Bullying - The Role of Schools in Bullying
Schools play a critical role in stopping bullying, because most aggression happens on school grounds during recess, in lunch rooms, or in bathrooms. Schools should have and enforce zero-tolerance programs that make it clear that bullying won't be tolerated.
School-based programs can help reduce bullying when they:
- Raise awareness of bullying through school assemblies and classroom discussion of the problem. These conversations should include teaching healthy ways to control anger. They should also teach the value of cooperation, positive communication skills, and friendship.
- Have peers help settle an incident and talk with all students involved.
- Increase parents' and teachers' involvement.
- Increase supervision of children on school grounds, especially when they are out of the classroom.
- Form clear rules about behavior that will not be tolerated.
- Provide support and protection for children who are bullied.
You can help your child's school develop bullying policies by becoming involved in parent-teacher organizations (PTO or PTA) and by volunteering to help teachers.
In the classroom, teachers should make it clear that bullying will not be tolerated. Teachers must be prepared to follow through with consequences if bullying occurs. Doing so sends the message that adults are serious about the problem. It also encourages children who are not involved in bullying to report any incidents they see.
Conferences can be held-separately or together-with the parents of both children involved in bullying incidents.
School-based programs are one piece of a larger plan to help children understand the importance of treating one another with kindness and respect.