The new school year is an opportunity for parents and teachers to put fresh emphasis on bullying prevention by supporting the development of healthy social groups and friendships.
Here are some daily tips for getting the school year off to a good start. These “press the reset button” ground rules also work well at the start of a new semester or outside school hours – for after-school teams or group activities. They work at home, too – anytime you want to clear the air and start fresh.
We’ll post a new tip each day, adding to our bullying prevention “toolkit”. Check back daily!
20 Tips For Bully-Free Schools – Tip #2
Set The Bully-Free Tone Right From The Start
Make it clear from Day 1 that this school (or at least this class) is a place where we treat everyone with respect. The central message in bullying prevention is: You don’t have to love everyone, you don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, but you must make a place for everyone, and treat other human beings with dignity and respect, even, and especially, during conflict. We must be able to work and play with everyone.
Adults must back this up daily: monitor and insist that kids hold to these principles (adults too). The first two months can be a struggle, with lots of reminding, but it really pays off. When kids know you are serious and really mean “No bullying here”, they will internalize those standards, require much less adult monitoring and intervention, and will, believe it or not, become self-monitoring. Classes with less bullying make faster academic progress, with fewer distractions and discipline problems. Parents, reinforce the school efforts by declaring a “fresh start” at home in early September!