Tuesday, May 15, 2012

7 Steps to Eliminating Bullying

How to Stop Bullying in Schools

Gisele James, Administrator
Par-Excellence Academy

There are 2 parts to our anti-bullying program.

Part A:
The first way our school stopped students from bullying was to empower the students. Two 4th grade girls who were in great conflict and had an entire class involved. I sat down with these girls in my office and we discussed many of the issues causing problems. They both agreed to stop bullying each other and I decided to talk to the class as we determined the other students liked and encouraged the drama. When I went to the classroom the girls courageously stepped up and talked to the class about how they felt about rumors, gossip, and friend flipping. So began the most powerful anti-bullying program I have heard about. Stop Student Bullying (SSB). The whole class agreed to be an SSB member. Well that led to the whole school wanting to do it. The SSB had a schoolwide contract signed that the two original girls put together and a daily cheer we do to support our efforts. I have found that students have the answers and need to be a part of the solutions.

Part B:
The second way our school stopped bullying was by creating more structured recess—as many bullying activities happened during recess. We created activities that were organized and teachers led to help blend students who may have not interacted with each other if not guided to do so, providing a more monitored environment for students to interact with each other.

What we learned (the 7 steps):
1. Ask students when, where and how bullying occurs. (Have an adult facilitate.)
2. Have students develop a contract on anti-bullying.
3. Do support activities that are student led: cheers, posters, stickers, etc.
4. Encourage all grades/all students to be a part of the program.
5. Have staff show their support to students.
6. At recess divide students randomly in groups and assign a teacher to a group with an organized activity.
7. Make sure students are given appropriate games to help them interact.

Both programs together have made a huge difference. Students now are discussing issues and trying to work out their problems instead of suffering in silence. The students feel empowered to create a environment free of fear.

During lunch and recess many students have created clubs like dance club, origami club, and clean earth club to share their interests and be included in a group. Almost every day I get comments from students who feel better about school.

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