Bully Prevention to Empower Students: Steps that Work
Students are the first line of contact when it comes to encountering bullying behavior. If students can be educated and empowered to make the right choices, it will make a huge difference in dealing with bullying within a school. There are some simple steps that can be employed by students to help the adult authority deal with bullying to help protect the victims and the school from violence involved with bullying behavior.
Check with the target and see if they need help.
The one thing you don’t want to do with bullying is face it alone. It is important to check in with the target after it is safe to do so to be sure that anything severe is dealt with immediately, but also to let the person know they are seen and respected. It could save a life.
Send for authoritative help. Tell an adult.
Do not keep bullying a secret. This empowers the bad behavior, hurts everyone, and prevents adults in a position to help from being able to do so. Involve adults. Schools are full of trusted adults who care and they will intervene if given the knowledge of the problem and the opportunity to do so.
Confront the harasser.
This does not mean answering violence for violence. Confronting the harasser does not require a fight. It does not have to be done alone. It can be as simple as calling out the behavior as wrong to let everyone including bystanders know that this is not okay and it is seen. Other students will be empowered when they see one student take a verbal stand to defend a fellow student.
Distract the harasser.
This does not have to be complicated. The goal is to take the attention off of the target. The more divided a harasser’s attention is, the less likely the behavior is to continue in that moment. It saves the target anymore embarrassment and buys time to check in with the target and to involve an adult before another incident occurs.
Protecting students from harm is everyone’s responsibility and we can do it together if we know what to do. We would not be in this profession if the well-being of the students was not important to us.
Make the students, teachers, and administration a team when it comes to preventing bullying. With all these groups on the same page and educated on the right things to do, a lot can be accomplished within a school.
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Bullies and bullying can be prevented by the slow and methodic process of mentoring and coaching from a caring mindset. Each and every young person carries a wealth of potential. It’s up to us to see, call forth, and empower that potential. Your diligence and long hours toward maturing this generation are not in vain, but rather are changing the world.