Whether you know it or not, there are bullies, victims, and bystanders in your classroom. National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month is celebrated each October, which gives you the perfect opportunity to work on unmasking bullying in your classroom. Bullying affects students’ physical and social-emotional health, but most bullying incidents are often unreported. It's important that you take time to unmask and address the following truths about bullying with your students:
About 22% of students reported that they were bullied in the 2012–2013 school year.
57% of bullying situations STOP when a student intervenes on behalf of another student being bullied.
Only 20–30% of bullied students tell an adult about the bullying.
70.6% of students report that they have seen bullying happen in their schools.
Bullied students are 2x more likely than their nonbullied peers to experience negative health effects.
Sources: PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, National Center for Education Statistics, stopbullying.gov, American Academy of Pediatrics
Four Bullying Prevention Tips for Educators
Establish and reinforce clear policies on bullying. Make sure your students know and understand your school and classroom policies on bullying. Children need to know what is expected of them and what consequences they will face if they bully one of their peers.
Emphasize the importance of kindness. Celebrate everyone’s differences and teach children about diversity throughout the school year. Ask children to make giving each other kind compliments and doing various acts of kindness a daily goal in the classroom.
Help children learn to empathize with others. Empathy for others is essential to children’s social and emotional health and development. Ask children to put themselves in other people’s shoes and think about how they would feel if they were the ones being teased or bullied.
Encourage children to report bullying incidents. Make sure children know they can come to you or another teacher to report bullying incidents. You can also create a safe area in the classroom where children can go when they’re upset. Another idea is to try putting a box on your desk for children to place letters or notes about any concerns or issues they’re having in the classroom if they would rather write about the issue instead of talk about it.
Be sure to read “Preventing Bullying in the Classroom” and “Addressing Bullying in Schools” for additional tips and resources to help you take stand up against bullying with your students. Browse our website for a variety of learning materials that can help you address and prevent bullying in the classroom.