It takes being proactive to stop bullying from happening. Make it clear to students, parents and staff that bullying is unacceptable and that there are consequences. Regularly share your school–or classroom–policies on bullying. Weave the topic into classroom discussions and make it a part of assignments to remind your students that the policies exist to protect everyone’s well-being.
Work on empowering students to speak up if they witness any kind of bullying. Remind them that they can trust you and that you'll take their concerns seriously and help them address problems.
Experts recommend that all schools have a safety policy that includes bullying-prevention policies. Stay informed of how bullying, harassment and intimidation are defined by your school and learn what procedures to follow.
Consider requesting improvements to the policy based on what you've observed in your classroom. For example, set up an anonymous reporting system that will allow students and teachers to feel safe reporting bullying.
If your school's formal procedure for investigating bullying includes consequences for students who have bullied others, make this list of consequences available to students. If an incident doesn’t fall under the school’s policies, consider telling the parents of the students involved.
You may want to work with students to create rules to allow everyone to have input and feel invested in preventing bullying from happening or spreading. Here are some examples as a jumping-off point:
Display these rules prominently to remind students of the responsibility they share in preventing bullying.
Create a program at your school for Internet safety designed to help students, teachers and staff and include lessons on:
See our lesson plans, conversation starters, activities, and videos specifically designed for teachers to help young people become empowered digital citizens.