Creating A Positive Movement
Personal responsibility, empathy, caring, values of community and helpfulness, these are all very important to any program designed to stamp out bullying. The goal should never be to show those bullies what’s what, it should never be simply to “stop bullying,” flat out. Rather, antibullying needs to be a positive movement. In short, it’s not so much antibullying as it is pro-compassion. Children most guilty of bullying are, in fact, the ones most in need of understanding and of education on the matter as they are clearly the ones who don’t “get it.”
Preventing bullying is as much about teaching the right attitude as it is about creating the right atmosphere. There are a number of things that you can do in order to simply make bullying less likely to happen in your school.
An Adult Presence
Having an adult present in hallways, in the lunchroom and everywhere else that bullying frequently happens can be a tremendous help in preventing bullying. A security guard, for instance, in most states, is legally obligated not to get involved if a crime takes place, but their presence makes crime less likely to happen in the first place. Adults can have the same effect on bullying.
Kids don’t always trust adults, and they’re often put into a position where it actually makes more sense to bow to peer pressure than it does to do the right thing. For instance, if a student is labeled as a tattler, rat or snitch for reporting on a member of their peer group, which can cause a lot of problems on their end. The lesson there is ultimately that doing the right thing isn’t worth the effort. Adults need to combat that attitude by offering confidentiality for all students who report bullying and by building trust with those students.
Training the Entire Network Surrounding Your School
Preventing bullying isn’t just something for teachers to do. It’s up to students to prevent bullying. It’s up to parents to prevent bullying. When you isolate your responsibilities strictly to what you can do only at school, what you’re saying is “Once it leaves the campus, it’s not my problem.”
Coordinating with Other Schools
The idea that bullying isn’t okay is something relatively new to the school system, it’s something that we’re all still getting the hang of. Coordinating with others schools in your area and even on the web, reading articles on bullying in schools and how to prevent it, all of this can help you to improve your school and others. It’s up to all schools to share what works and what doesn’t if the problem is to be addressed effectively.