According to the dictionary, the definition of bullying is to seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone perceived as vulnerable. Bullying is not a new behavior, but rather has been around a long time. Most people report they have been bullied at some point in their life. Even as adults, we can be the victim of bullying.
In the past, bullying was generally limited to the times in which one was face-to-face with their bully. Today, however, with the widespread use of technology, the abuse caused by bullies is easier and unlimited in its reach. Through text and social media a bully can terrorize someone anonymously and at any time.
Nevada has many laws against bullying which can be found on the website www.stopbullying.gov. Nevada schools are proactive with prevention by including curricula and activities to teach students about bullying. Additionally, staff continuously attends trainings on bullying prevention. In 2011, Gov. Brian Sandoval proclaimed Oct. 3-7 the “Week of Respect” in which schools participate in a campaign to take action against bullying. Not only do we need to be proactive against prevention of bullying in our schools, but parents play a big role in this behavior at home. Parent involvement in these school programs is a big deterrent for their child to participate in bullying or be the victim of one. Warning signs and prevention tools are also found on http://bullyfreezone.nv.gov/family_resources/
The Carson City School District participates in the Week of Respect, but also continues to get students involved in being proactive against bullying. They teach students to “Be An Up Stander.” The motto of this effort is continually emphasized by District staff as part of teaching students to be “someone who recognizes when something is wrong and acts to make it right.” Staff keep track of students who act as an “Up Stander” on the District website. In addition, the Carson School City District emphasizes social and emotional learning (SEL) to decrease bullying behavior. The goal is to “Promote students’ self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship, and responsible decision-making skills.” (http://www.carsoncityschools.com/departments/educational_services/bully_free_zone).
There are strict policies in place for schools on how to respond and investigate bullying. Safe School Professionals (SSPs) were hired through a State grant to help identify at-risk students in the schools of Nevada. “The role of the Safe School Professional is to support the development of a safe and respectful positive school climate according to the needs of the school and in order to address a variety of potential barriers to academic success that may exist within the child’s home, school, or community.” SSPs are about being proactive towards at-risk behaviors using the Social and Emotional Awareness model. (http://www.doe.nv.gov)
Every school in Nevada has a Bully Prevention Hotline: 1-775-689-0150 or text STANDUP to 839863. Schools also utilize Safe Voice http://http//safevoicenv.org/ 833.216.SAFE (7233). Safe Voice is a tip line for parents and students to report threats to the safety and wellbeing of students. This threat could be from suicide, self-harm, bullying, violence, and so on. Teaching our children to be Up Standers and proactive against bullying in our community will help Nevada kids become healthy adults and keep our community safe and healthy.
For information about services and programs available to you through Carson City Health and Human Services, please visit our website at gethealthycarsoncity.org, follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/cchhs, or call us at (775) 887-2190. You can also find us at 900 East Long St., in Carson City.