GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Students will soon be heading back to school and sadly for many that will mean another year of being bullied.
It's estimated more than 160,000 kids miss school every day out of fear of attack or confrontation, according to the PACER Center.
Julie Hertzog from Pacer National Bullying Prevention Center outlined steps for making this school year different.
Most people in Minnesota know the PACER Center for its success in helping children with disabilities over the last 30 years. But six years ago, the Bloomington-based organization founded the National Bullying Prevention Center and now it's making a national impact.
PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center has created a comprehensive approach to deal with the immediate impacts of bullying and the ongoing challenge of finding ways to change public behavior and perception of what is more than "just a part of growing up."
With so many students affected by bullying, PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center wants to help parents understand steps they can take if their child is being bullied at school. When children choose to tell their parents they are being bullied, parents typically respond in one of three ways, all of which are not effective:
Tell them to stand up to the bully
- Tell them to ignore or avoid the bully
Take matters into your own hands
Instead of the above responses, below are steps parents should take when their kids are being bullied:
- Listen: It is your child's story; let him or her tell it
Believe: To be an effective advocate, you should react in a way that encourages your child to speak openly
- Be supportive: Tell your child that it is not his fault and he does not deserve to be bullied
- Be patient: Your child may not be ready to open up right away due to feelings of insecurity, fear or shame; let him talk about it when he is ready
- Provide information: Educate your child about bullying by providing information at a level he can understand.
- Explore intervention strategies: Discuss ways to deal with the bullying, such as talking with your child's teacher or district administration about the issue
October is National Bullying Prevention month. Pacer Center has two activities for involvement.
- PACER's Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying - Sat, Oct. 5
- UNITY DAY - Wed, Oct. 9
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