Bullying is a problem facing elementary, junior high and high schools all across the country. Many schools have adopted anti-bullying campaigns in an effort to gain greater control over this problem and establish a safer school environment. Learn how to handle bullying!
Anti-bullying measures to handle bullying differ from state to state and school to school, depending on the school level and extent of the problem. In like manner, the way in which schools handle this problem also varies. For the most part, incidents in elementary schools will probably not be as serious as those encountered in urban high school settings. Some cases in high school to include cyber bullying have been known to produce grave consequences to include physical injury, sexual assaults and in some instances, even death.
How to Handle Bullying with Preventative Measures
There are no simple means for resolving a problem as extensive as bullying. Yet there are measures parents and schools can take to help curtail these incidents and better protect their students. Many schools are instituting preventive measures that will make it more difficult for this abusive behaviour to occur. Greater adult supervision over areas where incidents frequently happen such as hallways, stairways, cafeterias and playgrounds is one way schools are combating this problem. Schools are also investing in programs to teach their personnel how to identify and handle bullying behaviour by intervening in aggressive acts before they get out of hand.
Teachers are encouraging their students to combat this problem by reporting incidents as they arise. Children are also taught to work together against abusive behaviour by standing up for their peers and promoting a more accepting environment. Having student support is key to creating an inclusive atmosphere where school bullying is not tolerated. It’s important for teachers and students alike to uphold a standard where children feel welcomed, safe and respected for who they are. Students who are bullied should have full confidence in reporting these incidents to their teachers or other school personnel, knowing they will be supported and provided with the help they need.
Should you Handle Bullying with Punishment?
Most schools have clearly identified what constitutes bully behaviour on their property as well as the consequences for engaging in such acts. When it comes to consequences, punishments vary depending on the circumstances of the case, the severity of the incident, the child’s age and whether it is a first time or repeated offence.
With younger children, some schools have had relative success by taking away school privileges such as library time, playground time, etc. for a specific amount of time. Other punishments include detention after school, exclusion from school excursions and field trips or temporary suspension from school for a few days. In very serious cases where aggressive behaviour leads to violence or incidents are repeated again and again, students may be expelled from school altogether.
Along with instituting punishments, many schools are incorporating programs to reinforce positive social behaviour skills in group and classroom settings. School counsellors and psychologists are also becoming more involved in counselling bullies concerning their unacceptable behaviour to help them see the error of their ways.
Parents and the family environment also play a key role in helping children and teens develop an acceptable behaviour standard. Parents should carefully consider what role, if any, their family environment plays in contributing towards a child’s tendency to become a bully and display abusive behaviour towards his peers. They should also try to reinforce school efforts to curtail this behaviour by upholding the same standard at home, so there are no inconsistencies in their children’s training.
A recent KSDK.com news report covering a school bullying incident in Murray, Utah, reveals how one mother taught her 4th grade daughter a good lesson on how it feels to be a victim of criticism and verbal abuse. It seems her daughter had been harassing a fellow student for weeks in regards to the student’s choice of clothing and personal appearance. As talks with her daughter yielded no results, the mother decided to replace her daughter’s trendy wardrobe with hand me downs from the local thrift shop for several days so she could get a taste of her own medicine. The lesson hit home as the daughter realized the hurt and embarrassment she had caused someone else after being subjected to the same.
How to Handle Bullying ? : The Treatment
Many schools are recognizing the importance of teaching their students positive social skills to replace aggressive and abusive behaviour. Along with social skills, many students need to learn impulse control and alternative ways on handling personal conflicts. Bullies, in particular, are sore lacking in these areas. In many cases, bullies’ aggressive behaviour can be traced to negative experiences in the home environment. With professional counselling, bullies have the opportunity to overcome negative aspects of their past and move forward with a more positive perspective.