EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Bullying in school: Red flags teachers should spot

Aug 29, 2023, 5:30 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2023, 11:30 am

Image of two teenage girls looking on their cell phones, this story involves bullying and the red f...

FILE: A review of the Indicators of School Crime and Safety shows that only 20% of school bullying incidents are reported. (Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

SALT LAKE CITY — Statistics from the 2018 Indicators of School Crime and Safety show that only 20% of school bullying incidents were reported. So, how would know if your child is being bullied — if he or she did not tell you?

Travis Warnick, principal at Bountiful High School, joins Dave & Dujanovic to talk about red flags to mark bullying in schools.

 

There are several aspects to bullying in school that teachers and parents should know.  Warnick said it’s not necessarily a particular place, but a time. Namely, transition or unstructured times.

“In elementary, it might be at recess. In high schools, it might be passing periods or at lunch. Those unstructured times are so critical,” Warnick said.

He said the most common form of bullying he sees is cyber — “a lot of texts, Snapchat kind of things.”

Since so many kids reportedly aren’t telling anybody about being bullied, Warnick said that adults must be more engaged with the kids.

In other words, teachers can’t just hang out in the hallways of a school, he said. And being aware of what is normal or typical for individual kids is important too. He said he looks for a drastic change in behavior, which is a big red flag.

“If I knew the kid beforehand, and he was bubbly and fun to be around and then he is suddenly withdrawn and quiet, then I know that’s a conversation I need to have, or my counselors need to have, or a teacher needs to have, or a mentor needs to have.”

Putting an end to bullying

Bullying in schools ends where the Hope Squad begins, Warnick said. He said just like seeking help for mental help, seeking help for bullying needs to stop being stigmatized. 

Students insisting on being respected and not degraded is what his school is all about, the principal said.

“Dude, you have the right to be treated with respect on this campus. It’s not a bad thing. You’re not a tattletale. You’re not a snitch. You’re standing up for what is right.

“Everyone at Bountiful High School counts and matters. And you have the right to be treated with some dignity on this campus.”

Between genders, the principal said bullying is split evenly, and fear of reporting bullying is also even.

“A lot of times we talk to the bully, and they honestly don’t know that they’re being a bully. Great. My job is to teach them and help them understand what it looks like when you’re a bully and you’re being a jerk and knock it off.”

 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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Bullying in school: Red flags teachers should spot