October has been named National Bullying Prevention Month in effort to raise awareness of the negative effects bullying has on students’ social, emotional, and academic well being. Almost 32 percent of students report being bullied at school, according to the Edutopia article, “Bullying Prevention: Tips for Teachers, Principals, and Parents.” Students who are victims of bullying are more likely to be armed with a weapon at school, get in physical fights, and suffer from anxiety, depression, and mental health problems.
Author of the article, Anne O’Brien, shares that some people believe the issue with keeping bullying contained on school grounds may not be because teachers and parents don’t care, but rather that they don’t know how, when, or if they should intervene. In a study by the NEA and John Hopkins University it was found 98 percent of educators and education professionals surveyed believed it was their responsibility to intervene in a bullying situation. However, only 54 percent had training in their district’s bullying prevention policy.
So how can educators combat bullying in their schools if they aren’t trained in it?
The following five tips were adapted by Anne O’Brien from the NEA’s Bully Free: It Starts With Me and AFT’s See A Bully, Stop a Bully campaign resources. Educators can use these tips as a guide to intervening in a bullying scenario at their school.
- Know Your School and District Policies on Bullying Do your part to implement them effectively.
- Treat Students and Others with Warmth and Respect Let students know that you are available to listen and help them.
- Conduct Classroom Activities around Bullying Help your class identify bullying in books, TV shows and movies, and discuss the impact of that bullying and how it was/could be resolved. Hold class meetings in which students can talk about bullying and peer relations.
- Discuss Bullying with Colleagues As a group, you will be better able to monitor the school environment. Discuss both bullying in general and concerns regarding specific students.
- Take Immediate Action Failure to act provides tacit approval of the behavior and can cause it to spread.
Do you have any tips to add to the list? To read Anne O’Brien’s full article with further tips for bullying prevention for parents and principals read her article, “Bullying Prevention: Tips for Teachers, Principals, and Parents.”
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to take on bullying this month, read my blog “Illustrate Bully Prevention in the Classroom with Bitstrips” to see how art and technology are combining to fight for the cause.
“Bullying Prevention: Tips for Teachers, Principals, and Parents,” by Anne Obrien. 5 October 2011. Edutopia. Accessed on 7 October 2011. <http://www.edutopia.org/blog/bullying-prevention-tips-teachers-parents-anne-obrien>