Thursday, May 17, 2012

How to Make Your School Bully Proof

How to Stop Bullying in Schools

Amy E Bainbridge, GT Coordinator
Campus Middle School

Bully proofing beyond the classroom…umm bullying is such a problem in our nation’s schools. We like to teach students the golden rule, “Treat people the way you want to be treated!” This is great when you are dealing with a student who isn’t a bully! I read somewhere about implementing the platinum rule, instead of the golden rule. The platinum rule is, “Treat others the way THEY want to be treated.” This helps change our bullies’ thinking. Think about it, how many times have you told a kid, “Treat this student the way you want to be treated.” And what do they say, “I wouldn’t care if someone did that to me.” “I would think it would be funny if someone did that to me.” The problem here is that the person getting bullied doesn’t think it is funny and does care that it happened to them. At this point we change our words and say, treat others the way THEY want to be treated. Alice doesn’t like it when you do this, so please RESPECT her wishes. You might not care but she does!

Another thing that has worked is incorporating three basic school rules. The three Be’s! Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible. Anytime a student does anything, inside our classroom, out on the playground, in the hallways, we can ask them, “Are you being…safe…respectful…responsible? The kids can internalize their behaviors and own them. I use it all the time in the classroom. A student is tipping in their chair. I don’t have to tell them to stop tipping; I ask them if they are being safe. If not, please fix it. The students own the choice & have more power over their choices (or so we let them believe that they have the choice).

The platinum rule and the three Be’s are steps to help bully proof our schools.


  1. This is a great article that represents how one of the key foundations of positive behavior interventions & supports (PBIS), establishing 3-5 school-wide expectations, can be used to prevent inappropriate behavior and promote POSITIVE behavior! Tom at

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