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PEATC, Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center
Assisting families of children with special needs since 1978
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Bullying Prevention

Boys laughing at another boy

Bullying affects everyone and family engagement plays a vital role in assisting individuals dealing with this widespread epidemic. Understanding the definition of bullying will help families identify when their loved one is being targeted. Bullying is aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power of imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma. It is important to know that bullying also includes cyber bullying. Children who bully continue their behavior when they realize it is hurting someone, and are satisfied by the feeling of power and control.

Whether you are the target of bullying, a witness or the person who bullies, it impacts everyone in different ways. Children with special needs are often the targets.

Join PEATC staff as we take a stand against bullying!

The Virginia Department of Education defines bullying as:

Any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power of imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma. Bullying includes cyberbullying.

Bullying does not include ordinary teasing, horseplay, arguments or peer conflict.

Warning signs of Bullying

  • Afraid of going to school, riding the bus or walking home
  • Unexplained cuts, bruises, scratches or marks on their body
  • Frequent mood swings (appears sad or depressed suddenly)
  • Loss of interest in things that use to bring them happiness
  • Appears anxious or guarded
  • Loss of appetite
  • Warning signs of a Bully

  • Seeks to dominate and manipulate their peers
  • Gains pleasure from others fear, discomfort and pain
  • Has little empathy or no compassion for others
  • Remains controlled during conflicts in which they are directly involved
  • Does not exhibit emotion or remorse for their negative behavior when confronted
  • Tests the boundaries of authority by committing minor infractions and waits to see the outcome
  • Is often defiant or oppositional towards adults
  • Disregards or breaks school and classroom rules
  • Defends negative actions insisting that they “deserved it”, “asked for it” or “provoked the behavior”
  • How can we prevent Bullying?

  • Prevent bullying with policies
  • Prevent bullying with consequences
  • Prevent bullying with family education
  • Supervision and appropriate intervention
  • Teach appropriate assertiveness to those who are targets of bullying
  • Staff training in schools can ensure that the bullying policies are enforced
  • Tell school administrators
  • Create a buddy system
  • Don’t let bullying be tolerated

  • Nobody Likes a Bully - How to Stop Bullying in Schools? - Am I a Bully?

    - How to Prevent Bullying?

    When bullying becomes pervasive, persistent and designed to humiliate or ridicule our children it requires some response from not only parents but also our schools.

    Education is vital to understanding the dynamics of bullying, how to stop it in our schools and most importantly how to deal with both victims. In most cases the bully is also a victim. These are all important facts each of us must familiarize ourselves with. Everyone has a responsibility to help stop bullying. There are many resources available that explain why people bully and how we can help them. Click here to learn more:

    Prevention through education should always be a part of the school’s curriculum.

    NO to Bullying!

    If you are interested in fostering a Bully Free Zone in your school please contact us. We have many resources and tools a parent, teacher or administrator can use to change the school culture as it relates to bullying. This includes, bullying prevention surveys, workshops, handouts and an incredible peer mentor program. We have great ideas you can use to "kick-off" your bullying prevention initiative.

    PEATC Bullying Prevention T-shirts (pictured below) are available in Youth and Adult sizes to 4X. Please contact us if you would like to order one to display your STAND against bullying.

    All proceeds go to PEATC's bullying prevention efforts in Virginia.

    front of shirt

    Bullying is traumatic and no child should be traumatized.

    back of shirt

    Feel free to contact our office for more information.

    In the meantime, check out PEATC's Bullying Prevention fact sheets.

    8003 Forbes Place, Suite 310
    Springfield, VA 22151
    703-923-0010 (phone)
    800-869-6782 (toll free)

    Copyright © 2017 PEATC - Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center. All rights reserved.

    Content on this site was produced, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, under CFDA # 84.328M, #84.310A, and #84.235F. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education, any other agency of the U.S. government, or any other source.

    PEATC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. You can reach PEATC by calling 703-923-0010 (Voice/TTY), or sending an e-mail to

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