Police AssociAtion of novA scotiA 97 Record Keeping and Bullying What Every Kid Needs to Know About Bullying ©2006 PACER Center Bullying is never okay. Here’s how you can be a kid against bullying! Bullying can happen anyplace—on the playground, on the bus, in the hallways, even in the bathroom. Bullying can be lots of things. It is hitting, pushing, name calling, threatening, teasing, sending mean e-mails, taking or ruining another person’s things, leaving someone out—and lots of other nasty stuff that’s done on purpose to hurt someone. How can you tell if something is bullying? Just remember this: It's bullying if... Someone is hurting another person on purpose and the kid who is doing it has more power. Bullying is not cool and it’s not fair. No one deserves to be bullied. What can you do if you are being bullied or see bullying happen? A lot! Speak Up! •When someone is willing to say they think something is wrong, they can make a difference. If you tell other kids that bullying is not cool, they will be more willing to speak up, too. •If you see bullying, you can tell a grown-up. Telling is not tattling. It's okay to tell. Reach Out! •Tell the kid who is being bullied that they don’t deserve to be treated that way. No one does. •Ask your friends to join you in being a kid against bullying. Be a Friend! •Invite the kid who is being bullied to play with you. •Create a “bully-free zone” on the playground where everyone is welcome. One of the primary tasks for dealing with bullying is recording the “who, what, where, when and why” of the situation. Keeping and reporting data is a powerful tool for students, their parents and the schools. When a child is targeted by a bully, parents need to document this and develop a record (or history) of what is happening to their child. This record is useful when talking with school educators, law enforcement personnel, or other individuals who may need to assist parents in intervening against bullying. As record keeping varies greatly from school to school, parents should also ask if the school nurse (when there is one) is charged with keeping records of incidents and the level of information, medical or otherwise, recorded. Parents should also do their best to keep track of events so that emotions alone don’t drive the discussion. Parents often think they will remember vividly all the details pertaining to the bullying events but it’s easier to keep a concise, accurate timeline when events occur than try to recreate them later. Keeping records as you go also points to an escalation of bullying behaviours, either in frequency or duration. This is also an excellent way to document how the child’s emotional and physical states are being affected. Your records should be based on facts and actual events and should not contain your opinions or personal statements. Content should include: • information on the bullying incident and the dates in question • the names of the persons involved, e.g., the bully, bystanders or witnesses • the child’s account of what happened Also include: • all communications with professionals (teachers, administrators, school nurse, etc.) • the dates of all communications • the summary of the event(s) • the responses of the professional(s) • any actions taken • copies of reports filed by the school according to the school district’s or board’s policy The above may be paper or electronic format, but always include photos, emails, a recording of the child talking about the bullying if there is one, screenshots of online content, health care records, or pictures taken of the child after a bullying incident to show physical evidence indicating bullying. Information is key – remember, if it’s not in writing, it does not exist. © 2010 Fenety Marketing Services