Start the School Year. Stop the Bullying.

By Erin Harris | Posted on 09.02.2014 | 4 comments
If you work in education, you’re likely starting the school year off by letting kids know that you want your school to be a physically and emotionally safe place for everyone. Not only are you committed to helping students achieve academically, you’re focused on reducing bullying and making your school climate positive.
In time for the back-to-school season, STOMP Out Bullying founder Ross Ellis’s article outlines ways you can reduce bullying. Strategies include increasing supervision, enforcing policies, using person-centered behavior management techniques, and promoting respect in school and online.
Knowing what to do for kids who are bullied is also essential. “They must feel heard and supported,” Ellis writes, “and receive the necessary help in order not to let the experience define their lives.”

One way to do this, says Dr. Randy Boardman, Ed.D., is to talk to kids as much as you can about their lives. You can also share with your students’s great tips for bullied kids, letting them know that those who bully are looking for a reaction, and often lose interest if they don't get a reaction.

It's also important to have reporting tools in place for targets and bystanders. Good examples of these are the Frisco ISD's app and this online support group.

Helping students who bully change their behavior is also vital to stopping bullying. “This means providing support and resources to the aggressor and getting to the root of the problem,” Ellis says. “By changing their behavior, schools and parents are creating the foundation for a student to stop hurting others and to become a happy and healthy adult.” Many schools work toward this with PBIS techniques and by teaching emotional intelligence.
Another factor to keep in mind, according to school principal and education professor Dr. Terry Ehiorobo, is that students who bully may hurt others because they’re hurt too. That is, they may exert power over other kids because they feel powerless in other aspects of their lives. They may deal with violence, abuse, neglect, pain, hunger, or any number of disturbing issues. If so, the core of what they’re dealing with needs to be addressed in order for their behavior to change.
Follow Stomp Out Bullying on Twitter for more tips. Also check out our takeaways from the 2014 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit. And keep an eye here on the CPI website for a ton to come—especially in October. We’ll be unveiling one Difference Maker each day (including more about Ellis!) for National Bullying Prevention Month.

If you're a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® Certified Instructor, find out how Bullying Behaviors refreshers can help you support your school's bullying prevention policies and programs.

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