Bullying is no laughing matter. Its ill effects can be felt in schools all across the country. Unless measures are taken to curtail this problem, it could have a devastating effect on the quality of education received by thousands of middle school and high school students. Learn about the Anti Bullying Policies Now!
To date, approximately 41 states across the country have adopted anti-bullying laws to fight against bullying in public and private schools. Although bullying is manifested in social and professional settings as well, the effect it has on our children in a school environment is often more harmful, as repercussions can be felt well into the person’s adult life. That is why we need effective Anti Bullying Policies!
Anti Bullying Policies : Consequences of Bullying
Bullying is an act of exerting aggressive, abusive behavior upon others with the intent of causing them mental, emotional or physical harm. The effects of bullying can be felt anywhere in our society, but today it is quite prevalent among the youth in our local schools. When fellow students choose to bully their peers in a school setting, their abusive action causes negative repercussions all around.
There are many ways in which a student may experience bullying in school; he or she may also experience bullying to different degrees. Bullying may consist of verbal reproofs such as name calling, gossiping, teasing or being ridiculed in front of peers. From there it may persist to mild physical contact to include pushing, shoving, hair pulling or slapping. More aggressive tactics may entail kicking, punching, being assaulted with a knife or club, being beaten up by a gang, etc.
Whenever bullying occurs there are consequences to all parties involved. Schools suffer from bullying as it lowers of the institution and reduces the standard of education. Bullying can easily destroy a school’s reputation as an educational institution. School officials may be looked upon as unqualified for their profession as they are unable to provide a safe environment for their students.
Victims of bullying bear the brunt of these negative experiences by carrying the physical and mental consequences of their ordeal. Left unchecked, physical bullying can cause victims serious bodily harm. Many a high school student has had his life ended in urban schools due to such physical abuse. Others have had to go to the hospital for treatment of broken bones or internal injuries caused by bullies ganging up on their prey. Other forms of bullying to include verbal insults, threats, ridicule, slurs or being ostracized by peers are just as hurtful to children of any age. This is especially true for those that come from a loving and caring home environment and have never experienced such treatment before. Bullying has been known to cause both physical and emotional trauma to its victims, instilling feelings of fear, anger, confusion, anxiety and depression. This is where anti bullying programs take effect.
Families of students that are bullied also suffer from this abusive behavior. Concerned parents have to deal with the physical and emotional trauma of their children who have been bullied. In many cases, parents are left to pick up the pieces of a child’s life destroyed by bullying. Bullying affects a child’s ability to focus on his studies, socialize with his peers and enjoy his or her educational experience to the full. This lowers the quality of education they receive. In some instances, children may refuse to return to school, forcing parents to find alternative means of education or move to a safer, more secure environment. The latter choice could involve a change of employment or could place a financial burden on the entire family. This is where anti bullying programs take effect.
Bullies also suffer their share of consequences for their actions. Students who choose to bully their peers may consider themselves powerful and strong, but their “power” is often short lived as they eventually come across others who vie to take their place. In the course of time, bullies may become victims themselves of the same abuse they subjected to others. Bullies also run the risk of living solitary lives as they alienate their fellow students with their actions. Their “friendships” with fellow bullies can never really be trusted due to the nature of the company they keep. In their quest for power and attention, bullies risk ruining their character, losing out on friendships and missing the chance of benefitting from a meaningful educational experience.
Anti Bullying Policies : Prevention of Bullying
Because bullying has such a detrimental effect on people’s lives, many schools have taken measures to prevent abusive behavior on their property. These measures begin by assessing the extent of bullying in their respective institutions. From there, educators can develop programs to curtail abusive behavior within their environment. Anti-bullying school programs are often more effective when supported by teachers, parents and local community agencies. By enlisting outside support, schools can gain valuable insight and services from a wide spectrum of sources.
In the last few years, many schools across the country have adopted Anti Bullying policies in an effort to curtail bullying. Anti-bullying policies are specifically designed to protect students from abusive behavior and to help establish a safe ambiance where students can get a quality education. These policies may differ somewhat from school to school, depending on the situation at hand. However, the purpose of these campaigns remains the same – to protect students from verbal or physical harassment so they can benefit from a quality educational experience.
Schools have a responsibility to provide a safe setting for their students. By adopting anti bullying programs, school administrators show their institution is serious about upholding this responsibility. Anti Bullying policies outline a school’s stance concerning abusive behavior on their property and specify what measures school officials will take against perpetrators of this crime. By discussing these policies in advance with teachers and staff, parents can get a better idea of how bullying is handled in their child’s school.
Anti-bullying campaigns and policies provide schools with a means of combating bullying and maintaining order on their premises. However, in order for these policies to be truly effective, teachers and staff need the cooperation of students and parents in this struggle. Students must be willing to report cases of bullying so policy rules can be enforced. In large schools, it is near impossible for teachers and staff to monitor the behavior of thousands of students. If students are faithful to report bullying instances, however, teachers can investigate these incidents and see that appropriate measures are enforced. Parents play a key role in encouraging their children to talk about bullying instances rather than keep these incidents to themselves. Once bullying is exposed, measures from anti bullying programs can be taken to stop the behavior and protect other students from its harmful effects.
