Sheriff and deputy discuss anti-bullying
Ripley County Sheriff Tom Grills and Chief Deputy Maj. David Pippin presented a class on anti-bullying to Southeastern Indiana YMCA summer campers recently.
Two sessions were held for different age groups, 5-8 and 9-12.
Grills noted, “Kids who are bullied carry a lot of self-esteem issues, and many other social issues as well.”
According to the Web site www.stopbullying.gov, “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally and excluding someone from a group on purpose.” The Web site is the product of the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice and has more information.
The site also commented, “There are many roles that kids can play. Kids can bully others, they can be bullied or they may witness bullying. When kids are involved in bullying, they often play more than one role. It is important to understand the multiple roles kids play in order to effectively prevent and respond to bullying.”
Some signs that may point to a bullying problem:
• Unexplainable injuries
• Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics or jewelry
• Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
• Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
• Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
• Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork or not wanting to go to school
• Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
• Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem
• Self-destructive behaviors, such as running away from home, harming themselves or talking about suicide.
Grills advised, “If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem.”
Pippin stated, “It was an honor for Sheriff Grills and I to be asked to come to the YMCA to offer this class. Last year we discussed drugs and the harmful effects. It is important to protect our children the best we can. Teaching them at a young age not to bully, or to stick up for those kids who are being bullied, is imperative. It is our hope that after the class, the campers understood the definition and how to avoid being bullied, or protect those who are being bullied, just like the police are sworn to do every day.”