Due to an increase in awareness of bullying in schools a number of anti-bullying campaigns have been launched. Many schools have strict policies in place in order to deal with bullying once it has occurred but not enough is being done to prevent bullying in schools. The tips in this article show how everyone in school can play a part in making schools a bully-free zone.
Students who are bullied in school can suffer from physical injuries as well as emotional trauma. The bullying may effect their grades as they struggle to cope with the bullying and in some cases they may decide not to come to school at all to escape bullying. In extreme cases bullied students may take matters into their own hands and bring a weapon in school for defence.
Bullying can be prevented at school if all those present do their part in preventing it. Here are prevention tips for bullying in schools:
Bullying prevention tips for Principles/Headteachers:
School values: Develop a set of values that your school holds dearly and ensure all pupils understand them and follow them. Respect for instance towards teachers and fellow students is a value that many schools cherish.
Enforce good behaviour: Students need to be told of how you want and expect them to behave. Clear instructions for new students in particular is helpful to prevent bullying in schools.
Teacher support: In order to prevent bullying in schools it is important that you work with teachers so that you can stamp out bullying quickly. If teachers see someone being bullied they should know what to do.
Increase supervision: Bullying often occurs when there is no one to see it and one way to prevent bullying in school is to increase supervision. There should be an adult present where students are interacting with each other.
Work with students: Principles should engage with their students to prevent bullying in schools. Find out their views and the full extent of the problem. Motivate students to report bullying if they see it.
Non-violence: You should promote a non-violent environment in your school and take strong action when this is breached. Weapons in school should be banned but also you need to take steps to ensure bullies are punished.
Monitor: Measures that you have taken to prevent bullying or to deal with bullying should be monitored to see how successful they were. You could change and readjust your methods if they are failing.
Bullying prevention tips for Teachers:
Teach: In your classroom you should make your expectations known of how you expect students to behave. Create a warm and friendly environment as this could decrease the chances of bullying occurring.
Bullying: You could use a wide range of resources (books, stories or movies) to help your students learn about bullying and what can be done about it. If students are aware of the help available they could take it when they need it.
Interact: A bullied student may wish to turn to someone they trust to deal with bullying so you as a teacher could help them. In order for them to trust you it is important for you to establish a strong relationship with them.
School policy: If your school does very little regarding bullying you could bring the issue up as a means of preventing bullying in school. Talk to your colleagues to gather support and talk to those in charge.
Preventing bullying: Bullies are more likely to target students who have few or no friends. You could prevent them being bullied by helping students to socialize and make friends. They are less likely to be bullied then.
Identify bullying: Many times a student may be suffering from bullying but you may merely think it is just a bit of fun. As a teacher you should understand what bullying really is so that you can be better at preventing it.
Bullying prevention tips for Parents:
Avoid bullying: Parents can prevent their child being bullied in school by teaching them how to avoid being a victim. Encourage your child to interact with other children so they are not shy and also how to ask for help if they need it.
Get involved: As a parent it is important for you to know more about their school. Visit the school when you can and find out how the schoool deals with bullying and tips for how you can prevent your child from being bullied.
Communication: Do not allow your child to become isolated as they may be reluctant to ask for help. Ask them on a regular basis of how their day at school was and try to notice their behaviour. Bullied students may change in their personality.
Example: Children learn from their parents so if you want your child to avoid becoming a bully you need to stop displaying such behaviour. Learn to control your anger and display the type of behavior which you want your child to follow.
Understanding bullying: Young children may not fully understand the different types of bullying. Explain to them what bullying is and what can be done about it through stories, books and experience.
School safety: To ensure the safety of your child you could drop them off at school by yourself or encourage them to come and go with their friends. Having someone with them could prevent them from being picked on.
The issue of bullying is a serious one and if it is going to be dealt with then it helps to have everyone on board. Principles, teachers and parents can work together to prevent bullying from occurring in the first place and developing a safe environment at school. The tips above can be used by the respective parties to do their part in preventing bullying from happening in schools.