A new school year will soon be upon us. The excitement of students advancing to higher grades and anticipation of meeting new teachers is all a part of the back-to-school experience.
This is the fun part of heading into a new academic year. However, parents have to worry about more than making sure all supplies on the school’s list are purchased.
They have to be knowledgeable of their child’s educational experience inside and outside of the classroom. This involves being aware of their mental and physical well-being at all times.
There once was a time when parents could send their child to school with no worries. Times have brutally changed.
Bullying can be a silent killer. Parents can think their children are doing fine at school and look up only to find that every day is a battle after they wave goodbye after being dropped off. Sometimes it’s too late before parents realize how unhappy the school experience was for their children. With a new school year around the corner, parents should note signs of bullying. According to www.stopbullying.gov, there are nine warning signs that can assist parents in detecting potential bullying.
1. Unexplained injuries
2. Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics or books.
3. Feeling sick or faking illness.
4. Changes in eating habits.
5. Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares.
6. Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork or not wanting to go to school.
7. Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations.
8. Decreased self-esteem
9. Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves or talk of suicide.
Bullying is a nationwide issue. Minnesota is not exempt from its tragic effect.
Many U.S. states have bullying laws that require schools to adopt bullying policies. According to an analysis done by the U.S. Department of Education, Minnesota has one of the shortest bullying laws in the nation.
Gov. Mark Dayton appointed a task force, The Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying, to address the issue and develop ways to stop bullying in schools. Task force members had until Aug. 1 to turn in their final report of recommendations, according to news reports.
One of the focus areas for the task force was to study bullying laws in other states and to find effective policies in individual Minnesota school districts that could be emulated.
It takes a unified effort to combat bullying. It requires collaboration between school staff and families. Parents, though, are a vital factor to the success of battling bullying in schools. Note potential signs. Failure to do so can be fatal.