Three Suggestions for Parent

Three Suggestions for Parent

Three Suggestions for Parent

By Dru Ahlborg, Co-Founder and Executive Director of BRRC

Can you believe it’s almost time to start a new school year? My hope for this time of year is for the necessity of our organization to be less. I hope the magic of summer and sunshine will make people’s interactions kinder. My desire is that schools take the summer and determine the best ways to stop bullying. I sincerely hope children dealing with the traumas of bullying experience some healing and fun over the summer months. Hey, an Executive Director can dream…right?

Our organization, BRRC is a nonprofit dedicated to providing the resources, education and advocacy needed to stop bullying and stem the long-term effects bullying has on its targets. We empower families across Colorado to defend their bullied child and hold the school responsible to stop the bullying. Despite all the hopes I have, we are preparing for a busy school year and are training new advocates this summer. We are here to serve the families of bullied children.

According to Stopbullying.gov, “bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time.” According to the 2019 National Bureau of Educational Statistics, nationwide about 22% of students between 12-18 experience bullying. Closer to home, The Cyberbullying Research Center reports that in 2019 in Colorado 65.8% of youth stated they have been bullied in the last 30 days. (That is up almost 15% in three years.) This is a harrowing problem that can create trauma and negative impacts for everyone involved including the bullying target, the adolescent engaging in bullying acts, the bystanders and the family of the bullying target.

As a professional in the trenches of bullying there are three items I would like to instill about bullying as we begin preparing for the school year.

Bullying must be STOPPED. It is not negotiated, and certainly not dealt with using conflict resolution tactics. 
For an event to be bullying, there is always an exploitation of an imbalance of power. Asking a target of bullying and the aggressor to shake hands and move on isn’t appropriate. We certainly wouldn’t ask an adult who was assaulted to just move on. The needs of both the children need to be addressed and the aggressor should have a reasonable consequence for their action.

If your child shares with you they are being bullied, drop everything and truly listen. 
A child’s “job” is to attend school and to be successful in that endeavor. That can include academic grades, sports, social status and friendships. Failing at one or more of these can be absolutely humiliating, and it can be incredibly challenging for a child to verbalize they are being bullied. Listening is key and asking open-ended, non-judgmental questions will be helpful. Be aware that very often a young person will share just a part of the humiliation they are going through. The information can come out in tiny amounts over time. We advise that parents stay calm and together with their child, come up with steps to work through it together. It is important to let your child know they did nothing wrong and it is not acceptable that they are being bullied.

Upstanders. Become one. Teach and coach your child to become one. Acknowledge those who are an upstander.
The dictionary defines an upstander as “a person who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied.”

Upstanders can save lives. Bullying stops within 20 seconds, 57% of the time when someone acts on behalf of the person being bullied. The act of being an upstander can include intervening during a bullying event and also showing care and support to the bullying target after a bullying event. Reporting bullying as a witness is the act of an upstander. Adults who implement these behaviors and talk to their children about it will help raise children who are willing to take a stand and defend others.

My hope is that you and your family are enjoying the last few days/weeks of summer. If your child experiences bullying and the school isn’t taking it seriously, isn’t attempting to stop it, or is completely ignoring your reporting of it, please feel free to contact us. We can help.

We stop bullying today to start recovery tomorrow.

 

Slow Your Roll – Minimizing Rumors and Gossip

Slow Your Roll – Minimizing Rumors and Gossip

Slow Your Roll – Minimizing Rumors and Gossip

By Dru Ahlborg, Co-Founder and Executive Director of BRRC

Gossip and rumors are forms of bullying and fall under the category of relational bullying. Children who have been the target of gossip and rumors will often tell others that it is even more painful than physical bullying.  In my opinion, this type of bullying can become the most devastating of all.  It is the most difficult to prove and detect and can leave damage that can last much longer than physical bullying.  Gossip and rumors are mean-spirited, can be used in retaliation and are a negative form of communication.  According to the dictionary they include “doubtful truth” and “typically involves details that are not confirmed as being true.”

