Strategies to Prevent Bullying In Elementary Schools
Bullying is an everyday occurrence in schools around the world (Murray-Harvey, Skryzpiec, & Slee, 2012). Bullying usually involves “physical, verbal, or relational aggression designed to cause or threaten physical or emotional harm to the intended victim that is delivered directly or through technological means” (Banks, Blake, Ewing, & Lund, 2012, p. 246). Though bullying and harassment occur every day, it is something that can be prevented through the use of effective prevention and intervention strategies.
Bullying Prevention Strategies
Research shows that there are several effective strategies available to help prevent bullying and harassment. The effectiveness of these strategies depend on a few factors; the school dynamic and the willingness of the staff to implement these strategies (Banks, Blake, Ewing, & Lund, 2012). Before a strategy can be implemented, it is important that the faculty, staff, and students understand the definition of bullying (Brunner & Lewis, 2009). There are many misconceptions about what bullying actually is. Oftentimes what is reported as bullying actually is a one-time occurrence. It is best that bullying is understood to be composed of three components: intent of harm, intimidating behaviors over time, and an imbalance of power (Brunner & Lewis, 2009). Once a definition of bullying has been established with the faculty, staff, and students, additional strategies to prevent bullying and harassment can be implemented.
Educating the faculty, staff, and students about the signs of bullying, as well as the school and district repercussions is another effective set of strategies to prevent bullying and harassment (Brunner & Lewis, 2009). Faculty, staff, and students need to know not only the definition of bullying, but they need to recognize the signs that someone is being bullied. These signs may be physical, such as unexplained cuts or bruises, or emotional, like becoming withdrawn or depressed (Brunner & Lewis, 2009). Knowing and understanding the school and district rules and regulations regarding bullying and harassment allows the faculty and staff to understand what to do if they suspect a student is a bully or victim (Brunner & Lewis, 2009). Students who understand the repercussions of bullying may be less likely to perform bullying actions and victims may be more likely to report bullying.
Support groups can help students face bullying and harassment. Schools can help prevent bullying and harassment by offering support groups for new students, who may have changed schools due to victimization (Brunner & Lewis, 2009). Support groups are not only for new students; schools can offer support groups to students who exhibit bullying behavior or to those who are victims of bullies. This can help prevent bullying in the future, as well as educate victims on how to respond in bullying situations. Students who are being bullied need to...