3 Essential Ways to Prevent Bullying in Schools in 2023
Sep 27 2023

3 Essential Ways to Prevent Bullying in Schools in 2023

Positive Action Staff
Did you know? One out of five school-going children in the US reported that their peers bullied them in 2019. And what’s more, 41% of the victims feared it would happen again.

That statistic is worrying.

School bullying is detrimental to children on both sides of the exchange. It causes physical and emotional harm and even triggers mental illness.

Unfortunately, children are too young to deal with the complicated psychological trauma that results from bullying. And the adverse effects can be lifelong.

Therefore, it’s the job of teachers, parents, and guardians to protect kids from the negative consequences of bullying.

How do you do that?

Today, we’ll discuss three essential tips you can apply in school and at home to prevent bullying.

But first, let’s go over the most common forms of bullying found on the playground.

Types of Bullying

  • Verbal Bullying — Verbal bullying is when children use negative statements, insults, and name-calling to overpower and control their victims.

  • Physical Bullying — Teen violence, such as group fights, is prevalent on school grounds. It happens when children kick, hit, push, or trip others.

  • Cyberbullying — Cyberbullying is posting or sending negative content on social media platforms. That can include hurtful pictures and videos, hateful messages, and threats.

  • Social Bullying — This happens when students ruin the reputation of another person or humiliate them. They do that by spreading rumors, playing nasty jokes, or encouraging others to exclude them.

Now that we understand the different types, let’s dive in and discover how we can prevent bullying in schools.

1. Create a Positive School Climate

A school’s success is highly dependent on the positive energy that the teachers and students adopt.

Some indicators of a positive school climate include when students:

  • Can freely interact with the teachers and their peers.
  • Feel content, wanted, and valued.
  • Are aware of the expectations for behavior and consequences of disobedience.

The school climate development kits are an essential asset for teachers. They guide on building a positive classroom experience that students will subsequently carry on in all other areas of their lives.

Below are three ways to achieve a positive atmosphere at school.

Instill Healthy Behaviour

From a very young age, children should learn how to convey themselves in a friendly manner.

A basic approach here is teaching them how to show kindness and empathy to one another.

To that end, consider incorporating the social-emotional learning program by Positive Action. It has been proven to address problem behavior in children successfully.

It helps the students form positive relationships, make ethical decisions, recognize their strengths and weaknesses (to manage their emotions), and communicate well with others.

Therefore, students recognize and appreciate everyone’s identity and value in society. They see their peers as equals. Hence, they won’t feel the need to prove superiority through bullying.

We recommend that you start teaching this to children at an elementary school level. Subsequently, when they reach middle school (which is the most prevalent stage of bullying), they will be less likely to bully others.

Encourage Open Communication

A successful anti-bullying climate must incorporate openness and feedback, so you need to establish a welcoming and accessible reporting mechanism at school.

Students need to feel free to report violent behavior without retaliation against themselves, the victim, or any witnesses.

The counselors can hold sessions where bullies and victims talk freely to resolve violent matters. Thereby, it’s easy to identify the reasons for aggressive behavior and find appropriate means to improve it.

Our conflict resolution curriculum is a great model that teachers use to help students resolve conflicts peacefully. As a result, you’ll cultivate positive energy between yourself and your students.

Reward Positive Behavior

This third tip is essential in linking self-concept with healthy behavior by motivating students to be well-behaved.

Behavior improvement suggests that “student behavior is affected by different streams of influence: intrapersonal, social context, and cultural-environmental.”

Accordingly, you’ll positively promote an anti-bullying school environment by introducing awards and recognition systems for good behavior.

It’ll contribute to bullying prevention by encouraging the bullies to change their behavior in order to earn the incentives.

These incentives can include recommendations for internships and shopping vouchers. By winning these tokens, students see the benefits of changing their bullying attitudes.

2. Raise Awareness of Bullying in Schools and at Home

Bullying at school has severe consequences for the victims of bullying and their witnesses.

It can create a mood of fear among students and negatively impact their academic achievement.

Victims are commonly traumatized so that they dread facing their victims and want to skip school. Subsequently, missing classes negatively affects their grades — which adds more stress for them and their parents.

