Are you a bully? Are you a victim?

It’s been part of society since the beginning of time, bullying.  One person is bigger or more dominate and they take advantage of someone else.

Who is a bully?

The dictionary says to  bully is  to frighten, hurt, or threaten (a smaller or weaker person) : to act like a bully toward (someone): to cause (someone) to do something by making threats or insults or by using force.  (Source Merriam-Webster Dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/).  There are many degree’s and levels of bullying.  A few common examples are:  physically hurting/attacking someone, Malicious teasing, spreading hurtful rumors or gossip, cyber bullying, harassment of sorts, ganging up on someone or isolating someone and intimidating them.  Sending malicious or threatening text, emails, instant messages, blogs, social media and other electronic media is also bullying.

Are you a bully?  Are you hurting, threatening someone or using your strength, size or social status in a mean way? Chances are you are a bully.  It takes a lot of maturity to step back and admit that you are a bully!  The first step to correcting your behavior is to admit that you are a bully.

If bullies would just stop and put themselves in the other person’s shoes and really think about how that would make them feel. if you are a bully you may need to seek guidance from a trusted adult, school official or professional.  There is NOTHING wrong with asking for help to stop a cycle of bullying for the victim or the bully.

School and clubs

Bullying happens in all schools, it’s almost not avoidable.  If you or your child is being bullied, chances are others are as well.  many schools have bullying prevention programs that can help reduce bullying.  It is ALWAYS ok to go to the school’s councilor, coach, trusted adult or family member and talk about any bullying that has occurred.  The person being bullies is NOT at fault,  that person is a victim and needs help!

Adult intervention at school

Parents and adults please don’t be afraid to step up and be the adult in any situation where bullying occurs.  It’s best to keep a writing record documenting the bullying with details, times, dates and whom was there. DO NOT blame the victim, it’s not there fault.  Calling the school and reporting bullying is a great start.  Talk directly to the teacher(s) let them know what you have information on and make them aware of the situation.  Once the teachers are aware of the situation you can expect action to be taken by the school.  Ask the teacher(s) what procedures, rules and actions are in place to help the child.  If this does not help please go to the school’s administration and talk with the child’s assistant principal. The school wants to stop bullying but they can’t without YOUR help, adults.

On-line

On-line many times a bully will hid behind a fake profile, name or account to spread rumors, lies, and false information.   A quick and easy way to help solve this issue is to report and block anyone that you don’t know that sends you a random message or information that appears to be attacking or harming someone else.  Sometimes bully’s think they are trying to “help” others but usually if they are bent on hurting or spreading this type info, they are probably in it for another reason.

Are you being bullied?

If so it is important that you tell someone, a  trusted adult.  Your peers usually cannot help you and that might make it worse.  Get another adult involved.  Don’t be afraid to stand up to the bully in a public place in a non-aggressive posture, Don’t fight them, if if becomes physical get away.  There is NOTHING wrong with walking away from a physical encounter, heck RUN if you need to!  Another strategy to help you is to stay in a group when possible and to always try to have a few friends around.

As a bully it is important NOT to fight back or bully the other person, or find someone to bully them.  I know it’s NOT your fault, they are the one in the wrong.  Keeping it to yourself will not make it go away.  Avoid the bully if possible but don’t skip school or miss other activities because they might be there!

Written by: Matthew Hite, Amarillo, TX

Additional resources:

Stop Bullying
http://www.stopbullying.gov/kids/

Stop Bullying now
http://stopbullyingnow.com/

Stop Bullying Pledge and games
http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/promos/stopbullying/

 

 

Advertisements

On-line Predators

What you should know about On-line Predators

Written by: Matthew Hite; Amarillo, TX

Preface:

In the month of April the AAYC is focusing on Child Abuse prevention.  One of the often forgotten ways a minor is exploited is over the internet, on their phones and other mobile devices.  PLEASE take a few minutes to read this and share this with youth, parents and those that are around children.  PREDATORS BEWARE!

The information age

Today we are in the age of technology.  We spend hours a day viewing and working on technology items.  Whether it’s communicating with friends and family, sharing life events, playing games, watching videos, or even watching TV, YOU are being exposed to the age of technology.  Computer and online exploration opens a world of possibilities for children and can expand their horizons and expose them to different cultures, ways of life, and current events.  They can also be exposed to dangers and inappropriate content/contacts while exploring the internet highway.

There are individuals who attempt to sexually exploit youth through the use of the internet, social media and online services.

Your Child

Many times, children are curious and interested in sexually explicit material.  Some adolescent children may also be attracted to and lured by online offenders close to their age or who have the same interest and activities. Children can be seduced and most likely manipulated by some scary people.

If your child is approached by someone online that they don’t know and there is questionable activity going on YOU as a parent need to step in right away.  Bottom-line is that kids can be tricked with fake accounts, lieing adults and manipulating offenders.

