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Tips and Resources for Parents

Protect Your Children from Bullying and Support Safe Schools

As adults, we tend to downplay or underestimate the amount and seriousness of bullying that occurs in our children's schools. But bullying is a serious, widespread problem that needs to be addressed to safeguard our children and provide safer, more secure learning environments.

A nationally representative U.S. study shows that 17 percent of all students reported having been bullied "sometimes" or more often within a school term. This amounts to almost one in five students. And, for every case reported to school officials, there are many more bullied students who suffer in silence.

Identifying the Effects of Bullying

As a parent, you may suspect your child is being bullied. If you are not quite sure, review these common signs to help you recognize if bullying is occurring. Your child may:

  • come home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings
  • have unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches from fighting
  • have few, if any, friends with whom he or she spends time
  • seem afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities with
  • peers (such as clubs or sports)
  • take a long, "illogical" route when walking to or from school
  • lose interest in school work or suddenly begin to do poorly in school
  • appear sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home
  • complain frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical problems
  • have trouble sleeping or frequent bad dreams
  • experience a loss of appetite
  • appear anxious and suffer from low self-esteem

Read more about how bullying affects children.

Help your child deal with bullying by talking to teachers, administrators, and staff and by taking advantage of the following resources (files are downloadable PDFs). 


Stop Bullying Now
A federal government resource that helps families understand and address bullying.

PACER Center
The nonprofit PACER Center (Parent Advocacy Center for Educational Rights) helps families of children with disabilities. The site includes resources to help parents address bullying issues with their children's school, specifically bullying of students with special needs.



© 2016 Hazelden Foundation