In honor of Bullying Prevention month, we would like to bring attention to a horrific epidemic that is happening in schools all over.
According to stopbullying.gov, “Only about 20 to 30% of students notify adults about being bullied” and “62% of school staff have witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month.” These statistics are both shocking and eye-opening.
Unfortunately, there is not a handbook with simple instructions on how to perfectly handle every scenario. Bullying comes in four different categories. The first is physical. This generally comes from touch or through personal belongings. Next is done verbally. These are the hurtful words or threats said to another person or student. Third, is through mental or social bullying. This form usually goes deeper than just a hurtful word or two; it could potentially hurt someone’s relationships, friendships, or even their reputation. Lastly, of which is most difficult to detect and the most damaging, is cyberbullying. These are threats or nasty words said online via numerous social media websites and likely will be there in some way, shape or form, forever.
Now that you are able to identify different forms of bullying, as well as some facts, here are some tips that have been proven to be effective in dealing with bullying:
- Open up the conversation and create dialogues with your students
-In the beginning of each year, talk to students about how serious bullying can be and the outcomes that can happen as a result of bullying. Have students act out scenes or scenarios so they can properly understand what to do if there is a problem. Have the hard conversations in private and promptly so that the issue can be resolved and no further issues can arise.
- Lead by example
It is surprising the things students pick up, even if you are not verbally saying anything to them. Be respectful of others and in front of others (students and faculty members). This will illustrate to students how to act with others and that it is not okay to be rude to another person, no matter what.
- Establish an open door environment
Be approachable to students. Make it a point to be very approachable to your students that it is perfectly okay and appropriate reporting or talking to you about a stressful situation. That way if students have questions, comments, or concerns, they can feel comfortable coming to you for anything.
- Be aware of the policy that is put in place for bullying
If you are unaware of the policies, ask around to other faculty members and so that you are able to follow the appropriate protocol. If you would like to go above and beyond, ask around for training that you can do.
- Remind, Repeat, and Reinforce to students frequently of action steps
As teachers, repeating directions sounds like a task. However, reminding students frequently about this subject matter reinforcing the importance of not bullying and remind students you are always there for them.
- Don’t abandon the bully
There are multiple sides to each story. Try to be as empathic as you can to all sides. Getting a full understanding of the situation will help you better be able to assess the situation and because bullies are people too. Try to understand the underlying reason for their behavior.
- Make a digital character to demonstrate healthy online behaviors
Being that cyberbullying generally happens off of school grounds, it can be hard to monitor or implement. To help students understand internet behaviors, bring a character or persona to teach them smart behaviors while using the internet. Encourage younger students to ask parents’ permission before using the internet.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Dealing with bullies can be stressful, for anyone, even if you are not the students involved in the situation. Talk with a trusted faculty member about how they have gone about bullying in their classroom. Happy teachers create happy students!
With knowing a few statistics and these 8 suggestions, hopefully, they can be effective for you and your classroom as well!
For more up to date information on bullying and its effects, be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn, #Humanuscorp on Instagram with your success stories, and follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ so that we can help you help others!
SOURCES: https://www.stopbullying.gov/media/facts/index.html https://www.huffingtonpost.com/franklin-schargel/bullying-what-schools-par_b_4103901.html,