Lisselox Veloz, a 16-year-old high school student, was arrested and suspended for bringing a paring knife to school. When questioned Veloz revealed that the knife was for her protection from a schoolmate, who had been bullying her outside school premises for months. Local Philadelphia news reported Veloz saying that the bully followed her home from school, wanting to fight.
Bullying outside the school has become a serious issue in the United States. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) states that a startling 3.2 million students are victims of moderate to serious bullying each year. Often these students are bullied by students from the same school and sometimes by people who live in the same neighborhood. For parents, teachers and school management, it is relatively easier to control bullying on school grounds. However, if bullying is happening outside the school, then parents and the school management would have to come up with more creative ways for prevention.
Pick-n-drop kids from school
Coming and going to school is a time where a teen's the most vulnerable. Parents can prevent any bullying attack on their child by dropping and picking them to and from school. Carpooling with neighbours can also help rectify the problem if parents do not have time. This is one of the most useful ways to prevent bullying.
Out-of-school time programs
These programs help keep the child busy in different activities after school, till the parents can pick them up after work. This is the best way to keep kids busy and away from harm’s length in their free time. Older teens can also benefit from these programs, as they also offer volunteering and part-time work, which can help them in the future.
Parents who have to work full-time to support their families and have no help when it comes to protecting their kids from bullying outside schools would have to teach them tactics to stay safe.
- Bully proof your child by teaching them to be careful on the streets. Make sure they have friends to accompany them on their route home. Bullies hesitate to pick on kids in a group
- They can take different routes (but safe) routes home to avoid coming in contact with the bullies
- Arm your kids with some necessary safety tools, like a safety alarm so they can alert people around and get some help on time.
The responsibility also falls on bystanders who have witnessed bullying. They should report the incident to concerned authorities and help protect the child. Parents, the school management and the community would have to work together and keep direct communication to control bullies and protect their children from this menace.