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Moms Talk: How Do You Handle Bullying?

Bullying continues to be an issue for students and schools around the country.

Turn the other cheek. Push back. Talk about it. Run away.

Those are just some of the options kids have when they face bullies. Bullying continues to be an issue for schools around the country. Cruel taunting and shoves between classmates have managed to follow victims onto social media networks and text messages as a form of cyberbullying.

Thursday, President Barack Obama and his administration will host students, parents and teachers at the White House for a conference on bullying prevention. Facebook will carry the White House conference live starting at noon.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama also filmed a Facebook video to raise awareness about the topic. The video can be viewed on the StopBullying.gov Facebook page

Last month, Newark Junior High students participated in a poster contest with the theme of stopping bullying incidents on campus.

In January, Patch readers sounded off on an ABC 7 report that covered student fights at Newark Memorial.

So what should you do when another kid is bullying your child? What should you do if your child IS the bully?

We checked in with our Patch Moms Council from the Tri-Cities area about this topic. Here's what they had to say about bullying.

  • , Union City, mom of three sons: A good friend of mine recently broke down in front of me when she told me that her son had been bullied incessantly at his small, private school. She asked me how I would feel if it were my son being bullied, and the feeling took my breath away. I would be heartbroken. Yet if it were my first-grader who was being bullied, I would definitely step in and contact the teacher. If my son was in middle school like my friend's, though, I would have to take a step back. Sometimes a parent intervening can make the bullying worse. I am thinking that if a child is a bully, most likely the parent is, too, and I don't want to deal with that. Most importantly, I would want my children to feel like they could confide in me about what's going on, because the worst thing would be not knowing until it was too late.
  • Jennifer Hill, Editor of Fremont Macaroni Kid, mom of four (2 teens and 2 toddlers): Bullying is a serious issue and one that needs to be taken seriously by us all. I recently read a true story written by Jodee Blanco, Please Stop Laughing at Me, that tells the story of Jodee's terrible childhood as a victim. If my child were being bullied, I would start with the teacher and quickly advance to the principal if things have not improved. Too many people think, "Kids are just being kids," or "Boys will be boys." This is NOT the right attitude and one that could end in a terrible childhood for many victims. Thankfully we have not encountered any situations that couldn't be handled by the child alone.
Mona Taplin March 21, 2011 at 04:38 PM
ONE teacher during those years treated me with dignity and respect, and refused to have any bullying going on in her class. I decided that she was the kind of person I want to be. I haven't always succeeded, and there were times when I found myself making unkind remarks to others But for the most part I refrain from judging others by what someone else said, and look for the good as well as the not so great in decisions people make. Bullying leaves a lifetime impact. It's very difficult for children who are bullied to like themselves , and often grow up being bullies themselves.
Lannah Sawers-Diggins March 21, 2011 at 10:11 PM
It sounds as though your experience occurred either around the same time as mine or earlier, Mona. I am in Australia so it is quite interesting reading about the different school systems between the two nations. Our school year was divided into three terms, rather than the four the children enjoy today, and the middle term was the worst ever. High marks in my reports just didn't exists....my bullying nightmare resulted in my failure in absolutely everything and of course it was all my fault. I was looked on as being a hopeless case by all staff and my parents just learned never to expect anything 'great' or even passable from me. I was in my situation for six years and could not escape it, except for school holidays. It was a 24/7 nightmare. Bullying certainly does leave a lifetime impact ... and yes I hated myself until the last twenty or so years when I decided to try to make something of my life. Unlike you with that one wonderful teacher, I had absolutely no-one 'on my side'.
Mona Taplin March 22, 2011 at 12:24 AM
Lannah, I'm so sorry you had to endure such harsh treatment when you were a child, and I wish with all my heart you had had a good teacher like the one who befriended me. I was very lucky to have had that one teacher on my side, no question of doubt about it. without her, I'm sure I would have been filled with hate and anger that would have destroyed my life. It wasn't easy to get around the hurt of being bullied! When I was in 9th grade we had a Home Economics class. The only thing I got to do in that claass was iron the teachers white uniforms and clean up after my classmates. Washing dishes made me late for my next class, which was deemed MY fault. We were looked upon and called white trash in those days. I can't even imagine hurting a child in such a despicable manner! It was shortly after I quit school that they started night school in my city, and were building our first Junior College. I enrolled ins classes and tried make a better life for myself. I came from a big family of 9 children. I was 23 when my youngest sister was born,- she being 3 years younger than my daughter. A lot of changes in attitude came about in the years in between, and she can't even imagine being treated like that. Never, never would I have allowed anyone to belittle my daughter the way I was!
janice March 22, 2011 at 02:26 AM
Talking with a teacher is always important. They can often help.
Mona Taplin March 22, 2011 at 04:02 AM
Yes, the teacher and the Principal can help but only if the bullying takes place on the school ground. On the way to or on the way home is out of their jusisdiction. The best they could do then is call the parents.

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