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Is it rude, is it mean, or is it bullying?

Dear Families,

Recently I have noticed that the word "bullying" is being used more frequently by parents and kids to describe general conflicts that they have with others. What is concerning about this is that many times when working with kids around their conflicts, we find that the behavior students are calling "bullying" ends up being a conflict between two peers and not true bullying. Of course, children need support and guidance from trusted people in their life to learn how to address and solve these conflicts and they absolutely need support and help if they find themselves in a situation where they are being bullied. However, the overuse of the word "bullying" and even the word "bully" causes bullying to be misunderstood and potentially missed by parents, teacher, and even kids since the overuse of the word takes away focus from potential true cases of bullying. 


Over the next few months, we will be working with our Comets to help them understand the important difference between conflict and bullying. We hope that by doing this, we can reserve the word "bully" and "bullying" for the times when something rises to that level. You can help too by being careful about how and when those words are used. With this additional information, we are hoping that our students are more prepared to prevent and/or recognize bullying if it ever were to occur so that it can be stopped immediately. 


Signe Whitson, a published school counselor, has helped define what bullying is and what it isn't with these student/parent friendly definitions...

RUDE=Inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else. 

MEAN=Purposefully saying something or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice).

BULLYING=intentional aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power. 


Please read Signe Whtison's article published in Psychology Today entitled Is it Rude, Is it Mean, or is it Bullying? 



Mr. T, Principal 

Posted by: Aaron Tarzian Published:2/22/18
Audience: Homepage, Our School, Our School and Homepage

Non-Discrimination Statement

San Ramon Valley Unified School District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression; or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

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