Minimizing rumors and gossip can be an incredibly valuable skill for kids, especially during middle school when this behavior peaks. The strategies discussed below should be followed in order for them to be most effective. These are suggestions that both the caregiver and the child should work on together. The adult can act as a coach and scenarios can be role-played so the child feels comfortable taking a stand should they endure being the subject of rumors or the topic of gossip. The child should rehearse lines that feel most natural to them.  The following is adapted from the PEERS® social skills training intervention program curriculum.

Don’t try to disprove the rumor
This can be quite difficult as our natural instinct is to deny a rumor about ourselves.  Disproving or arguing about the rumor could actually start a new rumor about the child being upset or looking defensive or acting guilty.

Don’t appear upset
This again can be quite difficult as it is logical that we would be upset.  Displaying emotions could add fuel to rumor.

Don’t confront the person spreading the gossip
Once again, confronting the person starting the rumor could cause more damage and enable them to feel justified to spread even more rumors.

Avoid the person spreading the gossip
Being around the person spreading the gossip can start additional rumors of how you couldn’t look them in the eye or how you gave them the evil eye.

Act amazed anyone cares or believes the gossip
Your peers are watching to see your reaction.  Let them know you really don’t care whether the gossip is true or not.

If it is true, your child could say:
      “People need to get a life!”
“Why would anyone care about that?”

If it is not true, act amazed anyone would believe it:
Some things your child could say are:

     “People are so gullible.”
      “Who would believe that?”

Spread the rumor about yourself
This requires your child to be proactive and not wait for their peers to ask about the rumor.  This requires three steps:

1.  Acknowledge the rumor exists
  “Have you heard this about me?”

2.  Discredit and make fun of the rumor
“How lame!”
“How stupid is this?”

3.  Act amazed anyone would believe or care about the rumor
  “Can you believe anyone cares about that?”
“People need to seriously get a life and find something else to talk about.”
“It’s amazing what some people will believe.”

Practicing these steps can help adolescents navigate and minimize the effects of rumors and gossip.  PEERS® is world-renowned for providing evidence-based social skills treatment to preschoolers, adolescents and young adults with ASD, AD/HD, anxiety, depression, and other socio-economic challenges.

 

Bullying and Mental Health

Bullying and Mental Health

May is mental health awareness month. It is the time of year where the topic of mental health is more readily heightened in the media and with organizations. BRRC is no exception. From the very first conversations my husband and I had about forming a charity over six years ago, the impact we desired to make was to lessen the horrendous mental impact that bullying can have on its targets. We talked at length about teen suicide and how desperately we wanted to lower that number especially in Colorado. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among ages 15-24 in the US. In Colorado, suicide is the leading cause of death for youth and young adults.

It is probably no surprise to learn that bullying can have challenging impacts of those who are targeted. Stopbullying.gov reports that not only targets are afflicted with negative mental health concerns, but also those who engage in bullying others, bystanders, and most negatively impacted are those who were bullied and then become the person who bullies others.

Below, I will discuss short-term and potential long-term impacts of bullying, what to look for, and ideas for healing. I often say that being a parent of a bullied child requires us to put on a super-hero cape and our very best athletic shoes. The journey is incredibly taxing for the entire family and is a marathon and not simply a foot race.

The Potential Impacts of Bullying

Being a target of bullying can lead to a litany of feelings. Many people experience
embarrassment, sadness, fear, loneliness, lowered self-esteem, rejection, exclusion and isolation. Short-term effects of bullying can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Self-harm or suicidal thoughts

As an adult, it is important to be on the lookout for potential signs of depression and anxiety in our young people.

Common symptoms of depression include: low mood, feelings of worthlessness,
feelings of guilt, loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy, changes in eating or sleeping habits and thoughts of death or suicide.

Common symptoms of anxiety include: Worry, stress or fear with daily life, restlessness or feeling edgy, difficulty concentrating, unable to control emotions, and physical sensations like a racing heart, sweating or feeling dizzy.

Mental health concerns can also lead to physical health issues. Persons who have
anxiety and/or depression are sick more often, feel tired, have challenges with falling asleep, and can have unexplained aches, pains and gut issues.

Children who are targeted for bullying also can suffer into adulthood. The effects of bullying don’t just go away. Long-term effects of bullying can lead to:

  • Generalized anxiety
  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • School avoidance
  • Substance abuse
  • PTSD

A child who has endured relentless bullying has been subject to trauma. The well-being of a bullying target must become a primary concern for the family.

