It’s National Bullying Prevention Month.
When it comes to bullying in schools, it can be easy to think in terms of bullies vs. victims.
But new research suggests that the phenomenon of school-based bullying is much more complicated. A recent study found that all students involved in bullying, whether bully or bullied, are more prone to suicide than those not involved in bullying, indicating that bullying can have consequences on both sides.
Realizing the far-reaching effects of bullying on all students, many educators and school leaders have begun to rethink their approach to bullying prevention by using compassion and understanding to help curb instances of student-on-student abuse, and its effects in school.
The infographic below, from Fractus Learning, outlines a new, more compassionate approach to dealing with bullying in schools. At the heart of this approach is the idea that “meanness is indicative of inner turmoil.” To really deal with students who act out means recognizing they are facing their own stress that might not be obvious on the surface.
The infographic outlines ways for parents and school leaders to battle bullying with compassion. As you work to implement bullying prevention strategies in your school or district this month, keep these steps in mind.
#1 Share your experiences
Make sure students know they’re not alone in being bullied. Show them that it’s something that other students experience.
#2 Help them understand
Students should never accept bullying, but by understanding the inner turmoil bullies may be facing, victims may be better able to deal with the situation.
#3 Remind students: bullies aren’t evil
In order to prevent bullying, we need to give bullies a chance to change. Both students and educators need to understand that bullies shouldn’t be written off, but that they too need help.
#4 Teach them how to react when confronted by a bully
Parents and educators need to outline practical steps for students to take when a bully tries to abuse them. That includes being assertive without being mean, telling a trusted adult, and being an example that bullies can look up to.
#5 Be an example of compassion
To instill compassion and understanding in students, adults need to exemplify compassion themselves.
For more on how to deal with bullies with compassion, check out Fractus Learning’s full infographic below.
What steps is your school or district taking to raise awareness around bullying prevention in your classrooms and hallways this month? How do you work to instill compassion in your students? Tell us in the comments.