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Bullying and Cyberbullying: Six Things Teachers Can Do

Thanks to its partnership with publisher Eye on Education, EducationWorld is pleased to present these tips, adapted from Dropout Prevention Fieldbook: Best Practices from the Field and 152 Ways to Keep Students in School: Effective, Easy-to-Implement Tips for Teachers, by Franklin Schargel.

Bullying is an ever-present problem in our schools, and can include physical threats, teasing, and harassment (National Association of School Psychologists). It is estimated that between 15 % and 30% of all students are either bullies or victims. Cyberbullying occurs when a child, preteen, or teen is bullied by another child, preteen, or teen using the Internet, or any interactive digital technology (www.stopcyberbullying.org).

What Can Teachers Do to Reduce Future Occurrences of Bullying?

  1. Discuss Bullying: Give students the opportunity to discuss bullying. Have the class come up with rules against bullying and involve them in determining that bullying behavior is unacceptable. Provide classroom activities and discussion opportunities related to bullying and violence, including the harm they cause and strategies to reduce their incidence.
  2. Teach Cooperation: Teach cooperation by assigning projects that require collaboration. Such cooperation teaches students how to compromise and how to assert without demanding. Take care to vary grouping of participants and to monitor the treatment of and by participants in each group.
  3. Develop a Plan: Develop a classroom action plan to ensure that students know what to do when they observe a bully-victim confrontation.
  4. Take Immediate Action: Take immediate action when bullying is observed. All teachers and school staff must let children know they care and will not allow anyone to be mistreated. By taking immediate action and dealing directly with the bully, adults support both the victim and the witnesses.
  5. Confront in Private: Confront bullies in private. Challenging bullies in front of their peers may actually enhance their status and lead to further aggression.
  6. Involve Parents: Notify parents of both victims and bullies when a confrontation occurs. Listen receptively to parents who report bullying, and investigate reported circumstances so appropriate school action may be taken.


EducationWorld resources on bullying:

Bullying Prevention Resource Page
Explore a variety of resources on this important topic.

Join the Discussion on Bullying
A recent discussion in our educator community highlighted some of the challenges of bullying prevention. Jump into the conversationto learn about, and share, best practices.

Beyond Icebreakers: Building Student Connectedness
In order to prevent bullying and boost achievement, students need to form bonds not only with their classmates, but also with the school at large.

Bullying Prevention: What Your School May be Missing
In this excerpt from Bullied Teacher: Bullied Student, Les Parsons explains how typical school bullying prevention approaches fall short.

When is Bullying a Hate Crime?
This provocative piece, contributed by EducationWorld guest columnists Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, dispels common myths about bullying.

The Best Bullying Prevention Schools Aren’t Doing
Teacher educator Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown says educators and kids need to get beyond talk of “perpetrators” and “victims” and embrace the complexity that characterizes student mistreatment.

Stan Davis: Ask Bullied Kids What Helps Them
Bullying prevention expert Stan Davis reminds us that often the typical adult advice, such as “pretend the bullying doesn’t bother you,” actually does more harm than good.

Lesson Plan Booster: How Can Students Help a Bullied Peer?
This discussion guide for middle- and high-school students helps youth learn about safe ways to help a classmate who has been mistreated.

 

For more ideas on how to combat bullying and cyberbullying in your classroom, check out these useful links:

 

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