Fighting Bullying

August 25, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Back to school time means kids could be seeing a bully for the first time since the summer, or for the first time, period. There are things parents can do to help their kids if they think their child is being bullied or if they are doing the bullying. Gabriella van Rij ( is a bullying prevention expert and activist and she stopped by our ABC 7 studio to explain how anyone can help fight the problem.

Gabriella's Tips
1. What should parents do when they find out their child is a bully?
- No need to be embarrassed
- Communication is crucial -- Talk to your child to find out what is bothering him/her and what exactly is causing this behavior.
- Explain, don't demand -- Tell your child why YOU as a parent think this behavior needs to stop.
- Seek professional help, if necessary.

2. What should a teacher do when a student complains about bullying or cyber bullying?
- Assess the situation -- Talk to the child and get all the information
- Report it to the school principal ASAP.
- In cases of cyber bullying, ask to see the online posts, messages, emails, etc. If cyber bullying comes from an "anonymous user," all school districts have a possibility to find the culprit through technology behind the posts.
- Contact both parents IMMEDIATELY

3. What should students do when they witness bullying?
- Walk away - When bullying happens in public, walk away and ask all your friends to do the same. With no audience, the bully will lose momentum.
- Report it to the school principal
- Ask the bully to stop if you can
- By doing this you become an "Active Witness"

4. What should you do if you are being bullied?
- Report it to a teacher, counselor or school principal
- Tell your parents
- Ask the bully to stop if you can
- Ask the bully why you are the target of his behavior

5. What should you do if you are the bully?
- Change your behavior
- Talk to your parents
- Ask to talk to someone to see if you can get help with your own problems


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