What can We to do about "Bus Bullies!"
There are many different things that could be tried
in this situation.Ideas for what your kids can do
include three options: *confront *ignore *avoid
They should be used in that order except if the
bullies are physically violent, then "avoid" is the
There are many things your child could say back
to the bullies:
"Name calling isn't cool"
"I don't want to fight. Can't we be friends
"Why are you mad at me? I never hurt you."
Bullies usually like the effect they get when
they shock or hurt someone. Maybe if your child
just laughed it off, like they are joking, they
would get tired of calling him/her names and it
wouldn't seem fun (or effective) anymore.
If it keeps up, and nothing your child says
helps, and ignoring and avoiding don't work AND the
school won't get involved, then you will have to
contact the parents of the "name callers."
Bullies don't always have a reason for who they
pick on or why, but when they *do* have a reason,
it usually results in them singling out a smaller
person. This would include kids who are not as
tall, and most definitely would include younger
kids, who obviously would be smaller. This makes
you easier to control. And today there are a lot of
cases of older kids picking on younger kids on the
In those cases, I recommend sitting far away
from the bully. If the seats are assigned, ask to
have them changed. If they are not assigned, ask to
have them assigned. If that doesn't work, inform
the school and ask the bus driver to get involved.
Some bus drivers are asked by the school to
intervene. They do this by having the trouble kids
sit up front where they can keep a good eye on them
in the mirror. However, the bus driver has a job to
do which requires the safety of many lives, so if
the bullying gets so bad that he/she has to keep
turning around or yelling at kids all the time, the
perpetrators should be suspended from the bus for
the safety of all.
For Teachers & Parents of Bullies -
Some useful Questions to Ask
- What did you do?
- Why was that a bad thing to do?
- Who did you hurt?
- What were you trying to accomplish?
- Next time you have that goal, how will you
meet it without hurting anybody?
- How will you help the person you hurt?
These questions will help them to: Acknowledge
their own actions and the consequences they have on
themselves and others, develop shame and guilt ("I
don't want to go through that again" & "I hurt
someone"), change their actions to stay out of
trouble, and learn to trust and form relationships
with helping adults.
©2012 Kathy Noll
* * *
In violence, we forget who we are. - Mary
Noll is the co-author of Taking
the Bully by the Horns.
She has had her short stories/articles published in
magazines along with interviews, helped NBC news
monitor a classroom in Philadelphia for bullying
behavior, and also helped many people with their
own bully problems through her book, educational
and family related Internet chats, message board
hosting, and e-mail. She has also spoken on radio
and television shows discussing the topics of
school violence and self-esteem. Most recently she
appeared with co-author Dr. Carter on the Montel
Williams show where they talked to kids about
bullies, and promoted their book, "Taking the Bully
by the Horns." She also works as a consultant for
various TV News & Talk Shows. Her second book,
Encounters with Every-Day Angels, is a
workbook on bullying and character development that
can be used in the classroom. www.kathynoll.com
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