What if I know of a bullying incident?Often times parents are the first ones to hear about bullying or mistreatment at school. We as educators rely on parents to share that information with us so we can act upon it.
There are several approaches parents can take when they become aware of bullying.
1) Talk with your child to get the details and help them work through it. Give them words or strategies to use. Encourage them to stand up for themselves, make eye contact, travel in groups, state their boundaries clearly, use humor or distraction and of course seek help when needed.
2) If you know the parent of the other students involved, call them. Or better yet, get together with them and their child. Have a frank discussion about what has been happening and figure out why it started and ways to end it. Come to an agreement that the disrespect will not be tolerated from either child and that as parents you are a united front and will act quickly and effectively to end the problem.
3) Contact the school. Call your child's Dean or Counselor and report the problem. We cannot act on something that we do not know about. Most likely your child will protest your call, however, we are used to dealing with these incidences in a confidential way. We do everything we can to reduce the likelihood of retaliation. Below is who you can contact for each grade level
6th Grade: Mrs. Barrett and Mrs. Royster
7th Grade: Mrs. Alberth and Mr. Bauer
8th Grade: Mrs. O'Brien and Mrs. O'Neill
4) Encourage your child to talk to someone at school. Every child at SHMS should have at least ONE adult that they trust enough to come to for help. Talk with your child about who that adult is for them and encourage them to seek help from them.
What happens when I report an incident to a SHMS staff member?
The typical protocol is for the Dean/Counselor/Assistant Principal to gather as much information as possible from you, the victim, the alleged bully and all witnesses to the incident. Once the information is gathered, appropriate action will be taken. Consequences can range from a warning, to an out of school suspension, depending on the facts in each case. Other actions may include a mediation, consultation with counselors, invitation to join a counseling group or parent meeting. We typically have parents who want to know what action was taken against the alleged bully. Unfortunately, we are never allowed to share that information. But, please rest assured that the SHMS administration takes this type of behavior very seriously and always acts as swiftly as possible to rectify each situation.