If you see something, definitely say something!

School is back in session in Central Florida and local school districts have heightened their safety awareness. It is important that adults equip children with methods to avoid and stop bullying and ensure they are comfortable sharing their concerns with an adult. Students are in school more than they are at home. They know what is happening and if something is amiss. It’s time for us to listen to them and follow up on concerns they bring home to us.

Mental Health issues are of concern among our children.

Teenagers need to know that they shouldn’t ignore signs, threats, or social media posts that might indicate a student is dangerous or a threat to a school or to themselves. They should not make public accusations, but instead should talk to a trusted adult to share what they have seen or heard.

Drugs, alcohol, or weapons have no place on campus. Remind students that they can anonymously make reports of any of these things they may see on campus. They can utilize the speak out hotline at 800-423-tips or speakouthotline.org

Bullying is prevalent in our school system. Stopbullying.gov offers some advice to stop bullying as well as what to do if you are bullied. Share these with the children in your life.
•Stop and think before you say or do something that could hurt someone.
•If you feel like being mean to someone, find something else to do. Play a game, watch TV, or talk to a friend.
•Talk to an adult you trust. They can help you find ways to be nicer to others.
•Keep in mind that everyone is different. Not better or worse. Just different.
•If you think you have bullied someone in the past, apologize. Everyone feels better.

What to Do If You’re Bullied

•Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.
•If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
•Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
•Stay away from places where bullying happens.
•Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.

Together we can help our children become aware of their surroundings and make our schools safer.

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