- Don’t like students leaving to go to a better school. In many schools a few students leaving due to bullying can equate to a teacher’s salary.
- They don’t benefit by the poor morale, reduced class motivation to study, lower academic results, poor public relations, lowered school results.
- Bullying reflects a toxic learning environment, which will be reflected in everything they provide students.
How can school bullying be reduced?
- Effective anti-bullying policies, preventative programs and conflict resolution procedures. (Refer Bully Blocking 2007)
- Bullying intervention procedures need to be based upon collaborative restorative practices instead of adversarial, combative processes.
- All students need to develop their social and emotional resilience by developing their social survival skills. Then they can create true friendships, a supportive network and block bullying.
- Targets need to learn successful social survival and communication skills to learn how to block bullies with respect, and become nice, caring, friendly kids who can find true friends and belong to a supportive group.
- The bully needs to learn more effective ways of relating, listening to feedback and showing empathy. They need to become more accountable for their behaviours.
- The peer group needs to know how to take action to protect vulnerable kids and intervene respectfully. Utilising bystander power is the role of the school as bullies stop quickly when bystanders take action.
- Parents need to teach their children social survival skills or social resilience. Let’s face it, when their child leaves school for the day or for good, bullying is everywhere, on the road, among their friends and at work!
Some difficulties in reducing school bullying:
- Few professionals take bullying seriously or understand that it can alter a child’s brain and body permanently.
- Bullying is reflected by the attitudes towards bullying in the wider community eg sports field, parliament, and lack of community support makes bullying worse.
- Limited state legislation inadvertently condones school bullying or limits funding programs,
- Restricted funding limits training for teachers, parents and students and limits implementation opportunities for schools to deal with it effectively.
- Many schools deny bullying and refuse to confront it.
- Some schools appear to care, have a basic policy but don’t implement their programs or intervene effectively when students report bullying.
- Many teachers are handicapped by a lack of support from their school.
- Most schools don’t actively involve or assist the families who role model inappropriate behaviours to their children, influencing them to become targets, bullies or both.
- Most schools allow teachers or parents to bully or vice versa, creating an inappropriate role model for their children. How can a bullied teacher help a bullied child?
- Most schools don’t expect onlookers/peer-group/ witnesses to intervene, challenge, report or support targets and bullies.
- Many schools adopt the latest fad in reducing bullying without considering an overall plan and evaluating it regularly, they use band-aid approaches and some use good programs but implement them poorly.