Bullying is Preventable


Bullying is Preventable

By Sheriff Al Lamberti

聽聽聽聽 As the 2012/2013 school year begins, it is important for parents to be aware of the Broward County School District鈥檚 strict Anti-Bullying Policy. The policy prohibits bullying of, or by, any district student or employee. Since knowledge is power, it is vital that parents become familiar with the policy, which is sent home with every Broward County student the first week of school for parental and student review.

聽聽聽聽 Bullying among children is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. A child who is being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying is repeated over time. Bullying can take many forms such as physical, verbal, emotional and cyber-bullying. There are signs you can look for to know if your child is being bullied:

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 torn clothes

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 loss of appetite

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 mood changes

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 reluctance to go to school

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 bruises or injuries that can鈥檛 be explained.

聽聽聽聽 If you suspect your child is being bullied, it is important to talk with your child, be supportive and gather information about the bullying. All suspected bullying should be reported to your child鈥檚 school. You can also make an anonymous report by calling the district鈥檚 emergency hotline at (754) 321.0911 or by visiting www.browardschools.com.

聽聽聽聽 Face-to-face bullying isn鈥檛 the only way children can be victimized. Many children and young adults are using their computers and cell phones to send or post texts or images intended to hurt or embarrass their classmates. This includes sending mean, vulgar or threatening messages and images, posting sensitive or private information about another person, or pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad. Children and teens can cyber-bully each other through e-mails, instant messaging, text messages, web pages, blogs or chat rooms. If your child is a victim of such bullying:

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 encourage your child not to respond to cyber-bullying

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 do not erase the messages or pictures (save these as evidence)

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 try to identify the individual doing the cyber-bullying

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 consider filing a complaint with your service provider to block the sender

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 contact your child鈥檚 school

聽聽聽聽 路聽聽聽聽聽聽 contact law enforcement if cyber-bullying involves acts such as threats of violence, extortion, obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages, stalking, hate crimes or child pornography.

聽聽聽聽 I encourage all parents to talk to their children about what it means to hurt another person physically or verbally. The Broward Sheriff鈥檚 Office is working with the Broward County School Board on an educational curriculum called ThinkB4UPost to be launched during Red Ribbon Week in October. This is a direct message from school officials and law enforcement to children and young adults about the consequences of cyber-bullying. For more information about ways to prevent and identify bullying, please visit www.sheriff.org/anti-bullying.

聽聽聽聽 With the help and guidance of law enforcement, parents, caregivers and teachers, I am confident we can put an end to bullying!


About Carma Henry 22108 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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