What to do:

I am going to discuss this from several angles. First, we will look at the three steps that a family should take when a child is being bullied. We will look at ideas that the bullying target can employ to start their healing. Next, we will examine additional ideas for the family and for the school to turn the tide of bullying. Finally, there are resources available 24/7 for mental health crises.

Three Initial Treatment Goals for the Bullying Target:

  1. Devise a plan to stop the abuse. This is where BRRC can help. It must be
    reported. The school needs to make a plan to stop the bullying and also come up with plans to make sure the child isn’t targeted going forward. BRRC can help educate the family and the school about bullying, what the rights of the child are, and how to best make sure the child has a safe way to attend school.
  2. Help the child rebuild their self-esteem. Listening to the child, letting them know they did nothing to deserve being bullied, and working in conjunction with the child are all excellent ways to start rebuilding after the trauma of bullying.
  3. Teach new constructive thought patterns to help the child succeed now and in the future. Some forms of therapy may be opportune for adolescents to begin rebuilding and healing. The quicker and more effectively a family intervenes on behalf of a bullied child, the greater chance there is to reduce both the short- and long-term effects bullying can have on the child.


Positive Steps a Bullying Target Can Take:

  1. Remember you are not alone. Many others have gone through the torments of bullying. Open up to close friends. Chances are they can empathize.
  2. Talk about the bullying with a trusted adult. Tell your parent, teacher, counselor, or principal. They need to know there is a problem to address it.
  3. Practice self-care. Be kind to yourself. Self-care can be many things such as:
    reaching out to a friend or family for support, journaling, practicing mindfulness, being creative, getting enough sleep, eating well, and being physically active.
  4. Consider therapy. Working with a mental health professional can give you an outlet to talk about your problems and learn coping skills and come up with healthy solutions. In Colorado a youth 12 years and older can seek therapy without a parent’s consent. If money is a concern, there are several options for lowered-cost and no-cost therapy available for kids.
  5. Do volunteer work. The opportunity to help someone or a cause is a great outlet to see there is indeed good in the world.


Family steps to help:

  1. Start a conversation about bullying. If you suspect your child may be a target of bullying, do not simply wait for them to tell you. Adolescents often have much shame and fear about bullying and it may require you to initiate the conversation.
  2. Help your child identify trustworthy adults at school.
  3. Help your child identify safe friends and buddies at school. Just one close friend can greatly impact the mental health of a bullying target.
  4. Brainstorm with your child about how to respond. Instructing your child to simply walk away or to ignore the bully won’t make your child feel safe and cared for.
  5. Provide a safe space for your child to talk. Avoid being reactive, but rather listen and assure them that they have done nothing to deserve to be bullied.


School Prevention Strategies:

  1. Schools who actively create positive school environments will have less bullying and will also be more likely to stop it. Schools need to invest time and energy in encouraging positive, kind relationships and provide tools for teachers to handle bullying among students.
  2. Social and emotional learning (SEL) programs assist children in methods to
    manage their feelings and regulate their behaviors. SEL provides the opportunity to learn about choosing positive expressions and to experience empathy.


Mental Health Support:

  1. 988: This is the national suicide and crisis line.
    Simply calling or texting 9-8-8 will connect you to a trained crisis counselor in your area.
  2. The Trevor Project: This is a mental health and crisis resource for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Their 24/7 phone is 1-866-488-7386 and their text is 678-678.
  3. Second Wind Fund: In Colorado children and youth that are 19 and younger who are at risk for suicide and do not have the means or adequate insurance for necessary for mental health treatment are matched with licensed therapists in their local community or via teletherapy for no charge.
  4. I Matter Colorado: This program connects children with a therapist for up to six free virtual counseling sessions that are completely confidential. Children 11 and younger will need the permission of their parent or guardian to obtain the program.

 

 

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Bullying

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Bullying

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Bullying. 

What you need to know and what you can do.

By Dru Ahlborg, Co-Founder and Executive Director of BRRC
 

Autismspeaks.org states “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and non-verbal communication.  We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges.” 

