In a school setting as, school staff, you may have experienced bullying. Bullying is a wide spread problem and happens in small schools as well as in larger schools. Bullying is a problem that really affects the performance of the students who are being bullied as well as those around the victim. It also cultivates lack of discipline in the bullies. This lack of discipline can come into play in the classroom. It can cause disruption to the learning environment and can cause some students to have serious mental health issues. In some serious cases it can also lead to suicide due to lack of help from anybody around.
The problem of bullying can be due to different reasons in a particular schools. The problems affect everyone. I will be clear about this bullies are the main problems. However, there are some reasons that are created from the environment that supports the bully’s quest to continue these behaviors. This article is not blaming school personnel, parents, or others for the problem. However, they must be addressed. Some of the reasons include the school administration’s reluctance in setting rules to regulate the general behavior of the students and lack of moral guidance on the need to respect each other. Some of the methods that can be put in place to curb bullying in schools include the following:
1. Counseling sessions and School Information Assemblies
In a school setting, counseling sessions are very essential to stop bullying. Through counseling, the affected student(s) can come to realize the importance of their lives and avoid severe cases of committing suicide. Guidance and counseling can also enable the bullies to learn and understand the need to respect each other. Counseling can be performed by the school counselor. Teachers and administrator can provide information to the students, but counseling should be left for those trained in the therapeutic process. The school administration should set aside some time for the whole student body of a school to gather and be involved in guidance and counseling. This will send the message the school faculty and administration consider the problem of bullying to be important enough to gather everyone. Assemblies are usually held in schools and emphasize the importance of team sports accomplishments, organizational meetings, and general information. Why cannot these assemblies be used to curb the problem of bullying? I understand a lot of schools are doing this, but more needs to be done.
2. Investigating on the bullying cases using questionnaires
For the bullying problem to be dealt with appropriately at school there has to be accurate information about it. Most of the times the behavior is carried out undercover or out of sight of the faculty and administrators. For the school administration to be aware of the bullying and for them to take proper actions it has to be well informed and documentation must be present. Before the school administrators can adequately stop the problem of bullying, they must first have information For the information to come out of the students peacefully the school administration has to investigate using anonymous questionnaires where the students will give out the information secretly for proper action to be taken. Some students will feel apprehensive about “telling on” others for fear of retaliation. The anonymous survey will help with this anxiety.
3. Having a team work to fight bullying including parents
For the bullying to be dealt with effectively the problem has to be supported by all the stake holders, including the parents. The parents of the bullying students have to be informed of the bad behavior of their children while at school. Most parents will be able to coach their children and through the parents they will be able to change. The teachers should make contacts with the parents and be informing them whenever they spot the bad behaviors in their children. Most students fear their parents being informed about their misconduct in school hence they will really avoid the situation.
4. Setting strict rules against bullying in schools.
The school administration can come up with strict rules to deal with the case of indiscipline such as bullying. These rules should spell strong punishments against the cases. The punishment should be severe up to the extent that the bullies should not want to have involvement in the bad behavior. The rules should define clearly what it takes for someone to be considered being bullied. This is necessary to avoid punishing students under these strict rules for things that children do. The school administration should also clearly define the role of “initiation” that some students feel are a right of passage for playing sports, being new in the building or school, and for joining certain clubs or organizations.
5. Student and the school staff interaction
Different staff in the school and the students should readily interact to share their experience. Any student feeling like is being bullied can get someone whom he can express his situation to and he will readily get the assistance. This should include everyone from the custodian to the Superintendent. Teachers should not be sitting in the teacher’s lounge during the break hours. Yes, teachers need breaks but all school staff and faculty should be walking around the school grounds observing and being a presence to stop these situations. One or two teachers cannot be everywhere. Even all the staff cannot be everywhere, but the more presence that is felt, the less bullying that will occur.
6. The school staff setting good example to the students
Some cases is being initiated by the school staff. The teachers and staff may be degrading some students in a given school this can lead to the other students degrading them too. This sends the message that it is okay to do this to this particular student and can end up leading to cases of bullying. The school staff can contribute towards eradicating the cases of bullying by treating all the students with the respect that they deserve. Teachers who promote or condone this type of behaviors are more suited for other lines of work and should just quit. If they do not quit, then the administrators or school boards should fire them.
7. Get others involved in the process
School administrators have an effective role in the school. The teachers have a great responsibility to teach the subjects they have been hired to do. However, they cannot effectively know everything about everything. Bullying is a topic that administrators and teachers should get others involved in. School resources officers presence in schools have shown to be a good move to slow down the amount of bullying that is occurring in schools. Have outside presenters come into the school and give speeches over the topic. I have been requested to come speak at many schools over the topic of bullying. Most presenters, including myself, will present information to the students as well as a separate presentation for school staff, faculty, and administrators. I have even had a third speech a couple of times for parents after the regular school hours. This integrates three levels of presentation of information to stop bullying. When schools get others involved in the process of stopping bullying, they find the learning environment is more conducive to what it was designed to do, provide the opportunity to learn.
Please feel free to contact me or ask any questions you may have. Together we can slow down the instances of bullying. Take care of yourself and others. Make today and everyday a great day.
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