Updated: Dec 7, 2019
A great deal of bullying occurs on school grounds with nearly 50% of incidents happening in right in the classroom.
"Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom."-Oprah Winfrey
1 in 5 teachers witness bullying in the classroom and 77% of them lack confidence in educating students about bullying.
Students should feel safe at home and in school
Existing research indicates that bullying at school may be significantly reduced through comprehensive, school-wide programs that are designed to change norms for behavior.
A great deal of bullying that occurs is on school ground during school hours. Since students are at an increased risk of being involved in a bullying incident, whether as the victim or the bully, during school hours, it is essential for schools to develop methods to protect every student from an encounter
Creating a school environment that is characterized by warmth and involvement, provides firm limits on unacceptable behavior, consistently applies non-hostile consequences to violations of rules, and allows adults to act as both authority figures and role models, has seen to show a reduction of 50% when implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Further replication has seen a reduction of the behavior between 16% and 35% (Brown).
Here are a few suggestions in creating a positive school atmosphere:
1. Gather information from students, teachers, and if possible, parents, to determine the quality of peer relations in the school.
a. This can be completed by answering questionnaires anonymously
2. Based on answers given, implement or strengthen current antibullying policies within the school.
3. Create a School Safety Plan such as the one below:
1. Establishment of school-wide policies and classroom procedures pertaining to bullying that is distributed to students, parents, and teachers.
2. A depiction on bulletin boards and in hallways that school and classrooms are bully-free zones, and that students treat each other with respect.
3. Develop strategies to recognize and reward positive social behavior.
4. Speak with ALL involved in a bullying situation separately and in private.
5. Develop separate intervention plans for children who are bullied, children who participate as bystanders, and children who bully others. Some intervention plans may need to include steps to address circumstances where a student who has been bullied also bullies others or vice versa.
6. Be mindful of class seating arrangements to promote positive role models and limit access.
7. Hold periodic class meetings and assemblies to remind children of bullying prevention.
8. Contact parents of all students involved in a bullying incident; meet separately with parents of each student to provide information about bullying; explain the school’s bullying protocol, and address the specifics of the situation. Do not identify the names of other students. Provide support and clarifications to address parents’ emotional reactions, as well as solicit parent input and review intervention plan. Assess the extent of social/emotional/family problems in conjunction with the school counselor and ensure that appropriate referrals are given to parents.
9. Establish procedures for documenting episodes of bullying and intervention.
10. Assign all students classroom allies/buddies and periodically re-arrange the assignments.
Brown et al. theoretical framework to an in-school bully prevention program
Despite the preventative measures that can be taken in schools, instances of bullying will occur, and a systematic approach is required in dealing with them. Each school must devise its preferred method, but it is generally agreed that a school should take into account the severity or seriousness of an offense. Various criteria may be suggested in judging seriousness, such as (1) the perceived harmfulness of the action, (2) the perpetrator’s history of bullying others, (3) the amenability of the bully to recognize the injustice of his or her actions and to practice more prosocial behavior, and (4) the cooperativeness of the bully’s parents (Rigby)
Collaboration between teachers and parents can help greatly in reducing bullying. Generally, in talking with parents of bullies, teachers must be firm and clearly identify the offensive behavior without condemning the offending child. It is often possible to suggest alternative ways of dealing with the aggressive behavior of children when it occurs in the home. The aim should be to jointly consider ways in which the bullying behavior can be stopped— in the interest of the child. (Rigby)
Our Champions Against Bullying (C.A.B.) program is a 2-month curriculum designed for grade specific learning about bullying. Lesson plans are fun, engaging, and informative and are meant to maintain a continued effort in bullying education while also helping students learn how to create better peer relations. Click the C.A.B. link about and take a look at our program.
For more information on school-based initiatives, lesson plans, or for general inquiry, please contact our School Resource Liaison Michael@bullyproofingprevention.com
1. School-related violence increased from 179 to 245 between the 1990’s and 2013
2. Two leading causes of school-related violence were bullying (87%) and non-compliance and side effects from psychiatric drugs (12%).
3. Higher levels of bullying and victimization have been linked to inappropriate teacher responses, poor teacher-student relationships, lack of teacher support, and lack of school engagement in activities. (Swearer)
4. The majority of bullying victims experienced feelings of humiliation, which resulted in thoughts of suicide or revenge. (Lee)
5. Playgrounds and hallways are the two most common sites for altercations where adult supervision is minimal. (Smokowski)
6. specific anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying programs effectively reduce school-bullying behaviors by anywhere 10 – 20%. (Gaffney)