Whether you’re an educator, a parent, or a student, you might be awfully aware of the fact that bullying has become more common than we’d like to believe. Bullying takes many shapes and forms and sometimes our efforts to create an anti-bullying school culture aren’t enough, we have to tackle the bullying problem at its core.
While anti-bullying month campaigns are actually a great way to raise awareness, we should also be working on creating a safe inclusive environment that constantly addresses bullying in ways that last longer than the anti-bullying month campaigns. Here are some anti-bullying ideas that’ll not only stick longer but also work better:
1. Create an Anti-Bullying Pledge
Does this actually work? A simple answer is yes, and here’s why!
Although an anti-bullying pledge might seem like such a simple idea, it’s a great way to hold students accountable for their actions if bullying ever occurs.
It’s also important to point out that an anti-bullying pledge can transform the prevention of bullying from a collective effort into a personal responsibility for each student, and create an inclusive school culture that lasts.
This means each student is more likely to not participate in bullying or stop it if they ever come to witness it.
2. Regularly Switch Your Anti-Bullying Posters
After you’ve put on your anti-bullying poster during your anti-bullying month campaign, likely, you’ve never considered changing it, thinking that this way your anti-bullying efforts will really stick.
That’s simply wrong! If you’ve had a painting hanging in your house for too long, you’ll eventually stop noticing the details in it, the same thing goes with your students.
There are an incredible amount of anti-bullying posters ideas, so why stick to one? Make sure you have a handful of anti-bullying posters ready to keep things interesting!
3. Incorporate Anti-Bullying Content into Student Assignments
This is actually a clever way to get your hands on readily available anti-bullying bulletin boards and posters!
Assigning an anti-bullying assignment (such as an essay, speaking project, art project, etc..), means that the students will be actively educating themselves on anti-bullying, which creates a longer-lasting effect than any awareness campaign can make.
4. Encourage Students to Celebrate Diversity
When it comes down to it, bullying is about making snap judgments of others or targeting people who look or act differently than we do.
While encouraging diversity doesn’t particularly address bullying and its harmful consequences, it can help troubled students learn the beauty that comes with celebrating each other’s differences.
Celebrating diversity doesn’t only decrease the rate of bullying in your school, but it also helps students who have been victims of bullying. It helps students become more confident and wear their differences with pride.
5. Mix Anti-Bullying with Social-Emotional Learning
There are many pieces of research linked to the effect that social-emotional learning has on eliminating bullying in a school environment.
The two main findings that many researchers agree on are that social-emotional learning can help in promoting peer coexistence in the classroom by minimizing cyberbullying and also enhancing adolescents' subjective well-being.
If you’re feeling lost regarding what exactly social-emotional learning is, take a look at our article on how to start promoting social-emotional learning in your school!
6. Keep an Open Line of Communication with Students
It's also crucial to remember that bullied individuals frequently feel too ashamed or terrified to speak up. Teachers should make an effort to get to know every one of their students. Learn about them as people. Every day, extend a friendly greeting and inquire about their progress. Keep an eye out for any indications that they may be being bullied.
Make sure you are able to identify the signs of both traditional and online bullying. Be aware that bullies frequently differ between boys and girls. Boys may engage in physical bullying, whereas girls are more likely to engage in social bullying, such as shunning a classmate.
7. Empower Students to Help
As much as an educator tries to be involved with their students, there’s always a limit to how well they perceive their students’ world.
That’s why they might have to rely on other pupils to alert them when bullying is taking place. Early in the school year, choose your class leaders and follow up with them. When you are not present, let them serve as your eyes and ears.
Make an effort to give your class observers more power. Encourage them to speak out against bullying or to tell you or another adult about it. Remind them that bullying stops when one person stands up, according to research. Then offer secure and private channels for them to report bullying events.
About the Author
Chelsea Meece is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who specializes in Self-Care and Boundary Setting. Outside of Coaching, she is a Freelance Writer and Backpacker of 8 Countries and over 1000+ Miles On-Trail.