School Software that Tracks Bullying Incidents, a Must?

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School Software that Tracks Bullying Incidents – A Tool to End Cruelty and Harassment

First Step in Disarming Bully Propaganda:

What’s the first line of defense?

  1. Train people in awareness of the signs of bullying
  2. Learn to see painful symptoms of the bully’s target
  3. Develop sensitivity to the changes in dynamics when there are others witnessing bullying behaviors.

Parents, teachers and authority figures, historically the last to know – or even suspect, are moving forward to learn everything they need to know to increase awareness, and pro-actively correct when these activities begin to occur.

Because most bullies have enough skill to intimidate others into silence, the first line of defense is increasing awareness. Provide training in techniques that enable and strengthen peers to find someone and tell someone; as well as demonstrating how unacceptable and destructive it is to allow these bullying behaviors to continue.

Some signs that bullying behaviors are occurring:

  • unexplained changes in behavior, attitude and school attendance (increased absences)
  • lost or destroyed books, clothing or personal belongings
  • unexplained bruising and/or injuries
  • declining grades, enthusiasm and activities
  • self-injury, self-hate expressions or perceptions of helplessness
  • changes in eating habits
  • increased isolation and withdrawal

Related to bullying behaviors are stalking behaviors. Both can involve single persons or groups. Stalking, like bullying is a crime, the perpetrator or oppressor gets a feeling of power and control over the target. There is a pattern of threatening and harassing behaviors, communicated directly or indirectly, places the target person in fear. Threats are “physical or visual, involve non-consensual communications or behaviors, verbal, implied, written or any combination of communications that cause reasonable fears in a person.

Cyber-bullying is another tool bullies use to intentionally harass and break the spirits of their targets. At one time, bullies could not often reach a target in their own home, except by telephone. Now with the use of cell phones, phone cameras and video, computers, tablets and other digital devices, cyber bullies use social media and have a reach over their victims like never before. Targeted persons feel they have absolutely no escape from constant torment and exposure. Authorities need to capture and document these events to end the abuse before the situation escalates to violence by the bully or retaliation by the target through suicide or school shootings.

“Suicide rates among 10-14 year olds has increased by 50 percent in the US during the past three decades.”

School Software is the best line of defense to prove to bullies that their behavior will no longer be ignored or go unnoticed by authorities. Unveiling the truth to “who and what bullies really are” disarms a bully, loss of his/her “eminence” removes their power status over future bullies.

If someone were to investigate the bully’s home life, they’d probably see someone, like a parent or other relative in their life, being overpowering and bullying to them. The bully finds an opportunistic way to assert his/her misplaced aggressions over someone they think they can take advantage of. If targets learn to ignore the bully early on and do not respond with inhibition or fear, the bully moves on to someone else. They will continue seeking a target that gives up their own power and shows the bully that fear that they are looking for.

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One of the reasons why cyber bullying is so common these days is because the offender has the false comfort of thinking they can’t get caught. The next solution is for victims or targets and attempted targets to document texts, inappropriate photos or harassment of any sort for authorities to use. Having anti-bullying software, available to schools, document and cut offensive cyber bullying behaviors.

Watch for bully traps such as:

  • pretending to be other people to trick others
  • spreading lies or rumors about their victims
  • tricking people to reveal private or personal information
  • sending and forwarding mean texts or photos
  • posting photos of victims without their consent
  • sexual remarks or threats toward a victim

The Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace reports impacts from this activity ranging from loneliness, disillusionment and loss of self-esteem, distrust of people, self-harm, suicide or killing, even among children.

Why Don’t Victims Report Bullying Abuse?

Many times people or kids being abused by a bully don’t think anyone can help. Perhaps other events of abuse have gone unreported or reports of bullying haven’t been seriously addressed by authorities in the past. Communication is very important, when making new efforts to protect against bullying and abuse, informed everyone and trained them on how the process will work.

Only one of every three children being bullied will tell an adult. Abuse such as bullying also occurs in the workplace. Adults report this abuse even less. Why?

  • bullying makes people feel helpless, they worry that becoming a whistleblower or tattle-tale will make everything worse, others may think they are weird, others try to handle the situation by themselves
  • fear of retaliation from the bully if they tell
  • feelings or fear of humiliation, people or children are afraid or ashamed of what the bully is saying or doing, perhaps people will think it is their fault
  • bullies often pick targets that are already isolated, dealing with deficits or think that no one else would care about what is happening to them
  • targets fear others will abandon them or reject them as well, if someone is trying to protect them, victims might fear that if they tell anyone about the bullying, they will lose the support of the friend or helper

If an anonymous method of reporting online in place, a safe, convenient way to speak out will encourage victims of bullying and abuse; and bystanders to the incidents will have no fear of retaliation by the bully. Enabling staff and administrators time effective tools to create updated records as incidents occur, allows pro-active steps to be taken, plus repeat offenders and consequences are properly addressed. When a school experiences bullying behaviors on campus, parents can see reports first-hand of when, where and how severe bullying behaviors are happening.

