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Bullies are more common in schools than expected. Whether your child is being bullied or bullying, parents should deal with the problem immediately. How parents handle these types of situations can have a huge impact on future situations and set the stage on what behavior is appropriate for students. If you suspect bullying, get involved, get active and help stop that hostile type of behavior before it goes too far.

Talk to your child about the issue of bullying.

If your child is being bullied, parents need to understand how and to what extent of the bullying is going on. There are various types: physical bullying, emotional bullying, and digital bullying. The effects of each are equally harmful. If your child is the bully, he or she may not be willing to admit to his or her misbehavior. However, don’t let them off the hook easily.

Speak with school or sports officials, not other parents.

Bullying can be a learned behavior. Going directly to a child’s parents might not always be the best course of action if they’ve picked up the behavior from home.. Professionals who deal with children on a regular basis should have training in addressing issues such as bullying; letting them take the reins here is a good idea. This is true for parents of the bullied and the bully.

Stay involved.

After you’ve addressed the issue of bullying with your child and involved adults, don’t assume that it’s over. Stay active in the situation so that you can quickly intervene again should the situation get out of hand. Stay in contact with teachers and coaches and expect that they will do the same with you. Talk to your child regularly about school, sports and extracurricular activities.

Look for help.

If the bullying continues, it may be necessary to expand the participating parties, especially because bullying behavior has been shown to have disastrous consequences for some children. An outside professional or a group meeting may become necessary if parental and school involvement does not result in a satisfactory conclusion.

1-800-SAY-STOP

The Georgia Department of Education has created a hotline so that students or parents can anonymously report anyone who has a weapon at school, has threatened to bring a weapon to school, or has violated any other school safety rules. Use the link below to read more about the hotline.

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/askdoe.aspx?PageReq=ASKSafety