*In 2023, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 36 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is an increase from 1 in 44 that was reported just two years ago.

*Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

*Nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6-15 have been bullied.

Our organization, BRRC, assists families who’s child is or has been a target of bullying. We estimate that over 40% of the families we have aided have a child who has ASD. Many people with ASD have challenges recognizing social cues which can make them appear awkward around others. They can engage in repetitive behaviors and tend to be hypersensitive to environmental stimuli which can make them a likely target for a child who engages in bullying behavior.

One study found that the highest functioning ASD children were at the greatest risk of being bullied. Many high-functioning ASD children spend more time in mainstream classrooms versus a special educational environment. ASD children who spend a majority of their schooling with mainstream peers makes their differences more obvious. The study further stated that children with autism who could speak well were three times more likely to be bullied than those who spend the majority of their time in special education.

Strategies to disrupt the bullying of ASD children can be addressed in three areas:
Bullying Prevention
Teachers and Bullying Prevention 
Parenting Strategies

Bullying Prevention:
Preventing bullying for ASD students require two needs to be addressed. The first is to address the needs of the ASD community and the second is to address the attitude and environment that leads to bullying.

  • ASD children can be taught about different forms of bullying that include unhealthy friendships and romantic relationship. Strategies can include speaking to a trusted teacher or administrator about bullying incidents as well as learning self-advocacy skills and asking for intervention from adults.
  • Education about ASD and the characteristics of autism should be available to all the adults who interact with your child. Children should be taught about autism and how a culture of inclusion and kindness will better serve all students and the learning environment.
  • Assigning proactive hallway monitors and adult or peer buddies to ASD students will reduce bullying during the most chaotic and least structured portions of the day.

Teachers and Bullying Prevention:
Teachers and adults in the classroom are the front line defense for an ASD child targeted for bullying. Here are some ideas for teachers:

  • Follow the school’s outlined procedure for reporting and addressing bullying behavior. If there are not adequate procedures for reporting and addressing bullying, suggest and assist in making meaningful recommendations.
  • Report every bullying incidence.
  • Encourage the ASD bullying target to talk with you about what happened. If the student cannot verbalize it, encourage them to write, journal or even draw the event. Reassure them that they are not “tattling.”
  • If you witness bullying behavior, step up and step in between the children. It is an adults responsibility to stop the bullying event.
  • When meeting with an ASD student who has been bullied choose a safe place to provide support and talk about what happened. Speak with any students who may have witnessed the event and calmly inquire what occurred.

Parenting Strategies:
It is very important that parents of ASD children act at the first hint of their child being bullied. Often a child, and especially an ASD child may not readily speak up to let their parents know they are being harassed, targeted and bullied. Warning signs of bullying may include: an unwillingness to attend school, a sudden change in routine, stress and anxiety, decline in academic performance, inability to maintain focus, torn clothes, damaged personal items and unexplained cuts or bruises.

Ideas to reduce the threat of bullying for an ASD child include:

  • Visiting the school often – primarily as an observer.
  • Enlist in frequent conversations with your child and ask open-ended questions such as: “Who did you sit with at lunch? Which friends did you talk with today? What is your least favorite class? Why?”
  • Build open communication channels with your child’s teachers and ask them frequently about your child’s interactions at school.
  • Talk and help educate school administration about the characteristics of autism.
  • Have open dialogue with teachers about your child’s specific strengths and challenges.
  • Speak and educate other school personnel (lunchroom monitors, school bus drivers, playground monitors, etc.) about autism awareness. Feel free to bring printed literature about ASD to them.
  • If you are concerned your child is being bullied, make sure you report it to the school and follow-up.
  • Consider including bullying in your child’s IEP. Social skills and self-advocacy skill goals should be included in the IEP.
  • Encourage the school to facilitate a buddy for your child. 
  • Mentor your child and remind them of the strengths. Let them know they are NOT inferior to any other child.

Parents of special needs children are truly superheroes. Everyday these parents put on their superhero capes and become hyperaware and responsive with their children. It is tragic that ASD children become frequent targets of bullying because of their uniques abilities and mannerisms. It is worth the additional time, coaching and communication to assist the ASD child in hopes of reducing the opportunity for bullying. If you need additional help or if your child is being bullied, please contact us for help. No child ever deserves to be bullied.

