Tips for Scouting Leaders. Providing a safe space for all Scouts

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Be sure to follow the BSA’s Youth Protection Policy

Text of Tips for Scouting Leaders. Providing a safe space for all Scouts

Tips for Scouting Leaders Providing a safe space for all Scouts Be sure to follow the BSAs Youth Protection Policy What is Bullying?...bullying has been defined as a subcategory of interpersonal aggression characterized by intentionality, repetition, and an imbalance of power, with abuse of power being a primary distinction between bullying and other forms of aggression. AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST Journal of the American Psychological Association Special Issue: School Bullying and Victimization May-June 2015 Prevalence The 2013 California Healthy Kids Survey for the Acalanes Union High School District showed: 31% of their students reported experiencing bullying or harassment in the last 12 months 14% of their students reporting experiencing cyberbullying in the last 12 months. GLSEN 2013 National Climate Survey found: 74.1% of LGBT students were verbally harassed in the last 12 months 36.2% of LGBT students were physically harassed in the last 12 months 16.5% of LGBT students were physically assaulted in the last 12 months 49.0% of LGBT students experienced electronic harassment in the last 12 months. Consequences Stresses of being bullied can interfere with student's engagement and learning in school Children and youth who are bullied are more likely than other children to be depressed, lonely, anxious, have low self-esteem, feel unwell, and think about suicide Research shows that bullying can be a sign of other serious antisocial and/or violent behavior. Children and youth who frequently bully their peers are more likely than others to get into frequent fights, be injured in a fight, vandalize or steal property, drink alcohol, smoke, be truant from school, drop out of school, and carry a weapon Bullying also has an impact on other students at school who are bystanders to bullying. Bullying creates a climate of fear and disrespect in schools and has a negative impact on student learning Adult Response Adults are often unaware of bullying problems In one study, 70% of teachers believed that teachers intervene almost always in bullying situations; only 25% of students agreed with this assessment 25% of teachers see nothing wrong with bullying or putdowns and consequently intervene in only 4% of bullying incidents Students often feel that adult intervention is infrequent and unhelpful and they often fear that telling adults will only bring more harassment from bullies In a survey of students in 14 elementary and middle schools in Massachusetts, more than 30% believed that adults did little or nothing to help in bullying incidents Adult Response Well so-and-so practically asks for it. We shouldnt get involved - its about something thats going on at school. I dont think that kid will ever fit in There is no excuse for bullying. The person being bullied, regardless of their popularity, personality, age, or level of maturity, is never at fault. How can you help? Dont do further damage Spend time with the Scout Praise the Scout Help the Scout Feel Safe Communicate Communicate Dont force a meeting Communicate Provide Information Encourage and support the Scout Encourage and Support Encourage and support the Scout Parents Encourage and support the Scout Follow Up Create an Environment Create the expectation that scouts will be upstanders not bystanders. Have older scouts work with younger scouts. Teach scouts to Celebrate Differences Practice what you teach. We have all pledged to follow the scout law and the scout oath. Perhaps you think these are just words that you had to memorize, they arent. As members of this troop you have pledged to follow these principles. There is nothing in the Scout Law that will allow you to participate in or tolerate bullying of any kind. Create an Environment Work with schools and the community on Bullying Prevention and Kindness Programs. Have Instructors research and present information to patrols. Show short You-Tube Videos when a projector is available. Have the scouts prepare or revise a bullying prevention policy. Martin Luther King Jr said: He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. The standards of the scout oath prohibit you from standing around when you see someone being bullied. If its safe to do so you must intervene. If its not safe to do so you must get an adult. These are your only two choices. Walking away and doing nothing is not an acceptable option. Period. Youre Boy Scouts, youve agreed to make the Scout Oath and the Scout Law part of your lives and we hold you to higher standards. Remember To help other people at all times And A Scout is Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, and Kind and also Brave! Links to resources: A scout is brave. Some of you probably think bravery is running into a burning building and saving a life, something youll get an award for. Its not. Real bravery is something you can do everyday. Real bravery is standing up to a bully knowing that youre making yourself a target. Knowing that your friends are going to call you names, maybe even ostracize you for awhile. Real bravery is helping out the kid who you may not even like. Real bravery is talking a victim into reporting what happened and going with him to report it. Real bravery is not tolerating bullying even when its your friends who are doing it. Real bravery means telling an adult when you need to. Real bravery is doing what you know is right; always. We all expect you to behave in accordance with the scout law and the scout oath. Think about what you can do to make this happen.