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Sixth-Grade Male Cheerleader's Arm Broken by Bullies

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Eleven-year-old Tyler Wilson, the boy cheerleader whose arm was allegedly broken by football-team bullies, said today on "Good Morning America" that his schoolmates are now threatening to break his other arm because he told on them!

Protect your children from bullies with this advice from Ross Ellis, founder and chief executive officer of Love Our Children USA, the national nonprofit leader on child violence prevention:

Make Sure Kindness Starts at Home:"The reality is, any kid can become a bully or be victimized themselves, so it's crucial to take preventive measures now," says Ellis. "Bullying is a learned behavior. So when kids see you criticize others -- 'Can you believe what Jill was wearing?' -- they mimic your actions out in the world. What's more, insecurity usually triggers a bully's behavior. So raising confident and empathetic children will have a two-fold effect: Not only will your kids have positive self-esteem, but they'll also be more likely to stand up for other kids who are being harassed."

Develop a Buddy System:"It's a fact that bullies rarely strike groups; they just don't have the guts," says Ellis. "If your child is being harassed, make sure he or she walks around school with a friend, or is within earshot of a teacher."

Teach Your Child to Take Appropriate Action:Tell your kids that if someone does start bullying them, they should look the bully in the eye and say, "I don't like your teasing. Stop it right now." Then they should walk away and report the incident. Teach your kids not to hit back if the bully persists. "Bullies want a reaction, so if the victim reciprocates, the problem will worsen," says Ellis.

Take Action Yourself:"As tempting as it may be to sit down with the troublemaker's parents, don't," says Ellis. "Most parents are defensive toward criticism of their child, or are in denial there's even a problem." A better idea? Go to the school directly and record every incident of harassment. Ask your school to develop an anti-bullying program, then form a watchdog group with other parents.

According to Ellis, preventing your child from being bullied will be mostly your responsibility, because most schools are not taking the issue seriously enough.

Has your child ever been bullied? If so, how did you handle it? Comment below.

next: Meet America's Cheapest Family!
64 comments so far | Post a comment now
KS September 29, 2010, 2:15 PM

I agree with everything you put with the exception of not confronting the offending children’s parents. I’m sorry but if my child’s arm was broken and then he was threatened that his other arm was going to be broken we would be going to the police station. actually we already would have been there but that’s beside the point. Our next step would be to remove our child from the school and either home school him or switch school districts.

Not confronting the parents means that they don’t have to confront the problem either. It may be uncomfortable and awkward but it has the effect of showing your child you will fight for them when they are unable to fight for themselves.

We have things wrong in this country when it comes to bullies. They do so much damage for so long and we are all told to tell our children to deal with it. Logic says if the kids were able to adequately deal with a bully wouldn’t bullies not be a problem. Parents need to stop listening to the schools and start forcing criminal prosecution for criminal acts.

If your child has been bullied on a regular basis obviously the school isn’t taking care of the problem and it’s time for YOU the parents of YOUR child to take the steps necessary to ensure your child’s safety. After all if heaven forbid your child kills themselves over the abuse they have suffered YOU will be grieving that loss not any of these bullies or school authorities.

If the parents of this child had broke his arm because he wanted to be a cheer leader they would be in jail. Why aren’t the kids who did it sitting behind bars. Criminal acts are criminal acts, end of story.

Brandon September 30, 2010, 9:17 AM

The parent of the bullied child is being bullied by the same bullies that bully her child because she is not really doing anything about it. I don’t care how old someone is. If someone broke my daughter’s arm, they are in for it.

Elizabeth Conley October 3, 2010, 9:10 AM

I hope that the result of this mother pressing charges against her son’s assailants will be a change of attitude on the part of bullies’ parents.

If parents know their child could face serious consequences for injuring other kids, perhaps they’ll reign in their children’s behavior.

We home school because our son was bullied in school so much that it interfered with his education. His teachers turned a blind eye. The counselor’s wasted our son’s time by taking him out of class for counseling, when it was the bullies who needed counseling. Our son simply needed an education in a harrassment free environment.

We went to an after school program on solving bullying problems. The only people there were bullied children and their parents. The bullies and their parents weren’t there. Since the perpetrators of the bullying weren’t present, the program was very unproductive. I only gained one good thing from the program. I learned that the school system believe a sociological/psychological theory that bullied children were the cause of their own problems. The school officials believed it was the bullied child’s fault the bullies mistreated him/her. The school officials’ attachment to this ridiculous theory was the reason their efforts to solve the bullying problem were so ineffectual. Essentially, they stigmatized the bullied child. In so doing, they clearly communicated to the bullied child that s/he had absolutely no right to protection from abuse or assault. Further, they legitimized the behavior of the bully. They validated the bully’s belief that his target was defective and an appropriate target for abuse as a consequence.

What kind of message is that?

These school officials know full well their sociological/psychological theories that blame the victims for bullying won’t stand public scrutiny. The American public isn’t that stupid - yet!

Still, it’s going to be a while before we can force school systems to stop stigmatizing victims and start holding bullies responsible. Until we can do that, maybe we can scare the bullies’ parents into getting their budding sociopaths under control.

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