Precautions parents should all take:

Teach your child and communicate with them

Explains what you expect from your child’s on-line use; set limits, explain dangers of the internet.  Let them know that it is NEVER ok to send explicit pictures to ANYONE on the internet or over their phone.   Many parents never discuss these things because they are uncomfortable.  This should be a continuing talk at the dinner table.

Access to accounts

Always maintain access to your child’s accounts.  Take time to check the accounts and see what is being said and done.  Be up-front with your child and let them know that you will be checking and monitoring their account.  Log-in and check their online accounts on a regular basis.  It might be best to do it with your child present so that they don’t feel like you are prying and they know exactly what is going on.

Set-up your own account

One deterrent to these people is to see active adults on-line comments and overseeing the account.  Make positive comments and like your child’s pictures.  Spending a few moments a week on a Social media account can really help and will help you monitor who is liking, comments and involved in your child’s on-line life.

Computer location

Keep computers in a common room or area of the house where the computer screen is visible to others in the household throughout internet sessions.  Disabling the web-cam or taping over the lens unless you use it for positive communications for  time to time can help as well.

Personal Information

Make sure that person information lie address phone, birthdate and other information is not being broadcast on your child’s account.

Mobile Devices

In todays world we face yet more problems,  mobile devices.  I recommend that parents check these devices on a regular basis as well.  Also I recommend that the devices be charged in a central location in the house and not be in the child’s room at night.  Please utilize parental control on your mobile devices and check what your child is viewing on a regular basis.

Prevention

If parents are informed and active it is much less likely that a predator will take interest in your child’s life.  We were all children at one time and as the age of technology evolves we must be more diligent to protect our youth because, now, more than ever children have explicit resources right at their fingertips.

On-line resources

There are thousands of resources on-line to help you learn, identify and report on-line predators.  We all need to watch and be vigilant in stopping inappropriate activities and making the internet a safer place for all.

Most social media sites like Facebook have a large area for online safety and option where you can secure an account and report an any suspicious activities.

AAYC

For more info about the AAYC (Amarillo Activity Youth Center) please visit our Official web-site http://www.amarilloyouth.org.  Follow us on instagram @amarilloyouth. Please like us on FaceBook as well: http://www.facebook.com/373aayc.

 

 

AAYC Host Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Event

On April 5, 2014 we hosted a March Against Child Abuse and a Child abuse prevention event in the Gym of the AAYC.

This was a great community wide event with performers and leaders throughout the city involved including Troop 89 Boy Scouts of Amarillo, Amarillo Parks and Rec, AAYC Youth Leadership Cabinet, A-team rentals, Tommy the Hacker of KissFM, DJ Karaoke Joe, The New Life Church youth band, casa DJ Ro Ro, Cody Perez Photography and many others from all over the community.  The event also included a March for awareness through downtown Amarillo.  The goal of the event was to educate and raise awareness of Child Abuse.

Here is the link to the Article in the Local news paper, Amarillo Globe News

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2014-04-05/youth-center-fights-child-abuse

Photos are posted up on the AAYC Facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/373aayc

Also check out more info about the AAYC at

http://www.amarilloyouth.org

 

2014 Karing4Kids; child Abuse Prevention Event

April 5, 2014

AAYC’s First annual Child Abuse prevention event, a part of the AAYC Child Safety Initiative.

The 1st Annual AAYC Karing4 Kids Child Abuse Prevention Event April 5, 2015 photo by Matt Hite

The 1st Annual AAYC Karing4 Kids Child Abuse Prevention Event April 5, 2015

Amarillo Globe News Article:

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2014-04-05/youth-center-fights-child-abuse

Nearly 200 came out to support Amarillo Activity Youth Center as it participated in the national March Against Child Abuse on Saturday.

Participants of all ages, including some students from the AAYC, marched several blocks in downtown Amarillo holding handmade signs with anti-child abuse messages.

The AAYC offers many classes for Amarillo youth, including fencing, community service and basketball, and many of the students came out to support the event.

“Our kids made the signs,” said Matt Hite, AAYC executive director.

Although the march had been done before, this was the first time AAYC hosted an event to coincide with the march at its facility at 816 South Van Buren St.

Speakers from the community came out to share personal stories and offer their talents.

Some of the speakers included Tommy the Hacker of Kiss FM, DJ Karaoke Joe, the New Life Church youth band and a guest speaker from CASA.

“We wanted to make it fun,” said Vee Montanez, event coordinator.

Montanez said she helped plan the walk last year, but an event like the one held Saturday had never been done before. She asked friends in the area to participate in hopes of bringing people together and making the event more fun.

The event offered many activities, but the focus was on the prevention of child abuse.

AAYC's Karing4kids, 2013

AAYC’s 1st annual Child Abuse Prevention Event in Amarillo, Texas

“A lot of times the abuse goes unpunished,” said Andria Keelin, event co-coordinator.

Keelin said the event’s purpose was to raise awareness about just how many children are abused.

Youtube Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmxjyyfu2fg

Facebook Pictures

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.682582065142784.1073741842.132243203510009&type=3