Best Defense against Cyber Bullying:

There are many software packages now available for schools and other facilities that function as a deterrent against bullying, and for evidence and tracking of bullying behaviors. These school software tools offer many features for curbing bullying behaviors through documentation, tracking and reporting.

Tools you can use against bullying:

  • online incident reporting anonymously, for students and staff
  • case management includes tracking of interventions
  • extensive reports detailing repeat-offenders, hotspots on school campuses and other locations, trends and possible escalation of wrong behaviors
  • reminders for counselors, school teachers and administrators for follow-up on victims, reducing long-term effects from being bullied
  • track all procedures needed to follow all cases through to resolution

Studies have shown that when bullying offenses have been found out, offenders received most of the attention. Sometimes school authorities offer consolation to the victims, but they are then dismissed. New evidence shows that long-term psychological harm can stay with victims, but helping them process the events, and paying attention to the victim’s behaviors allows healing and reconciles emotional problems before long-term effects can take hold.

Benefits of Anti-bullying Software:

One major concern about having anti-bullying software on a site is security. Let it be common knowledge that your software is on “The Cloud” and there is no software loaded onto the facilities’ computer hardware. That means no amount of vandalism or hacking can present a security threat to anti-bullying records. This security in itself is a deterrent to bullies. This gives all information providers security that what they report online is secured from bullies as well. Security and confidence in the software provides assurance in the process, and helps people decide to use online reporting.

Anti-bullying software provides various forms for reporting and tracking. The “student reporting form” has pulled down features to help the student further explain many situations from cheating on tests, to property damages and bodily harm. Students or other persons being bullied can decide where, when and how they want to be contacted about the report, or not at all. These reports save administrators time and allow organized, secure storage of documentation for every bullying event.

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When you have a tracking system in place, repeat offenses can be handled and procedures are clearly outlined as to consequences and remedial applications for all involved. Psychiatric counselors appreciate the history and detailing included in software for anti-bullying because there are reporting features that track incidents, locations where they occur and repeat behavior frequency that can indicate various solutions quickly.

Four ways to stop bullying behavior:

  • Peer interventions
  • Family interventions
  • Interventions at the school level
  • Community level interventions

Peers that are not actively bullying, but serving as bystanders watching the behavior are taught to stop continued bullying by speaking up. If it is not safe to speak up to the bully, leave the scene and get an adult. Tell an adult as soon as possible and go online to make a report of the incident or several incidents. Some kind of report must result in discussions, parental involvement when appropriate, support of the victim or target, and intervention, counseling and anger-management training for the bully or bullies. If a group is involved in bullying, parents and other authority figures must be involved in dispersing the group.

Family interventions require parental cooperation. Some parents need to be made aware that if they handle violence and anger to control things in the home, they are creating bullies. Parents must acknowledge that their children are involved in bullying, if this doesn’t happen it can be a detriment to the progress of intervention solutions. If parents encourage bullying to prevent their children from being bullied themselves, counseling and other measures are required. If parents have the motivation to remove negative influences in the home and begin retraining the family on how to react to angry feelings and other emotions, they must insure that violent video games, movies and TV shows are removed from the home.

Do teachers have control over whether bullying is happening in their classrooms?

  • Bullying happens in all schools and all classrooms
  • Bullying is not always overtly visible to teachers while it’s happening
  • Teachers are not always great in being able to assess who is bullying and who is being bullied or trying to defend themselves from being bullied
  • Bullying happens at high rates, teachers need tools to verify and keep up with tracking and resolution documentation

Teachers have to establish guidelines in every class to address respectful attitudes and classroom behavior, and what are the consequences for violating these guidelines. It is the job of both students and teachers to make everyone feel welcome in the classroom. If students see or hear bullying, they are responsible to help the victims. Because of the disrespect and ramifications of bullying, it will not be tolerated. Teachers should learn for themselves who the popular kids are, why they are, who is not and who is being left out. Good leaders set positive examples and teachers can promote good leadership within students when they make genuine right choices.

Parents and community groups have a responsibility to monitor and make public those things that are detrimental to children’s healthy development, physically, mentally or emotionally. Communities can aid parents, families and schools in removing violence, such as children’s exposure to violent movies, television shows and violent video games, from common environments. They say it takes a village to raise healthy, productive and responsible children – that is where the community comes in.

Software for tracking, monitoring and ending bullying behaviors is available, and not expensive. Companies that have provided these tools are mostly interested in helping victims of bullying and abuse. If a school cannot afford the cost of the software, a concerned community can raise the money and set up the training and implementation on behalf of the effort to end cruelty and harassment of their youth. There is no longer any reason for a child’s torment to continue. Say something, do something and follow through with people who can help get the tools needed.

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