 

 

 

When Trusted Adults Bully Children

When Trusted Adults Bully Children

When Trusted Adults Bully Children

“There is zero research that provides evidence that any form of bullying and abuse improves performance, increases health and wellbeing, makes an individual resilient or tough. It’s all a tragic myth.”   — author Jennifer Fraser Ph.D, and author of “The Bullied Brain: Heal Your Scars and Restore Your Health”

When writing our monthly newsletter, I attempt to take a closer look at something I have heard about lately through our organization. The topic of adults bullying children has always been something BRRC has dealt with. As a nonprofit organization, we are quite aware that the bullying of children and their families is often by school administration and school officials.  This includes school principals, vice-principals, school resource officers and school counselors.

In general, bullying by trusted adults is:

  • Rationalized by offenders
  • Normalized by students
  • Minimized or ignored by collogues who remain silent
  • Enabled by inaction of school systems
  • Undetected by outsiders in many cases

Adult bullying in our schools has special circumstances that can make it incredibly difficult for the target.  Bullied students oftentimes feel shock, shame and report feeling powerless.  Being bullied by an adult in a position of trust can cause other students to jump on the bandwagon and join in the abuse.  Furthermore, when young people or other adults confront adult bullies the results can garner more humiliation, being given unfairly low grades, loss of playing time or less involvement in special activities. Oftentimes, adults will rally around the accused and treat them as the victim of the bullying. This can have absolutely tragic outcomes.

As a parent, I have stressed to my children the importance of treating adults with respect. I believe probably most parents have. We as a culture have been brainwashed that a certain amount of abuse, name-calling, and even physical power over our children will help them grow into resilient, strong adults. That is erroneous. Adult bullying of children can have a lasting effect on their mental physical health. They are much less likely to trust any adult and often it opens the doors to depression, anxiety, PTSD and suicidal ideation.

When a student reports being bullied by an adult in a position of authority a caring adult has the responsibility to take the situation seriously and to intervene carefully.  Several strategies can be helpful.  Janet Olsen of Michigan State University offers the following suggestions:

  • Listen deeply and probe for more information. It is important to respond in a way that shows your care for the child’s safety and well-being.  It is a time to ask thoughtful questions and start to create a written account of what has happened with dates, times and potential witnesses.
  • Stay calm. This is an opportunity to model thoughtful action for the child involved.  Reacting quickly and out of anger can cause greater harm.
  • Ask the child’s opinion before taking action.  Remember, the child is the most at risk for further consequences and it is important to balance their concerns and have them be part of the solution going forward.
  • Meet with the adult and their supervisor. Be prepared, respectful and clear. It is important to prepare ahead of the meeting.  The school handbook should be consulted to see if there is policy or code of conduct related to adult behaviors at school.  At the meeting, share what the child has reported to you.  Describe how the situation is affecting their ability to learn or participate fully.  Report how the behaviors relate to the school policy.  If the teacher/coach seems concerned, regretful and apologetic, ask how they plan to follow up with the child.  If your conversation and concerns are dismissed or not taken seriously be prepared to take your concerns to the next level such as the school board or consider contacting an attorney or Bullying Recovery Resource Center.
  • After taking action, follow-up with your child. Your child needs to know what to expect going forward.  They may also need additional support from a counselor.

Experts agree that with any bullying, and especially bullying involving an authority figure should not remain silent.  Letting adult bullying “blow over” allows the cycle of harassment to continue and silence ultimately enables the bully.  The adult who engages in unabated bullying behavior may feel that their behavior is acceptable and label it as “discipline” or “motivation”.   If the bullying continues after reporting it, the child should be removed from the classroom or the team.

Jennifer Fraser who is quoted at the beginning of this article stresses that we are overdue to establish an effective “immunization” strategy to help our kids in the bullying epidemic. Her four suggestions are:

  1. Educating the public. Adults in positions of trust and influence over children need to become educated about maintaining children’s mental health as well as their own.
  2. Assessing adult mental health. She recommends that adults assess their mental health just as we do with our teeth, eyes and with a physical at the doctor.
  3. Assessing children’s mental health. She recommends children be taught about psychology and neuroscience in applicable ways. When children have a vocabulary to express what they are feeling and what is happening to them, they can become empowered and understand their mental health is just as crucial as their physical health.
  4. Getting bullies the help they need. Bullying behavior often comes from a person who has been abused themselves. Intervention and rehabilitation can stop the spread of bullying and allow them to heal from their past trauma.

