out who in your area has implemented a program. You may also want to try to google anti-bullying programs because you might find ideas from other parents that have started a program in their child's school. Good Luck!
The schools I have worked in have had the greatest success combatting bullying and teasing by implementing programs overseen by the guidance counselor. LearningReviews.com lists several websites with resources on bullying:
On LearningReviews.com, take a look at Don't Laugh at Me, run by Operation Respect - a schoolwide program. Social Emotional Learning from Edutopia and Conflict Resolution Lesson Plans from TeAchnology have good lesson ideas for teachers.
For your own children, I recommend an excellent book that I've used to help a few of my students who had often been teased, "Words Will NEVER Hurt Me" by Sally Northway Ogden. She has practical advice on role-playing scenarios you can use with your kids so they can improve their skills in effectively handling the poor behavior of others. Practice with your kids and rehearse their responses to teasing, bullying and putdowns. The former "victims" in my class were amazed at how enemies turned into friends with just a few of these rehearsed responses.
Bullying is such an issue now. I have homeschooled mine for the past three years and this cuts all of the bullying, teasing, social "crap" out. Our social experiences are not confined to a local homeschool group, church community, and etc. However, not being able to control who your child runs into is a major problem. My daughter's best friend attends a local school here and is constantly bullied. Her mother has gone to the school, BOE time and again and no results. I'm not sure if it can be totally stopped. But a letter to the school might be better (it is in writing) to get their attention.
My daughter was taunted by her best friend when she was in Middle School. She is now in her second year in high school, and the issue of bullying will never leave my mind. My daughter has recovered, somewhat, but the damage that a bully does will stay with a person forever. I too, would be interested in started a group/organization in our school district, but really don't know where to start. I'm glad to see the responses on this thread. I also visit www.bullying.org regularly. They have a lot of great information, as well as a story about a town in Alberta, Canada, who started a campaign. I found that to be very informative! Good luck!