WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Labor Day means 2-million elementary, and high school students in the New York area will soon be back to school.
A new survey from the University of Michigan looked at parents’ top concerns about student health.
Bullying, cyber bullying, kids not getting enough exercise, and unhealthy eating were all on the list with bullying causing the most concern for parents.
When the doors at Ridgeway School in White Plains open for students on Tuesday, they’ll find a warm welcome, and a district that takes bullying seriously.
“Those days where we used to say, ‘toughen up’ or ‘just ignore them’ those days are long gone and thankfully so,” Dr. Joseph Ricca said.
Superintendent Joseph Ricca said the focus is on helping student build mutual respect and encouraging positive behavior.
Inevitably, in a district with more than 7,000 students, bullying happens.
Signs to look for include unexplained injuries, missing books or electronics, and excuses to stay home from school.
Ricca said bullying victims’ parents and schools need to partner.
“The school’s gonna have a lot of resources that are available to you. Things like giving your child a pass to go to the principal’s office, or nurse’s office if the situation arises without even raising their hand. Things like making sure that seating arrangements are taken care of, giving children coping strategies,” Ricca said.
On the other end, some parents will learn their child has been accused of bullying others. Experts suggest staying calm and keeping an open mind.
“That is almost a gift that the school is giving to the parent, alerting them to a behavior they may not be aware of or may be in denial about, so this is a wakeup call for parents to take a look at what may be going on with their kids emotionally, but also what may be gong on at home,” Dr. Jeffrey Gardere, Touro College said.
Home — where what’s being taught at school needs to be reinforced.
Several recent studies have shown the incidence of school bullying either staying level or dropping slightly.