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Ten Strategies To Prevent Bullying In School

According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Center, one out of three students has either been the victim of bullying or acted as a bully, and each day 160,000 children miss school due to a fear of being bullied. Nationally, over five million students are affected by bullying while in school – something that has been shown to harm self-esteem, stall learning, and even lead to serious physical and emotional harm.


While some mistakenly believe that bullying is simply a natural occurrence, there are multiple strategies that teachers, parents and students can use in concert in order to minimize and control bullying in schools. Here are ten ways that have been proven to prevent bullying:


  1. Increase adult supervision. In the majority of cases, bullying takes place when there are no adults to witness it. It follows that one of the most effective ways to prevent bullying is to increase adult supervision on the playground, in the hallways, and in the lunchroom – places where bullying is most likely to occur during the school day.

  2. Increase awareness of bullying. Even if your school cannot budget for increased adult supervision, you can increase adult and student awareness of bullying. Since bullying often takes place at school but away from authority figures, educating students to stand up for their peers is key to stopping the problem.

  3. Make a school-wide effort. Studies have shown that bully prevention is less effective when individual bullies are targeted or singled out. Instead, whole school approaches that involve those who are bullied, the bullies themselves and those who are not involved in bullying are the most successful.

  4. Establish a clear policy for bullying. Create school rules that specifically address bullying and have specific consequences for offenders. Be sure that students can anonymously report bullying and be sure that both students and teachers are familiar with the specifics of the school’s anti-bullying policy.

  5. Consistently enforce bully policies. Equally important to creating a working bully policy in your school is enforcing that policy consistently.

  6. Empower bullied students. While it is important to discipline and educate bullies, it is equally important to empower and educate those who are bullied. Bullied children often feel anxious, isolated, worthless, and fearful – emotions that ironically increase their chances of further bullying.

  7. Making certain that those who are bullied receive the support they need will not only keep them safe but also increase their self-esteem and allow them to correctly respond to future bullying.

  8. Involve parents. Make sure that all parents – not just the parents of bullies or the bullied – are aware of the signs of bullying, the consequences of bullying, and the correct responses to bullying.

  9. Don’t forget cyber-bullying. Many older adults think that bullying is limited to schoolyard fights or verbal exchanges, but in today’s world, children can also be harassed, emotionally abused and teased over the internet. Monitor school computer use and block potentially harmful sites, such as social networking sites.

  10. Enlist the silent majority. One of the most disturbing aspects of bullying is that it is often ignored or even accepted by the students who are not directly involved. By making all students aware of how damaging bullying can do and how bullying can affect the overall school culture – is very important to creating a bully-free environment and a compassionate and empathetic student body.

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