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Empowering parents and teen girls in stopping bullying at school

Today’s guest is Matt Hart who is from southern Indiana. Matt has been a high school Theatre, English, Speech and Debate teacher for just over 20 years and also served as a theater director at Gibson Southern High School. More recently Matt has chosen to pursue an endeavor he is passionate about speaking to people about bullying. He gives a 45-minute presentation entitled “reACT to Bullying” to various schools across Indiana and continues to reach more schools throughout the country to help educate and stop bullying in our schools.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Matt’s personal story of being bullied
  • What is bullying
  • How to stop being bullied

Matt’s story

  • Matt shared his personal story of being bullied in middle school
  • His son was preparing for middle school and Matt’s experience of being bullied propelled him to explore what could he have done differently and how to help his son
  • Matt began to use his different skills from his various roles to put together a presentation for school staff
  • Parents sometimes have “sixth sense” if something is off
    • Look for patterns of behaviors being different for your middle school or high school child
    • Example of book bag being torn apart, your child eating less or not coming home with lunch bag, multiple emotional eruptions in one week that your child doesn’t typically have or do

What can parents do

  • [spp-tweet tweet=”Parents need to pause and remember “not to project onto your child that you have somehow failed them” if their child is being bullied”]
  • Do activity your daughter enjoys to connect with them
  • Begin conversations while in car ride home or doing an activity

Bullying defined

  • The behavior is mean – harm is intended, physical or emotional harm is attempting to be done to another person
  • Bullying is a repeated behavior, not a one time incident by same person and same type of repeated behaviors
  • Power Imbalance – Other person may be bigger or older or part of a peer group you (teen) are not part of

What is reACT

  • A equals Act-act calm and confident toward bully
  • C equals Call-an adult in your life that can support/help you
  • T equals Tell-it is not the victim or bullied child’s fault for being bullied
  • Role-play this at home with parents or friends to practice what you can do
  • Get involved in extracurricular activity that your child enjoys
  • Opposite of bullying is kindness-pay it forward with kindness to others

This podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, YouTube and iHeartRadio.

Matt’s Information:

Website: www.reACTtoBullying.org




Other Resources:



@BullyingUK on Twitter