And the question is: Do the students know the degree to which bullying can affect others? Are they aware of the lifelong emotional and psychological damage?

Let’s see how we can make students more aware below.

Include Mental Health Subjects in the School Curriculum

Young students should know what bullying can look like and comprehend what it feels like.

Students should understand the consequences of bullying on their psychological well-being. Especially how it may affect their judgment of themselves.

It can create tendencies towards self-doubt, anxiety, self-hatred, isolation, and self-harm. All these are signs of mental health disorders that can result in serious issues if left unchecked.

For instance, one of the outcomes of extreme mental health illness — especially in high school students — is suicide and self-harm.

But the good news is that teachers can help reduce the occurrence of these tragedies among students by teaching about positive mental health. Consequently, once students identify the indicators, they can report and seek help before it’s too late.

Teach Social Skills

Social skills significantly impact communication and interpersonal relationships among human beings.

Research shows that children with behavioral and social skills positively engage in classroom activities. They easily make friends and are, therefore, less likely to bully their peers.

Below are the actions indicating a child has good social skills.

  • Sharing toys, books, and other things like snacks
  • Working in teams
  • Listening to elders
  • Obeying the rules
  • Solving conflicts amicably

Again, we cannot emphasize how necessary it is to introduce these skills from a tender age. And Positive Action has several courses that teachers and parents can utilize to help build children’s social skills. For instance, our conflict resolution kits help school children to discover positive means to resolve disputes.

As a result, they won't turn to bullying when disagreements arise. Instead, they’ll talk things out without causing physical, emotional, or mental harm towards each other.

3. Introduce Bullying Prevention Initiatives in School

Any institution that works with children has a responsibility to protect those children. And preventing school bullying is key in enhancing child protection.

Here are three bullying prevention ideas for teachers:

Enforce a No-Tolerance Bullying Policy

One of the most effective preventative measures for bullying is to have parents and students consent to a non-bullying policy.

Subsequently, the students know that they’re enrolling in an anti-bullying environment. And that prepares them to adopt a positive attitude every time they enter the school grounds.

Additionally, the parents feel secure knowing their child is attending a safe school. Plus, it encourages them to be accountable for ensuring their child complies with the school guidelines. Check out our recommended action plans on school safety to learn more about how an anti-bullying environment is beneficial to students and their academic achievement.

Identify the Warning Signs of Peer Bullying

Bullying behavior develops over time. So teachers should take note of any early warning indications.

Some of the signs include:

  • Rolling eyes
  • Skipping classes and school activities
  • Talking back
  • Dropping grades
  • Changes in mood and personality

The trick is to look for impressions and actions reflecting a sense of superiority and defiance in bullies. When it comes to the victims, be mindful of students who appear underwhelmed, withdrawn, and shameful.

Our classroom management program is an essential tool to help teachers identify the signs of bullying, control their learners, and reduce problem behavior.

The initiative is advantageous because teachers will:

  • Prevent students from experiencing the severe effects of bullying, such as depression.
  • Discover underlying problems the bully could be experiencing, triggering peer victimization behavior.
  • Understand the relationship dynamics between the students and subsequently make improvements.

Engage Parents

Sadly, parents are often the last to discover when their child is bullied or has enacted bullying against a peer.

However, you can break this cycle — by educating yourself on promoting an effective family unit and being a supportive parent.

Lucky for you, the parental involvement curriculum by Positive Action achieves just that. It helps to involve parents in their child’s school life. As such, they can integrate all aspects of learning at home as well.

The program’s goal is to help parents learn about creative and critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and nurturing positive relationships with their children.

Most importantly, parents are empowered to monitor the social-emotional learning and behavioral development of their child.

Ultimately, they can talk openly, identify bullying problems, and help their children deal with stress. And the students end up happier and less likely to bully others.

Additionally, the family kit helps parents cultivate good morals at home to carry out in school. This has proven to have immediate positive effects on a family’s ability to resolve conflicts, enhance family cohesion, and improve parent-child bonding.

Therefore, the program encourages parents to establish an anti-bullying environment at home too.

Be sure to check out our website to find out more. Our tips and evidence-based models have been effective at eliminating bullying in schools and at home in multiple school districts.