All over Sanilac County we are starting a conversation that leads to change. #stopthebull

understanding bullying

Bullying can result in physical injury, social and emotional distress, and even death.  Victimized youth are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment. Youth who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence later in adolescence and adulthood.  Compared to youth who only bully, or who are only victims, bully-victims suffer the most serious consequences and are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems.  The ultimate goal is to stop bullying before it starts.

warning signs

Because you don’t see it and children don’t talk about it, doesn’t mean bullying isn’t happening.  Even when children fail to report bullying, they often show warning signs.

  • Loss of friends/Changes in friends
  • Reluctance to participate in activities with peers
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities with peers
  • Unusually sad, moody, anxious, lonely or depressed
  • Problems with eating, sleeping or bed-wetting
  • Headaches, stomachaches or other physical complaints
  • Decline in school achievements
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Unusually long hours on the computer
  • Closes windows when you enter room
  • Secretive about internet activity

Who to notify

If the instance happens....

  • At school or a school function, report it to school faculty. Their policy will cover it and outline the repercussions.
  • Outside a school or school function and it's within the village or city limits, contact the local police department.
  • All other instances, in Sanilac County, call central dispatch, 810.648.2000. If it's an emergency, dial 911.

what to do as a parent

  • Listen to your child carefully
  • Believe what they are telling you
  • Assure them it is ok to talk about it
  • Get the details
  •  Ask how they have tried to deal with it
  • Brainstorm for alternate strategies
  • Make an appointment with the school

what to do as a student

  • Do not respond/engage to abuse
  • Talk to someone about it
  • Keep records/print out messages if possible
  • If necessary, get a new number/account
  • Take a break and unplug

What to do as a teacher or school official

  • Matt's Law - Anti-bullying policies
    • Include texting, cell phone use and online bullying
  • Make commitment to educate
    • Teachers, students and parents
  • Make sure parents know who to contact
  • NEVER allow a known incident to pass and not dealt with
  • Be alert to signs of distress
  • Work with student councils to have programs on respect, school safety and anti-bullying
  • Ask school personnel to have a discussion at an assembly or an after school activity.