Welcome to Valley Oak's Anti-Bully Webpage. The purpose of this page is to provide students and parents with information and resources that will help keep VO a fun and safe place to be.
To report a incidence of bullying that has occurred at or around
Valley Oak School, first report it to an adult on campus.
Confidential Hotline / Helpline Number
Always Anonymous Se Habla Espanol
The crime reporting website for Visalia Unified School District
California Department of Education resource website
Government site with quality resources
California laws pertaining to bullying
Education.com website filled with information, resources, and suggestions
What Parents Can Do About Childhood Bullying
If you're a parent concerned about bullying, it's important to recognize the signs that a child is a bully as well as the signs of one who is being victimized. Being alert and observant is critical, since victims are often reluctant to report bullying. Many victims don't report it to their parents or teachers because they're embarrassed or humiliated by the bullying. They may assume that adults will accuse them of tattling or will tell them to deal with it themselves. Some victims believe there is nothing adults can do to get the bully to stop. Naturally, bullies don't discuss their misdeeds with their parents or teachers. If their bullying behavior is reported and their parents confront them, bullies usually deny their involvement.
The Victim: Signs and Symptoms
Children who are victims of bullying may display one or more of the following behaviors at home:
- Comes home from school with clothing that's torn or in disarray, or with damaged books.
- Has bruises, cuts, and scratches, but can't give a logical explanation for how he got them.
- Appears afraid or reluctant to go to school in the morning, complaining repeatedly of headaches or stomach pains.
- Has bad dreams or cries in his sleep.
- Loses interest in school work and his grades suffer. If your child normally struggles in school because of a learning disability and is teased about having LD, school may become unbearable for him.
- Appears sad or depressed, or shows unexpected mood shifts, irritability, and sudden outbursts of temper.
- Requests money from you to meet the bully's demands and might even resort to stealing money from you or other family members.
- Seems socially isolated, with few - if any - real friends; is rarely invited to parties or to the homes of other kids. His fear of rejection may lead him to shun others.
What can parents of the victim do?
If you know or suspect your child is being bullied, but his school hasn't communicated with you about the situation, you should contact your child's teacher(s) right away. Keep in mind that your primary goal should be to get the school's cooperation to get the bullying to stop. Knowing your own child is being victimized can evoke strong feelings, but you'll get much more cooperation from school personnel if you can stick to the facts without becoming overly emotional. While you may want assurance that everyone involved is punished severely, try to focus on putting an end to the bullying!
If your child is a victim of bullying, try helping him with the following strategies:
Your Attitude and Actions
Listen carefully to your child's reports of being bullied. Be sympathetic and take the problem seriously. Be careful not to overreact or under-react.
Do not blame the victim. When a child finally works up the courage to report bullying, it isn't appropriate to criticize him for causing it or not handling the situation correctly. For example, don't ask, "Well, what did you do to bring it on?"
Realize that for a child who is being bullied, home is his refuge. Expect him to have some difficult times in dealing with victimization. Get professional help if you think your child needs it.
Encourage your child to keep talking to you. Spend extra time with him. Provide constant support and encouragement, and tell him that you love him often!
Teaching Your Child Safety Strategies
Remember that hitting back is not a choice at school and shouldn't be encouraged. In a school with a "zero tolerance policy" for physical aggression, encouraging your child to hit back may just get him expelled.
Encourage your child to walk away and tell an adult if he feels someone is about to hurt him.
Talk about safe ways to act in situations that might be dangerous. For example, identify a "safe house" or store or where he can find sanctuary if pursued by bullies. Encourage him to walk with an adult or older child. Give him a telephone number of an available adult to call if he's afraid and needs help dealing with a bullying situation.
Teach your child how to report bullying incidents to adults in an effective way. Adults are less likely to discount a child's report as "tattling" if the report includes:
- What is being done to him that makes him fearful or uncomfortable
- Who is doing it
- What he has done to try to resolve the problem or to get the bully to quit
- A clear explanation of what he needs from the adult (or what he wants the adult to do) to get the bully to quit.
Visalia Unified Adopts New Program to Combat Bullying in our Schools
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
(OBPP) is the most researched and best-known bullying prevention program available today.
With over thirty-five years of research and successful implementation all over the world, OBPP is a whole-school program that has been proven to prevent or reduce bullying throughout a school setting.
All students and adults participate
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is designed for students in elementary, middle, and junior high schools (students ages five to fifteen years old). Research has shown that OBPP is also effective in high schools, with some program adaptation. All students participate in most aspects of the program, while students identified as bullying others, or as targets of bullying, receive additional individualized interventions.
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safer, more positive places for students to learn and develop. Goals of the program include:
- reducing existing bullying problems among students
- preventing the development of new bullying problems
- achieving better peer relations at school
Bullying Definition: Repeated intentional negative behavior, done to cause harm or hurt to another. The person causing the harm has greater power over the person being harmed. The person being harmed has difficulty defending themselves
Outcomes of the Program
Statistics show how successful implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program can reduce school bullying. Outcomes have included:
- Fifty percent or more reductions in student reports of being bullied and bullying others. Peer and teacher ratings of bullying problems have yielded similar results.
- Significant reductions in student reports of general antisocial behavior such as school bullying, vandalism, school violence, fighting, theft, and truancy.
- Significant improvements in the classroom social climate as reflected in students' reports of improved order and discipline, more positive social relationships, and more positive attitudes toward schoolwork and school.
- Greater support for students who are bullied, and stronger, more effective interventions for students who bully
Training of staff and student leaders will occur during the 2012-2013 school year. They will make changes to school procedures and systems. During the fall of 2013 the program will then be implemented with all students. We encourage parents to reach out to school staff if they become aware of bullying events at our school.