“Bullying On The School Bus” by Melissa Kunz & Deputy Sheriff

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office
School Bus Driver Presentation
Bullying on the School
Given by Victim Advocate
Melissa Kunz and Deputy
Sheriff Lawrence Wynn
March 30th, 2011
What is Bullying?
"A person is bullied when he or she is
exposed, repeatedly and over time, to
negative actions on the part of one or
more other persons, and he or she
has difficulty defending himself or
- Dan Olweus, creator of the Olweus
Bullying Prevention Program
Types of Bullying
1.Verbal bullying including derogatory
comments and bad names
2. Bullying through social exclusion or isolation
3. Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking,
shoving, and spitting
4. Bullying through lies and false rumors
5. Having money or other things taken or
damaged by students who bully
6. Being threatened or being forced to do things
by students who bully
7. Racial bullying
8. Sexual bullying
9. Cyber bullying (via cell phone or Internet)
Why Students Bully
1. Students who bully have strong
needs for power and (negative)
2. Students who bully find satisfaction in
causing injury and suffering to other
3. Students who bully are often
rewarded in some way for their behavior
with material or psychological rewards
Impact of Bullying
• Depression
• Low self-esteem
• Health problems
• Poor grades
• Suicidal thoughts
Nationwide, school
buses are the
SECOND most frequent
location of bullying
behind the playground.
Why do Bullies Pick the School
For bullies interested in picking on their peers, the
school bus is an ideal location. Supervision is
generally minimal - before boarding the bus, the
hectic rush of activity makes small bullying tactics
hard to notice, and while on the bus, the only adult
may be the driver, who cannot react to every
incident because he or she is operating the vehicle.
Because the bus is a small, closed space, victims of
bullying have no place to retreat to, and they often
have no choice but to ride the bus, making them
easy and regular targets. This makes students
vulnerable to intimidation and physical abuse on the
bus. Parents, teachers and other students need to
be aware of these problems and how to prevent
them for the safety of everyone on the bus.
The Dangers of Bus Bullying
While there is no doubt that bullying is dangerous to the
student being tormented - in addition to physical harm,
constant bullying tactics can damage a child's
confidence, self-esteem and other personality traits bullying is dangerous to everyone in the vehicle.
Because of the close quarters, other students can easily
be drawn into the action, either as additional victims or
succumbing to the peer pressure to be a bully
themselves. Severe bullying can distract the bus driver,
increasing the risk of vehicular accidents that can
severely injure students, other motorists and
pedestrians. Bullying can also disrupt students'
education by making them fearful of going to school and
forcing them to focus on the intimation rather than
On the Bus Bully Lookout
Signs of School Bus Bullying
• Fear of going to school, bus stop
or riding the bus.
• Habitually delaying or otherwise
deliberately trying to miss the bus.
• Continually asking for rides to
More Signs of School Bus
• Finding excuses to ride with friends
instead of the bus.
• Ripped clothes, missing possessions, or
signs of physical abuse that a teacher or
bus driver is unable to report happening in
class or on the bus.
It is estimated that
nearly ONE IN FIVE
students is subjected
to school bus bullying.
A Parent's Perspective
My daughter was bullied during her 4 years in
high school. Apparently other students didn’t
like her hair style and that she dressed
differently than they did. She didn’t have any
friends so was mostly by herself, which seems
to be a good target for students that want to
bully. She did notice that most of the time the
bullies were not alone, they always traveled
with a friend or friends. I don’t believe they
would bully other students if they too were by
Parent’s Perspective
Bullies seem to get some type of reward out
of seeing that they have broken you.
Sometimes my daughter was able to turn the
table on them by just giving them an
intimidating look, a couple of times the friend
of the bully actually said “You better leave her
alone and not make her mad”. I guess they
were not sure what she was going to do at
that point.
Scenario 1
Cheryl, Candace, and Alicia are friends and in 7th grade.
Cheryl and Alicia live in a trailer park with their families. All
three girls ride the school bus home in the afternoon.
Amanda and Sarah, both 8th graders, also ride the same
bus in the afternoon. During the fall, Amanda and Sarah
start repeatedly calling Cheryl and Alicia “White trailer
trash” and make fun of their clothes and belongings. One
day, Candace, frustrated with the on-going treatment of
her friends, shouts at Amanda and Sarah, “Why don’t you
two stupid snobs shut up and leave Cheryl and Alicia
alone!” Amanda gets up and hits Candace and says, “You
shut up! You’re just a stupid 7th grader. Why do you hang
out with those two trailer trash idiots anyway?” Several
students and the bus driver witness this interaction.
What can we do?
Scenario 2
My 11 year old son is getting bullied at the bus
stop by a 13 yr old. This kid has always been a
problem in the neighborhood but his parents do
nothing to discipline him. I don't think they really
believe their son is doing anything wrong. He
does things to humiliate my son, like come up
behind him and steal his backpack or verbally
harass him in front of the other kids. My son
doesn't want to make things worse, so he tries to
ignore it, but I know it is getting to him. He says
he doesn't want us (his parents) to get involved,
but I don't think he can resolve this on his own.
Any suggestions?
What can we do?
Scenario 3
My son has just started secondary school and wants to catch the
school bus along with his friends. Unfortunately there is one
boy in particular who came from a different primary school
who seems to have it in for my son and his friends. He calls
names, threatens to get them and punches them, takes the
school bags and empties them all on the bus. My son can be
quite sensitive but was trying to handle it himself. He tried
punching back - which is unusual for him - but the boy just
punches back harder, he tries not to sit near him and ignores
him but the boy simply moves closer as others get off. I've
spoken to the school, as have other parents about this boy,
and they have banned him from going upstairs on the bus but
he still goes up there. Apparently he is with an older boy who
is "really hard" and that is why everyone is scared to stand up
for each other. I expect some messing about on a school bus,
kids without supervision usually do, but when my son comes
home with bruises from being punched it is not funny. I have
started to pick him up myself this week, but i just feel that the
bully has won and is still getting the bus and my son can't.
What can we do?
Everyone’s Children
"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's
children. We must recognize that the welfare of our
children and grandchildren is intimately linked to the
welfare of all other people's children. After all, when
one of our children needs life-saving surgery,
someone else's child will perform it. If one of our
children is threatened or harmed by violence,
someone else's child will be responsible for the
violent act. The good life for your own children can
be secured only if a good life is also secured for all
other people's children."
- Dr. Lilian G. Katz, psychologist and educator
• http://www.olweus.org/public/bullying.page
• http://www.pinellas.k12.fl.us/SDFS/files/49
• http://hrc.vermont.gov/sites/hrc/files/pdfs/h
Sources Continued
• http://forums.familyeducation.com/discuss/
• http://www.netmums.com/coffeehouse/chil
• http://www.zonapellucida.com/importance3.html
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