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Classroom Essentials for Bullying Prevention Month and Beyond

October 26, 2012

As the nation observes Bullying Prevention Month, educators, students and parents are engaged in discussions to get everyone involved in creating safe learning environments. In response to the need for professional development and classroom resources, Education World is offering a wide range of bullying prevention content to schools.

Now is the perfect opportunity to address this serious issue. Schools should know that youth who mistreat others frequently are at higher risk of having a criminal record as adults. Bullied youth may suffer from low self-esteem, and the negative effects extend to youth who witness bullying and mean behavior. Recent high-profile cases remind us of the potentially deadly consequences of turning a blind eye to bullying.

Bullying and peer mistreatment wreak havoc on school climate and interfere with student learning. In contrast, when young people feel safe and cared for by peers and adults, academic achievement increases.

Classroom essentials, such as lesson plans, are among educators’ favorite pages relating to this topic on Education World. Recent new lessons have included Speak Up: A Video Lesson on Bullying and Public Speaking Lesson: The Impact of Bullying as well as the discussion guide How Can Students Help a Bullied Peer? Also, teachers have found great value in Education World’s lessons for Teaching Tolerance and activities to encourage empathy and peaceful conflict resolution.

Lesson plans include preparation and guidance for student discussion, options for discussion questions and links to related resources. It’s easy to email lessons or share them via social media. Beyond Bullying Prevention Month, they are suitable for social studies, psychology, health or current events classes.

Education World also offers numerous professional development articles devoted to bullying prevention, such as:

Another professional development article, Stan Davis: Ask Bullied Kids What Helps Them, features three top take-away lessons for schools from the Youth Voice Project. by Education World interviewed author Stan Davis about what strategies work when students are mistreated.

“One of the strongest findings of the study was that three of the four most common student actions—walking away, pretending it doesn’t bother you and telling the aggressor to stop—were actually experienced by kids to be three of the least effective strategies. In addition, although there’s been a strong feeling among many people that we want kids who see mean behavior to confront the person who did it, kids said they would prefer that someone walk with them, or sit with them, or call them at home, or help them tell an adult,” Davis said.

Key evidence-based strategies advocated in Education World’s professional development articles include:

  • Providing teacher training on how to intervene when they see bullying;
  • Putting clear anti-bullying rules and policies in place;
  • Increasing staff supervision of known “hot spots” (e.g., bathrooms, cafeteria) where bullying frequently occurs;
  • Training students on what to do when they witness bullying (mainly REPORT the incident and SUPPORT the target in a safe way);
  • Making young people aware of which specific behaviors are inappropriate (i.e., put-downs, name-calling, homophobic language, gossiping, social exclusion, etc.);
  • Creating an environment where students feel that if they are bullied, they will receive support from adults and peers;
  • Rewarding students for positive behavior, rather than punishing them for negative behavior;
  • Facilitating student leadership on the issue of bullying;
  • Asking targets of bullying what they would like other people to do to help them, and then educating other people on how to do those things;
  • Providing intervention services for students who mistreat peers;
  • Infusing instruction on positive behaviors into the everyday curriculum; and
  • Forming a school committee that monitors school-climate survey data that indicates whether students feel safe and supported in school.

Other helpful content includes a short survey on bullying that can be given to students, tips for helping kids learn how to spot bullies, and a review of research that debunks myths about bullying.

Educators viewed’s popular bullying resources page over 115,000 times in the past school year, and the site’s school climate articles archive was viewed over 20,000 times.


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