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Bullying in schools has been around as long as schools have, and over the course of decades, schools and school districts have begun to implement plans for both ending and preventing bullying. Most schools and districts participate in anti-bullying activities that are constantly evolving to address new types of bullying, such as cyber bullying. Classroom activities are common, as are school-wide anti-bullying campaigns. Most importantly, some school anti-bullying activities include putting protocols in place to make reporting bullying easier and safe, and addressing both bullies and victims more effectively. These anti-bullying activities will vary from school to school and city to city.
Classroom education is one of the most basic anti-bullying activities. This may include developing an action-and-consequences system for classroom behavior, or it may mean teaching an entire lesson or unit on bullying. While classroom education cannot stop bullying on its own, it is one step in a school-wide effort to prevent bullying from occurring. In many instances, students may be unaware of what specifically constitutes bullying, aside from physical violence. A classroom lesson can inform students about verbal bullying, passive aggression, harassment, hazing, and cyber bullying. Many of these types of bullying are less publicized and therefore less likely to be recognized both by students and teachers or other adults in the school.
Many victims of bullying avoid reporting the abuse because they feel they may be punished, ignored, or revealed to other students as a victim. Schools must focus anti-bullying activities on structuring a response system that allows the victim to maintain anonymity, and that addresses the issue immediately and appropriately. Other anti-bullying activities should focus on educating other students on how to report bullying against a fellow student. Teachers cannot always watch what students do, so students must be comfortable reporting bullying to an appropriate authority.
Bullying often results from fear or a lack of understanding of other cultures, sexes, sexual orientations, races, and religions, so educating students in these areas can help stop or at least reduce instances of bullying. Activities that focus on teaching such lessons will vary according to grade level, though some ideas may include sponsoring a lunch day in which students sit with other students they would not normally socialize with. This encourages students to socialize normally without feeling threatened, alienated, or otherwise at risk of abuse or ridicule. It further encourages a sense of community within the school among students who would not otherwise feel any sort of connection to fellow students.
As much as we want to, we don’t need to tell our kids to hit back if they are hit. Aggression can quickly escalate and there are too many kids carrying weapons these days. We should always take it seriously if our children tell us they are being bullied.
My son came home one day and told me that they had a guest speaker at his school that was talking about bullying. They learned the CALM approach.
C= cool down. When you confront the bully, stay calm and in control.
A= Assert yourself. Be assertive with the bully.
L= Look the bully in the eye. Stand tall and confident.
M= Mean it! Use a firm and strong voice and say what you feel.
School bullying is serious and I'm glad that the schools take it seriously, as well.