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Nassau Girl Scouts Offer Tips to Combat Bullies

Tips to make this year safer for all students.

The following is from the Girl Scouts of Nassau County:

With the new school year just around the corner, parents and children are gearing up to go back to school and possibly, back to bullying.

The Girl Scouts of Nassau County has recognized this behavior, relational aggression or bullying, defined as a behavior that harms others by damaging or manipulating one's relationships with peers, or by injuring one's feelings of social acceptance, and explains how this year bullying will be different.

“This year, New York State is cracking down on bullies,” said Donna Ceravolo, executive director of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. “As of July 1, all New York State schools are required to follow the Dignity for All Students Act. This act, which Girl Scouts of Nassau County proudly helped design, requires schools to take steps to prevent and respond to bullying.”

The Girl Scouts of Nassau County is offering the following advice to combat bullying this school year:

  • If your child is cyber bullied by another student, the school is required to take action. Schools have to address ALL bullying incidents, even those that occur off of school grounds.  
  • Educate yourself on your school’s bullying policy. Schools must post their bullying policies in a public place – on the school website, in the student handbook, etc.  
  • Partner with appropriate staff at your school, including teachers, administrators, and staff assigned to bullying incidents. Schools are required to have one staff person dedicated to investigating, resolving, and reporting all bullying incidents.  
  • Encourage your school administration or PTA to sponsor anti-bullying programs. Schools are required to provide bullying prevention programs to students. Many organizations offer these programs, including Girl Scouts of Nassau County.  
  • Schools are required to provide staff training on how to address bullying.  Girl Scouts of Nassau County offers staff training programs and can connect you with other organizations who also offer these programs. 

The Girl Scouts of Nassau County has been tackling relational aggression head on for more than six years. Schools, religious groups and community members have benefited from their programs. This past year alone they have conducted 80 workshops to more than 1,000 girls and 200 parents giving them the tools, tactics and language to address bullying and social aggression.

“We are happy to see the state get involved in this destructive behavior and hope that we can continue to educate the community about what to do when your child is bullied, in the hopes to stop it once and for all,” Ceravolo said.

For those wanting more info on anti-bullying programs offered by Girl Scouts, or advice on dealing with a specific bullying situation, please contact Eliza Zipper at 516-741-2550, ext. 245.

Frank August 29, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Strong Fathers mold Strong Daughters. My daughter was bullied for two years in SSHS by the Old Canterbury brat pack, not physically, but emotionally (the worst kind of bullying there is...) They made fun of her weight, braces, clothes, and choices in music... anything to make her come home so distraught, she would lock the door and cry herself to sleep... I did what any parent would do... pick up the pieces... I filed complaints with SSHS (in the 80s that went nowhere. All I got was sneers and comments like "she needs to toughen up"), filled her weekends with NYC trips (loves Broadway), community activities, around the house chores (she is great at rough carpentry... helped her find architecture as a calling). Then one day a couple of years ago, she thanked me for helping her get through that rough patch... Fathers, do not abandon your Daughters
Donna Ceravolo October 11, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Additional Clarification on the Dignity for All Students Act: This act applies only to public schools in New York. Although it currently covers bullying that happens on school grounds, there are efforts to include out- of-school incidents, including cyber bullying, for the 2013-14 year. The language on out-of-school coverage is general and parents should check with their school on cyber bullying policies. If no policy currently exists, Girl Scouts can help you advocate for one. Contact Eliza Zipper at zippere@gsnc.org or 516.741.2550 x254.
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