Bullying can pose a serious and potentially dangerous problem, but it doesn’t have to. Here is a list of steps you can take to prevent and respond to instances of bullying in your homes, schools, and communities.
- Learn about bullying, its warning signs, and effects.
- Remember it is the adult’s job to learn about bullying and to know how to effectively respond as well as to be responsible to teach these habits of “not bullying” to children and youth.
- Make it clear that bullying, meanness, hurtful words and behaviors are not acceptable and will be stopped.
- Closely supervise children/youth in your care and interrupt mean and hurtful words and behaviors.
- Encourage children and youth to report bullying to an adult at school and an adult at home and expect the adults to do something about it.
- Bullying begins with Exclusion! Encourage children and youth to include others in their play and activities. Work hard to not leave others out.
- Examine your own behaviors and assure that you model acceptance and tolerance.
- Cyberbullying– in using electronic devices urge youth to not start or pass on mean and hurtful messages.
- Wherever you are work to assure that the environment is free from hostility and intimidation. This assures that mean, hurtful words and behaviors are addressed.
- In schools it begins with PREVENTION. Support bullying prevention programming in schools, but always ask the school if the programming or any bullying prevention initiative has evidence that it actually reduces bullying.
Penny Bisignano, firstname.lastname@example.org
International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA) Board of Directors www.ibpaworld.org
State of Iowa Coordinator for Olweus Bullying Prevention Programming