Bullying is a prominent issue that negatively impacts the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of a child. It is an ongoing problem that will continue to persist without proper education, prevention, and intervention methods. In order to enforce and maintain a positive school environment, the Teacher Association would like to develop strategies that will help to identify and address the problem of bullying. These strategies would include:
- Educating students on what bullying is and the different forms of it to help them gain a better understanding of the concept
- Encouraging parents to model healthy relationships at home and communicate with their children to check on their mental and emotional health
- Promote anti-bullying policies by having school assemblies, class meetings, and posters that show the importance of kindness, respect, and unity
- Ensuring that bullies receive consequences and disciplinary action while also rewarding bystanders who have intervened in anyway
- Offering comfort to victims of bullying through counseling services and moral support
- Placing the responsibility with the faculty and school staff to recognize and stop bullying in the early stages
With the implementation of these policies, the entire student population will be aware of the school’s stance against bullying. The goal is to make these strategies go beyond the problem of bullying and become a permanent aspect in our educational environment.
Bullying is a widespread epidemic that affects children of all ages, races, and gender. It is a usually neglected problem in today’s schools which can be a major concern for students both short-term and long-term. Bullying in schools can lead to a decline in a child’s academic success, low self-esteem, social isolation, and even suicide. It is an important issue not only because of the many detrimental effects it has on an individual, but also because of how many people it affects nationally. “A little more than one out of every five children have been or is being bullied” (Hogeveen 1). This means that someone’s friend, neighbor, sibling, or child has been bullied at some point in their life and that is not acceptable. School is supposed to be a safe place for students to learn, interact, and play with others and we as a community should help bring this dynamic back by stressing the importance of anti-bullying. To reduce bullying in the school, it is essential that programs and strategies are created that are designed to change social norms, teach students conflict resolution skills, and school-wide interventions from students, teachers, and parents.
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Throughout the school year, from beginning to end, the school should implement these programs to enforce the control and regulation of bullying. The first program that would efficiently practice bullying prevention would be a few class sessions that explicitly identify and define what bullying is. From this class, students should be knowledgeable of the different types of bullying such as cyberbullying, verbal bullying, physical bullying and all of the harms that is does to victims. By being able to understand what bullying entails, the children will learn the behaviors that are associated with or considered bullying. These classes should also teach students the importance of mutual respect, positive communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. This information will help the students act maturely and this will promote a healthier school climate. Another strategy that could help to alleviate the problem of bullying would be to encourage students that are bystanders to become an upstander. This would teach children how to speak up and intervene to not only stand up for their peer, but to stand up against the bully. When there are bystanders that give the bully an audience and do not take any action, the bully will continue to think that his behavior is correct since no one is stopping him. In regards to responding to bullies and victims, adults at school and parents should also pay attention on ways to positively deal with them. For example, parents should be aware of any warning signs that might show that their child is a bully or a victim of bullying. The signs of a child being bullied may include them “coming home with unexplainable injuries or lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry” while the signs of a bully would be if their child is “coming home with new belongings, acting increasingly aggressive, and frequently getting in trouble at school” (Hogeveen 2). In either instance, it is imperative that the parent addresses the issue at hand and openly communicates with their child to figure out the next steps to solve the problem. Unfortunately, not all parents catch the signs early which puts the responsibility of the bullying on the adults at school. In this case, it is necessary to ensure that bullies face consequences for their actions and that victims get moral support for what they have endured. Victims of bullying should be able to express themselves to a trusted adult and be supported, listened to, and not judged. Bullies should be addressed immediately by a higher authority such as a principal or dean so that disciplinary action can take place. By taking immediate action, it relays the message that the school and staff do not tolerate any sorts of bullying. The bully’s parents should be contacted and suspension of some kind should be implemented. It would then be our school’s responsibility to continue to monitor the situation of the bully and the victim as well. This will help to make sure that the bully doesn’t continue his old habits while also making sure that victim is recovering well and is coping with the situation.
Bullying is a preventable choice and can be managed with the appropriate guidance and educational interventions. As childhood educators, it is our job to decrease and potentially eradicate the amount of bullying that occurs in school. We need to force others to be aware of the extent of the problem so that more people can get involved and offer assistance. Prevention of bullying needs to occur at both the population and individual level through nationwide bullying policies, peer counseling, and maintain a friendly, positive school environment. Bullying is an issue that can be stopped completely if we continue to practice early prevention, immediate intervention, and continuous support.
- Hogeveen, Caroline. “How Many Kids Are Bullied A Year? The Statistics Are Heartbreaking.” ROMPER, 22 Oct. 2018, https://www.romper.com/p/how-many-kids-are-bullied-a-year-the-statistics-are-heartbreaking-12627711. Accessed 6 Oct. 2019.