I begin this by saying that we by no means have it figured out, but we work to educate our students on bullying. We also work hard to create a safe place so that students feel that they can come to teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors when they feel that they are being bullied. It's are hope that this will allow students the chance to be open with each other and the staff to keep away hidden bullying. We also work to teach teachers to be aware of the signs of bullying as well as the ways to address in in the classroom. Too often, teachers don't want to rock the boat, and so we work to ensure teachers know how to handle bullying as well as how to report it.
We also work to educate parents. Too often parents who are called in brush it off as just a part of adolescence. They too have to be instructed on the dangers bullying.
I, also, believe that education is the main way to combat bullying. If students are not aware that bullying is wrong, they must be educated on the fact that it is. Without that knowledge, they will continue with the activities, bullying, which they see no problem with.
Bullying is not just a school problem:it is a problem which pervades the whole of society. Workplace bullying is just as prevalent as in schools. Bullying needs to be defined in each workplace, notjust schools. Clear outlines of what bullying is, how to reoprt it and the penalties for committing such offences need to be agreed, clearly posted and adhered to.
Of course bullying is so entrenched in society that for many is is the backbone of their success. It would be wonderful if humans could get along together without feeling the need to oppress and assert themselves over others; however itis unlikely. What we can aim for is to clarify what is not tolerated within each working environment - starting with pre-schools and up to the highest professional institutions.
I agree on some level with #6, but there are always extenuating circumstances and zero tolerance policies have been shown to be significant factors in helping to maintain our current school to jail pipeline. The idea that kids cannot be given a chance to improve or modify their behaviors and learn to get along is a relatively dangerous one, especially when claims of bullying are often he-said, she-said kinds of affairs. I do think that in dangerous situations students ought to be removed to maintain a safe environment, the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy can be problematic.
What if the bullying is cyber bullying? Do you automatically remove them as well?
I agree with Post #6 about the zero-tolerance policy of bullying in schools. Sadly, most schools have to follow district discipline guidelines, so individual schools don't usually have that luxury. Many administrators won't take serious action unless physical violence is a part of the mix. I certainly think repeat cases of bullying should be dealt with automatic suspensions. This type of behavior does not belong in or around a classroom.
I would be interested in hearing if anyone out there has experience or awareness of schools in which students wear uniforms and how this adjustment in the school's culture does or does not impact the presence of the bullying phenomenon. When the competition and conflict of differing economic situations and club/team/gang alliances is eliminated, does that carry through to helping students to increased tolerance of other aspect in each other's behavior?
As mentioned above, family training and school/society expectations - implemented clearly and enforced unfailingly - are also essential. But I do wonder if enforcing conformity might help to create an atmosphere where some students didn't find it empowering to single out other students as targets.
The foregoing posts are all valuable. I hope there would be a "zero-tolerance" policy of bullying, meaning that anyone found to be bullying would be immediately removed from school, at least for a time, and placed in some alternative facility. It would be good if both students and parents realized that bullying will be immediately and significantly punished.
I have heard of schools that have successfully used a very different approach from what we would normally expect, where instead of punishing bullies, they have encouraged those being bullied to talk about the impact of being bullied and how it has made them feel in front of their whole class. This helps others get on the side of the person being bullied and makes them all think about the effects of bullying.
In schools we need to create a culture where the victims feel comfortable and confident that the bullying will be taken seriously and the perpetrators are appropriately punished for the behavior. This would set an example for EVERYONE about how the bullying will be handled.
As post 2 mentioned, education is definitely a part of it, but we need to do more. Education alone will not do it. We need to change the culture, so that bullying would not be accepted. Social pressure is a powerful force for all people. We also need stricter policies. Some children who persist in bullying need to be punished and given extra. This could set a good example for others. Finally, the families also have an important role in reinforcing a policy of no bullying.
I think that the only way to accomplish this is through education. We have to educate all kids at a young age about the causes and effects of bullying. This can hopefully allow kids who might get bullied to resist more effectively and maybe even get some potential bullies to be more empathetic and compassionate towards their schoolmates.