Bullying Prevention Programs in Schools
Bullying has become a critical issue among schools everywhere. As educators attempt to get a handle on the growing concern, many attempt to implement bullying prevention programs on school grounds. However, the implementation of such programs is often met with a number of obstacles, including student participation, funding, and deciding what’s the right program for your school and students. Yet, as we move toward developing comprehensive bullying prevention practices, there are a few key strategies that we should all keep in mind.
Finding the right program
Creating a program that addresses your school’s unique concerns is of vital importance. The first step in doing so is to conduct a two-tiered assessment process that will guide the development of bullying prevention strategies. The first tier should involve surveys that reveal information about the school’s social climate, while the second should identify flaws in security equipment and procedures. Development of any action plan designed to address bullying should always begin with an assessment. We can’t solve the problem, until we define it.
Student participation is critical to the successful implementation of any bullying prevention program. It is important that students feel empowered and engaged in the action planning process and that they share the responsibility for creating environments in which they can learn and thrive. Getting students involved and excited about taking part in a bullying prevention program will ensure that the program works to its full potential and that they can identify and address concerns that are most important to them.
Keeping it a priority
Maintaining a program’s importance after the excitement has settled is a major challenge that schools may face. Periodically updating a program with new ideas and incentives can help keep up the momentum and excitement for both students and educators. Whether a program is structured or unstructured, school leaders can find different ways to keep the program relevant. From creating a poster contest to structuring an assembly focused on bullying, be creative in your efforts to keep students motivated toward bullying prevention.
Creating an open environment
Overcoming the unspoken rule among students of “no snitching” may stop even the most successful bullying prevention program in its tracks. Bullying is a tough issue to face, so it is important to create an open environment where students can express their feelings and concerns in a confidential and comfortable environment. All teachers and administrators should be well educated on the topic of bullying and be prepared to assist students in successfully putting a stop to bullying. Giving students realistic tips and advice is an important step toward bullying prevention. When students feel that a strategy actually works, they are more likely to use that strategy again and again.
For more information on bullying prevention and available resources to support your efforts, sign up today for the FREE Professional Development Webinar for Educators presented by the School Improvement Network; Bullying: Understanding the Problem, Defining Solutions on May 30th 2012, 3:00pm with Robin Young of the National Crime Prevention Council.