Bullying is a belligerent behavior that is deliberate and consists of an imbalance of power. It is a recurring behavior and can be physical, verbal, or relational. While boys bully others using physical means, girls bully others through social exclusion. Bullying has been part of the school system for years. Currently, technology and social media have created a new form of bullying – Cyberbullying.
A collaborative approach from school management, parents, teachers, and children is necessary to prevent bullying. Averting bullying involves a commitment to establishing a safe environment where children can succeed, socially as well as academically, without being scared.
School management and teachers must be aware that bullying can happen across the school premises. They have to be vigilant and take it seriously. A teacher who identifies bullying in the classroom must stop it immediately. Document the incident and inform the concerned school authorities. The school authority must conduct a detailed investigation.
Speak to students and parents
Students and parents must be a part of the solution. Students should inform teachers and parents about what is happening in the school. It is the job of the school management to intervene and take action.
School management, teachers, and parents can support students to engage in positive behavior and teach them skills to intervene when bullying happens. Senior students can serve as mentors and educate younger students regarding safe practices.
Set positive expectations about behavior for students and adults
School classrooms must provide students a safe environment to learn. Teachers must remind students that bullying is not accepted, and such behaviors would have its consequences. Developing an anti-bullying procedure would help all students understand the gravity of bullying. Again, some students may find it challenging to socialize and make friends. A support system within the school must ensure that children do not feel isolated.
Parents and teachers must spend time with their children and mentor them to handle bullying without being affected by it — practice scenarios with them where they learn to ignore a bully and develop aggressive strategies for handling bullying.
Create boundaries with technology
Educate children about cyberbullying and teach them not to reply to intimidating emails — set restrictions on phone usage. Parents must report intimidating messages to the police and maintain records of text messages, emails, or posts.
Keep the lines of communication open.
There is enough evidence to suggest that children look to parents for support on tough decisions. Spending quality time with children regularly can reassure children that they can communicate with their parents if they have an issue.