How do you stop bullying and promote inclusion?
One way is to teach students what to do when a classmate is being bullied. At an assembly at Country Dale Elementary
in Franklin, WI, Chelsea Budde of Good Friend, Inc. gave kids these three takeaways:
1. Stand next to the person who’s being bullied.
Literally standing up for bullied kids lets them know they’re not alone. It also lets aggressors know that meanness is unacceptable.
2. Speak up for the person who’s being bullied.
Children often bully those who communicate less, or slowly, or differently. Kids on the autism spectrum, for example, are four times more likely to be bullied than neurotypical kids. Saying “Stop it” on behalf of a victim of bullying helps that person feel cared about and respected. It also reminds the aggressor that cruel words and actions hurt.
3. Report the bullying to a trusted adult.
Because kids don’t always feel comfortable “telling,” many schools have anonymous reporting procedures in place. At Country Dale, kids can report bullying on the school’s website.
Want more bullying prevention and autism awareness tips?
Be sure to download the 9 Best Ways to Be a Good Friend to Someone With Autism—tips for kids, parents, and teachers shared with us by Chelsea. Also tune in to this interview with Chelsea to find out a surprising question fourth graders at another school asked about a girl with autism—and the answer:
Also check out:
10 Ways to Reduce Bullying in Schools
31 Bullying Prevention Difference Makers
Interview With Julie Hertzog, Director of PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center