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Back-to-School Bully Busting—A Safety Guide for Parents by SimpliSafe Home Security

As millions of kids with brand new backpacks, jeans and sneakers are launching a new year of school, we are offering this bully-busting guide to help parents prevent bullying and support their kids should bullying situations arise at school.

Step 1: Get Smart

Most people know what it’s like to get bullied or have seen someone bullied, and some even remember being bullies themselves. What most people don’t know is the full picture—the social landscape and scope of actors in bullying events. These two books are a great starting point for parents to understand bullying and begin developing strategies to ensure their children enjoy a safe learning environment.

  • Caloroso, Barbara, The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School--How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle, Harper 2009
  • Haber, Joel, Bullyproof Your Child For Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting, and Bullying for Good, Perigree Trade 2007
Step 2: Educate and Empower your kids

The next step to bully prevention is to help your children understand bullying and feel empowered to self-advocate and report bullying in their schools or playgrounds. Too often the subject is taboo and children feel shame and fear when they are targets of bullies or are witnesses to bullying. These books are options for kids of any age to help them identify and cope with bullying.

  • High School Readers— This book is recommended reading for cyberbullying. A book both parents and teens will enjoy and learn from. Butler, Dori Hillestad, The Truth about Truman School, Albert Whitman & Company 2008.
  • Middle School Readers—This book will help empower students to self-advocate in the face of bullying. Kaufman, Gershen, Stick Up for Yourself: Every Kid's Guide to Personal Power & Positive Self-Esteem: A self-help guide to positive thinking, high self-esteem, and responsible personal power, Free Spirit Publishing 1999.
  • Elementary School Readers—This is great book for seeing the perspectives of all involved in bullying, the target, the spectator, and the bully as they find a way to become friends. Pignat, Caroline, Egghead, Red Deer Press 2008.
  • Picture Books— This is a great starter book to help children identify the personal questions that plague victims of bullying. Ross, Tony, Is it because?, Barrons 2005.
For more great reading recommendations by age level visit http://www.bulliesinbooks.com

Step 3: Know where to get more help

Bullying is a national problem and one that many states are working to address within their public school systems. SimpliSafe wireless home security offers this list of free resources that parents can go to for additional help and ideas to help prevent bullying or stop it in its tracks.

  • Bully Stoppers—Offers students and parents a free way to safely and anonymously report bullying events to their schools.
  • Olweus Bullying Prevention Program— the nation’s premier anti-bullying program offers tips for parents to advocate for bully prevention in their local school.
  • StopBullying.gov is an official U.S. Government Web site managed by the Department of Health & Human Services.
  • Highmark Healthy High 5 works with educators, non-profit leaders and parents to reach children and adolescents at school, at home and within their communities.