DISCUSS WITH CHILDREN...
1. Keep your hands to yourself. Settle disagreements with words, not fists or weapons. (Parents…model non-violent behavior at home.)
2. If a bully provokes you, stay strong. Remember: If you react, he is in control. If you stay cool and calm, you are in control. Walk away!
3. If disputes escalate, seek help! Don’t form an audience. Encourage others to stop tolerating bad behavior.
4. Be alert! Find safe routes for walking to and from school, avoid hot spots (bully or drug house, group hang outs).
5. Know all your neighbors. (Parents: Ask trusted neighbors to be a safe house, if you are away and your child needs help.)
6. Trust your instincts! If they feel threatened or sense danger, get away fast. Run to a group of people, a lighted area or in a store for help.
7. Report any threats, destruction of property or suspicious activities to an adult, police officer or a school authority.
8. NEVER go with someone you don’t know and trust, even if he/she sounds like a nice person. If forced, fight back and run.
9. Don’t use alcohol or drugs. They reduce your self-awareness and make you an easy target for sexual assault and abuse.
10. If someone tries to be mean to you speak up with confidence and walk away. Report if the bad behavior persists. (Parent: Role-play with children what you want them to do.)
11. Hang out with friends who show support for each other. Avoid “friends” who bully, criticize, use put downs and make you feel bad.
12. Get involved in school and community activities (yearbook, chorus, plays, arts, church) to strengthen your network of supportive friend. (Parents: Children need a variety of friends to see and evaluate healthy relationships.)
13. Be a role model for others to follow. Volunteer at school or in the community. Learn to be a leader and encourage friends to join you.
14. Create a network of positive friends, family, neighbors and a religious family to help strengthen your character and ability to get along. A strong conscience (self-awareness) will keep you safe from harm.
For more information and resources: www.safekidsnow.com