Understanding Anti Bullying Policies and Anti Bullying Programs
Bullying has no place within any of our educational institutions. However, schools may choose to combat this problem in different ways. Some schools focus on punishing the offending members as a warning that bullying will not be tolerated on their campus. Other schools concentrate their efforts on “rehabilitating” offenders in an effort to change their behavior. Many schools incorporate both of these options within their anti-bullying policies to get maximum results.
Schools with Anti Bullying policies and Anti Bullying Programs have definite objectives and goals in mind for the success of these programs. These objectives include:
- Defining “bullying” so teachers and staff have a clear understanding of what it is
- Establishing specific measures to handle cases of bullying on school property
- Ensuring teachers and staff are aware of these measures and are committed to enforcing the policy established by the school
- Informing parents and students about anti-bullying policy to gain their cooperation for enforcement
- Supporting parents and students in building a protective environment
The following provides some insight into how schools may practically implement their Anti Bullying Policies when abusive behavior takes place.
1. Once teachers suspect that bullying has occurred, they will investigate the incidents immediately, gathering as much details as they can from those involved
2. The head teacher or principal of the school may interview all parties involved and record specifics of the incident for further review
3. Parents will be informed about incidents involving their children and kept updated on case results
4. After establishing that an offense was indeed committed, disciplinary action may be taken against offenders as per the policy already established by the school and the seriousness of the offense
5. When necessary or appropriate, local police may be consulted
6. Bullying victims may be given moral and emotional support to help them overcome their negative experience
7. Offending members may receive counseling or moral education to help change wrong attitudes and behavior patterns
When it comes to disciplinary action for bullying, school policies may differ. Each school has to decide for itself what measures would be most effective for their particular situation. First time offenders may receive a warning for their abusive behavior, depending on the seriousness of the case. Other punitive measures may include detention, suspension of privileges, restriction from certain areas on campus, suspension from class for a determined amount of time and permanent expulsion.
How Effective are Anti Bullying Policies and Anti Bullying Programs?
Most schools review their anti-bullying programs on a regular basis to assess their effectiveness. Schools may make minor or major changes in their policy to ensure it continues to reflect their specific needs as well as remain relevant in relation to modern times. Schools that have been consistent in their efforts to combat bullying and have been diligent to enforce policy rules and regulations have seen progress and success. Reduction in abusive behavior signifies that anti-bullying programs are well worth the effort. By reducing bullying on their premises, educators can focus on their main objective of teaching. Students can enjoy happier, more productive learning experiences that benefit their future.
When evaluating the effectiveness of anti-bullying campaigns, schools should be realistic in their views of “success.” Anti-bullying campaigns often take time and a great deal of effort to yield positive results. This is especially true in large, urban schools where the problem has been allowed to grow for years. In contrast, smaller schools with fewer students may see more immediate results from their anti-bullying campaign. Schools that are more militant in their stance against bullying may also experience better results.
As schools are so diversified in their student population, staff and size, it’s difficult to compare results with one another in determining the effectiveness of their programs. However, schools may be able to glean from each other’s positive experiences and learn new techniques that can help them in their anti-bullying efforts. All schools share a common goal in wanting to eradicate bullying from their environment. By sharing valuable counsel and workable solutions via anti bullying programs, everyone benefits in achieving this objective.
Alternative Resources to Curtailing Bullying in Schools with Anti Bullying Policies
There are many resources schools can use to enhance their anti-bullying programs. Developing and implementing strict behavior rules and guidelines is but one means of curtailing bullying. Some schools require that students and parents sign a behavior contract before enrolling in their institution. This contract holds students to a specific standard of behavior before they are allowed to become members of the school. In the event the contract is broken, students agree to submit to punitive measures as pre-established by the school.
Changing a student’s abusive behavior is another means of putting an end to bullying in schools. Counseling and moral education are conventional means of accomplishing this objective. Many schools are discovering alternative means for helping students change errant mindsets that negatively influence their behavior. Through the use of art, drama and music, teachers may be able to exert a positive influence on bullies, exposing negative and destructive attitudes and reinforcing constructive mindsets in their place.
Students that succumb to using abusive behavior on their peers often have negative issues to overcome. They may have been victims of bullying in the past and are retaliating for their bad experiences by bullying others. They may have emotional, family or financial issues that contribute to negative attitudes and mindsets that result in bullying. Giving bullies the opportunity to talk about their experiences with teachers or professional counselors may help them see the error of their ways. It may be the first step in changing their lives for the better.
Anti Bullying Policies and Anti Bullying Programs In Summary
For now, anti bullying policies serve a major purpose in our school systems as they help to preserve a more secure school environment. Students need a safe and secure environment in which to learn. For anti-bully programs to be effective, teachers, parents and students must work together in their efforts to counter abusive behavior. Anti-bully campaigns are not designed for overnight success. In many schools, bullying has been the norm for years. Therefore, it may take years to undo the damage that has been done. However, these campaigns can instigate change by chipping away at the root causes of bullying and making it a less desirable action through punitive measures taken with each offense.
Anti-bullying campaigns offer schools hope in eliminating bullying and restoring peace and order to their learning environment. They should be supported by parents and students in every way. Every effort educators make to combat bullying is a step closer to creating environments that are free of prejudice and pain. Fighting bullying requires a united effort, but in return, everyone benefits from the positive results of using bullying programs. If you come across a bullying program that seems to inspire you, we invite you to share those bullying programs with us now.