Bullying Recovery Resource Center believes it is always the responsibility of adults to STOP bullying.  It is no less important when an adult in a position of authority is the aggressor. We feel it is the duty of school officials to care for their students and take appropriate action when a trusted adult is bullying children. If your child has been the target of adult bullying and the school has not properly addressed the problem, please contact us.  No child ever deserves to be bullied.

By Dru Ahlborg
Executive Director
Bullying Recovery Resource Center

Bystander Roles in Bullying

Bystander Roles in Bullying

Bystander Roles in Bullying

“There are no innocent bystanders.” – author William S. Burroughs

The act of bullying is often a complicated expression of the two main characters: the perpetrator(s) and the target. Stopbullying.gov states that bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school age children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying is the exploitation of that imbalance of power between the aggressor and the target. The reasons why a child may engage in bullying behavior are important to understand, but it is also important to learn about the other children who are witnessing the event. They play a dynamic role in bullying as well and these children are the bystanders.

Bullying occurs for a variety of reasons depending on the child committing the bullying act. In many bullying instances, the perpetrator is motivated by power, high status and visibility. If that is the case, the bully needs bystanders. Bullies are selective as to whom they target and who is present, and this is especially true for the offender who is seeking a higher social status and popularity. Children who engage in becoming a bully will select targets who are less likely to strike back and will also engage in bullying behavior when there are other children available to witness the act (bystanders.)

Bystanders play an important role in bullying for several reasons. First, youth who bully others are often perceived as popular by their classmates especially during adolescence. One study states that youth who engage in aggressive behavior become increasingly popular over time. Secondly, when no child challenges the behavior of bullies, other students come to falsely perceive it as others approving of it. This is called pluralistic ignorance. Lastly, bullies carefully select their targets based on the target appearing submissive or insecure. The perpetrator of bullying will gain the maximum social accolades with peers/bystanders at the same time as reducing their risk of harm or loss of affection from their peers.

Dan Olweus, PhD, is a Swedish-Norwegian psychologist widely regarded as a pioneer of research on bullying. Part of his contribution is the concept of the Bullying Circle which explain the various roles children play when bullying happens. A wonderful graphic adaption of the Bullying Circle is featured below with the permission of Barbara Coloroso, best-selling international author, consultant, speaker and BRRC board member.

Bystanders can engage in various roles and are supporters (even if they are silent) to bullying. There is a price to pay for children who are bystanders as their self-confidence and self-respect can be diminished.

The various bystander roles are:

  • Henchmen – They take an active part in the bullying but do not plan or start the bullying.
  • Active Supporters – These children may encourage the bullying and seek social and material gain.
  • Passive Supporters – Appear to enjoy the bullying however do not show open support.
  • Disengaged Onlookers – Children in this category may turn away and feel like it is none of their business.
  • Potential Witnesses – These students oppose the bullying and know they should help and do not act.

Bullying research states that raising children’s awareness about all the roles in the bullying process can clear the path for moving more children into the upstander and defender role. Social and emotional learning (SEL) can aid in increasing student engagement, understanding and creating empathy. Teachers should have their students reflect on their behaviors when witnessing bullying and facilitate discussions and brainstorm different ways to respond the bullying. Schools and teachers should provide safe and effective strategies to report bullying and support the bullying target. Just as peers can serve to “encourage” bullying, they can also encourage resisting, reporting and aiding children caught in the crossfire of bullying.

Looking at the Bullying Circle, it becomes obvious that we want to assist children to proceed counterclockwise to become the resister, defender or as BRRC labels it, an upstander. The leap from potential witness is much less challenging than from being a henchman or active supporter. Over and over research states that even just one person having the strength to resist the bully and defend the targeted child can stop the bully and provide comfort and compassion to the bullying target.

 

By Dru Ahlborg
Executive Director
Bullying Recovery Resource Center