We Work to Combat Bullying
Alvarado does not have more problems with bullying than any other school, but we take the issue seriously when it arises. We host workshops, educate our students, parents and teachers, and provide resources for all.
Click on the links below for more information.
We help children to be included and to feel safe and empowered. We teach children to include others in work and play, and we teach by example: Staff and parents model kindness, respect, empathy and cooperation with students and each other. Please read our school policy on bullying in English or in Spanish. We also have a more easily understood policy that is appropriate for children.
For clarity, we also have a flowchart that illustrates how the school responds to reported incidents of bullying.
There are many books available to help parents raise empathetic children or cope with bullying. If you know of a book that is not on this list, please email the title to Morgan Benz.
Martial arts are excellent training for the mind and body. Martial arts students gain a sense of security as they learn techniques that can protect them in potentially harmful situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is bullying?
Bullying occurs when a student, or group of students, attempts to take power over another student. Often bullying is repeated, where students fall into the roles of bully (the student who is bullying), bully-follower (a student who goes along with the bully), target (the student who is being bullied) and bystander (a student who sees bullying but does nothing to stop it). The main ways in which bullying happens are:
Physical bullying: when a student uses physical force to hurt another student by hitting, punching, pushing, pantsing, shoving, kicking, spitting, pinching, getting in their way, or holding them down. It is also bullying to interfere with another student’s belongings, to take or break their possessions, and to demand or steal money.
Verbal bullying: when a student directs words at another student with the intention of putting them down or humiliating them. This includes threatening, taunting, intimidating, shouting, insulting, sarcasm, name-calling, teasing, put-downs and ridiculing. It is also verbal bullying when a student uses hostile gestures towards another student, such as making faces, staring, giving the evil eye, and eye rolling.
Relational bullying: when a student influences another student’s friendships and relationships through deliberately leaving them out, spreading gossip and rumors about them, whispering, giving them the silent treatment, ostracizing or scape-goating. This also includes writing words or creating cartoons, posters or drawings about another student designed to hurt or humiliate that student.
Cyber bullying: using mobile phones, text messages, e-mails, instant messaging, chatrooms, web blogs and social networking sites to bully another student in any of the ways described above. Examples of cyber bullying are sending threatening or insulting messages by phone and e-mail, posting untrue information or embarrassing pictures about another student on message boards, blogs or social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook, using another student’s email address or IM name to send messages that make the student look bad, creating a web page devoted to putting down another student, forwarding a text-message or e-mail that was meant for your eyes only.
Is bullying the same as harassment?
Bullying is part of a continuum of aggression and may, at times, amount to harassment. Harassment occurs when a student is the recipient of threatening, disturbing or unwelcome behaviors because of a particular characteristic. See our anti-bullying policy for more details on how harassment is addressed.
What do I do if I think my child is being bullied at school?
Talk to your child’s teacher first. Classroom teachers often have great insight into the dynamics of children’s relationships. Take the first step by sharing your concerns. Your child’s teacher will talk to you about the best way to address the situation. If you have additional concerns, you can also speak with Mr. Broecker.
What do I do if my child is bullying another child?
The first step is the same. Talk to your child’s teacher. Classroom teachers and support staff at Alvarado are available to assist all children and their families, regardless of the role they might play in a situation involving bullying.
Where can I get more information?
Check out our reading list for both kids and parents. There are also a number of useful websites:
http://www.stopbullying.gov A U.S. government managed website with a wealth of information.
http://nobully.com The local consultancy that is currently working with Alvarado.
http://www.commonsensemedia.org a useful site which gives summaries, age recommendations and reviews for books, movies, video games and more.
http://www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-home/protect-your-children Good tips on how to keep your children safe online.
What else can I do?
Model compassionate behavior. In order for children to learn kindness and empathy, they need to see it modeled by adults. Make sure your kids get to see you behaving in a compassionate, empathetic manner. A positive social climate is key to a school’s success in combating bullying.
Volunteer at recess time. While we have seen great improvement since starting our Playworks program in 2010, the yard remains a potential hotspot for bullying. The more adults that are present, the easier it is to handle minor conflicts as they arise, before they grow into more serious, negative patterns.
Limit children’s exposure to media. Talk to your children about the TV programs they watch and make sure they are age-appropriate. Monitor their online activities and teach kids how to be safe online.