Create a Safe Environment in which Bullying Is Unacceptable
- Develop, post and discuss rules and sanctions related to bullying.
- Treat students and others with warmth and respect. Demonstrate positive interest and involvement in your students.
- Establish yourself as a clear and visible authority with responsibility for making the school experience safe and positive.
- Take immediate action when bullying is observed.
- Listen to students and parents who report bullying in your classroom. Quickly, consistently and effectively resolve the issue to avoid perpetuation of bullying behaviors.
- Notify parents of all involved students when a bullying incident occurs. In instances of cyber bullying there is often printed evidence, such as an instant message or Facebook page that can be shared with parents so that parents can address the issue at home.
- Refer students affected by bullying to school counseling or mental health staff, if needed.
- Hold class meetings during which students can talk about bullying and peer relations.
- Provide information to parents and students about bullying behaviors and encourage involvement and support in addressing bullying issues. Also, provide information on how to report offensive social networking sites, appropriate responses to avoid escalation, and when to contact the police.
- Share concerns about bullying with other educators at school. This allows teachers to monitor the school environment and investigate whether bullying is taking place.
- Contact the police in a serious case of cyber bullying. Threats of physical harm, sexual harassment, the posting of nude or compromising photographs, extortion or stalking behavior should be reported immediately.
The Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center hosts webinars on a wide variety of topics related to improving conditions for learning (e.g., preventing disruptive behaviors such as bullying, harassment and violence, and substance abuse). Archived webinars on school climate, bullying prevention and violence prevention, among others, are available.