CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It’s about that time of year when school administrators start to see signs of bullying.
School has been in session for a few weeks and a child’s behavior starts to shift.
“I have seen kids engaging in self-harm, or even suicide,” Pediatric psychologist Meghan Barlow said.
Barlow is referring to children at the elementary level. She’s stressing the importance of schools addressing the topic of bullying at a level that makes sense to them.
At Erieview Elementary School in Avon Lake, Principal David Schindler brought in “Omegaman.” He’s a super hero “Helping Everyone Respect Others.”
Schindler makes it his mission to teach children how to resolve conflict to help them in the older grades when they’re exposed to social media.
Barlow said in kindergarten and first grade there is some teasing at recess and some kids do not share toys.
In second or third grade, group forming starts. She says parents need to help explain to their child what bullying is.
“Just because somebody made you feel bad or did something you don’t like, doesn’t mean it’s bullying.”
Schindler and Barlow encourage parents to listen carefully and stay calm. Help your child think it through by talking to them.
“That sounds like a tricky situation. What do you think you’re going to do?”
Schindler said when a complaint is made he immediately informs appropriate staff members to pay attention.
“We like to set up a system of feedback,” said Schindler.”
At that point, parents and administrators decide how to handle things.
He reminds parents that looking into the situation from every angle takes a little time.
“I wish it was cut and dry but every situation is different,” said Schindler.