What do you need for reporting bullying? As a teacher, it is your responsibility to protect students and make sure school is a safe environment for them. For this reason, teachers are often one of the top people to whom children are likely to report bullying so something can be done about the problem. Children who are bullied should be able to count on their teachers to be able to help them overcome the problem, handle it effectively and even put a stop to it so they can feel safe at school once again.
Build a Sense of Trust
The most important thing teachers can do for their students is to build up a sense of trust. When students feel you are someone they can trust, they are more likely to come to you when they experience cyberbullying and other similar behavior in real life. Students need to feel confident you will listen to their concerns without brushing them off as if they are insignificant and will actually take action to help them learn how to handle the problem and even offer your assistance in the matter. Sometimes all a student needs is an ear to listen so he/she can sort things out and determine what he needs to do.
Use a Watchful Eye
While students should feel confident coming to you when they are bullied or notice someone else is, many students are afraid of being labeled a tattletale or becoming a victim themselves. Because of this, it is important for teachers to be more vigilant in watching for signs that this behavior may be going on in the classroom or in other area of your students’ lives. When you can identify the signs bullying is happening in the lives of your students, you will be able to take action and make sure the issue is handled appropriately for the good of your entire class.
Let the Administration Know
As soon as you are alerted of bullying problems, whether they happen in the classroom or online, it is critical to inform the administration. Depending on your school’s anti-bullying policy, they may take action themselves or they may leave you to handle the issue unless it grows beyond your control. However, the administration needs to keep a record of any type of negative behavior that occurs in the school so they can better learn how to handle things and where they need to place more of their focus.
Talk to the Parents
Another party that needs to be aware of bullies who are having a negative impact in the classroom or online is the parents of the child. When you are alerted to this type of behavior by your students or due to your own observations, it is important to at least call the parents of the children who are involved. In severe cases, you may even want to hold an in-person meeting with the parents to make sure everyone is on the same page. Be sure to follow up with the parents so everyone is aware of how the issue was handled and whether it improved.
File a Report
Many administrations will require you to fill out a written report on any negative situations. Make sure you fill this out as quickly as possible so you can leave a more detailed report. This will help administrators to better handle the problem and keep a close record of what is going on inside the school’s walls.
After you file the report, a thorough investigation should take place. This investigation may look at any security video the school has, as well as talking to the students involved and any other students who were likely to have witnessed the behavior. The more information you provide to the administration, the better their investigation will be. If the bullying takes place online, the administration may take the extra step of alerting the local authorities about the issue, especially if it involves students who are not at your school.
A Plan in Place
The next step is to put a plan into place to handle the issue going forward. Whether it was cyberbullying or in person, it is important for the school and the parents of the students involved to more closely monitor these students, especially in their interactions with each other. This plan should also address any further punishments that may be put in place if the behavior continues. It is critical that everyone is on board with this type of plan, especially the administration, parents and teacher.
Talk to Your Class
After the incident has been properly handled, it isn’t too late to talk to your class about the aftermath and the negative impact bullies can have on society. Talk to your class about what type of behavior constitutes bullying and what they should do if they ever witness a student who is bullied. Teach them the proper steps to take, including befriending the victim, telling a trusted adult, such as yourself, and standing up to the bully to ward off the behavior in the future. A well-informed class will be able to battle against this growing problem. You may even encourage students who have been bullied to come forward as well.
Reporting Cyber Bullying : Send Home a Note
While you have talked to the parents of the students who were involved in the cyberbullying or physical bullying, the other parents may be unaware of what has happened at school. You won’t be able to go into detail, but you should be able to send a note home with your students talking about the problems you have experienced with bullies and ensuring them the issue has been addressed. Make sure you also let them know they can come to you with any concerns they have witnessed with their own child. Even if the bullying doesn’t happen in school, you should be able to offer guidance to the parents of your students.
Teachers have an important role in the lives of their students. School is meant to be a safe place for children to grow and learn. When they are experiencing problems with bullies, the environment is not conducive to the learning process. This is why it is important to make it easy for students to come to you when they are bullied and to be able to identify the signs of this behavior yourself. Once you notice the behavior, you must take the proper steps for reporting and dealing with the aftermath so you can make school the safe environment it should be.
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