School counselors serve as experts on school-wide approaches to prevent bullying and encourage a positive school climate. Check out how some Confident Counselors encourage anti-bullying efforts and our favorite resources to carry over their tips.
“Teach bullying awareness lessons in all classrooms at the beginning of the school year to provide a common foundation for students. If possible, co-teach the lesson with your school principal or dean of students. This helps students see how counselors work together with administrators to assist students in solving problems. At the end of the lesson, send a brief letter home to parents that explains the definition of bullying and provides suggestions for conflict resolution.” – Kate from EduKate and Inspire
- Bullying Awareness Activity for Students: The Power Shuffle.
“Work with your school to address school climate, making bullying prevention efforts part of a larger plan. Consider adopting an evidence based program, such as Second Step, Olewus Bullying Prevention Program, or Open Circle. These programs allow bullying to be addressed in a consistent way across staff and focus on differentiating it from other negative social behaviors. One of the most powerful things we adopted in my schools has been consistent language to address bullying. We consistently define bullying, teasing, joking, and mean behavior. Students know it when they see it. Positively, students have gravitated to positive behaviors labeled consistently, such as upstander.” – Laura, Social Emotional Workshop
“Expand student’s vocabulary beyond the word bullying. In fact, don’t use the word hardly at all. Focus on concepts such as conflict, the tattling rules, and being a problem solver.” – Little Miss Counselor
- Don’t Say Bully: SMARTboard Understanding Power Differences from LittleMissCounselor
- RIP: Distinguishing between Peer Conflict and Bullying from the University of Illinois
- Is it Rude, is it Mean, or is it Bullying? from Exploring School Counseling
“Teach your entire school what bullying is. Bullying is a big deal and we do a disservice if we lump other, more developmentally appropriate misbehavior with bullying. I teach my students the difference between bullying, interpersonal conflict, and a mean moment. By agreeing on one definition of bullying, we can work as a school on how to handle each type of incident with the appropriate level of response.” – Rebecca at Counselor Up
- Celebrate Bullying Prevention from Counselor Up
- Mean vs Rude vs Bullying: Defining the Differences by Signe Whitson
“Make sure to teach students the difference between being mean/teasing and true bullying. Many students throw around the word bullying without realizing how severe bullying really is. Challenge them to understand the differences.” – Mrs. Bell, The Crafty Counselor
- What is Bullying? Teaching Students the Difference between Bullying and Teasing from Mrs. Bell, The Crafty Counselor
“To help prevent bullying, I recommend that counselors are part of a schoolwide effort to have all parents/students sign an anti-bully pledge.” – Stephanie from Bilingual Learner
- Take a Stand Against Bullying from Bullying Epidemic
“Because students are afraid to report bullying, have a centrally located locked box for anonymous reports. To help minimize student’s fears of retaliation from witnesses for using the box, include a neutral reporting form that both identifies students with bully behaviors and recognizes students with kind behaviors.” – Mental Fills
- Bully Box Report. A free app for students to report bullying
- Bullying Report Form from Life on the Fly School Counselor
“It’s important for students to have multiple ways to report bullying. At our school, we have a lock box for students to leave notes for us. Only the counselors have keys to the box. They have the choice to remain anonymous. Our district also uses the “Text-a-Tip” hotline for students to report bullying via text message. We also encourage students to tell at least one adult such as a parent or trusted adult. Each student is unique and may be more comfortable reporting one way versus the other.” – The Counseling Teacher
- Bullying or Conflict Presentation from The Counseling Teacher
“I have successfully used Stand-Up Against Bullies developed by Rosanne Sheritz Satori. A series of 8 lessons helps students develop skills to stand up to bullies. I do not do all the lessons in each grade level, but start with Kindergarten teaching the friendship lesson, and how walk away and avoid the bully and followed by teaching the additional skills in 1st and 2nd grade. The curriculum uses puppets and has a “Bug School” theme with a beetle used as the bully (Big Bad Beetle). My students find the lessons very engaging. By the end of 4th grade when they leave our building my students know and can practice anti-bullying skills and understand what may motivate another student to be a bully. Plus the students still talk about their experiences at “bug school”. There a lots of great resources to teach anti-bullying strategies but this one has been a great and engaging resource at our school. For more information you can always contact me firstname.lastname@example.org” – Counseling Wisdom/Susan Wisdom
Anti-Bullying Initiatives and Programs
Videos to Use with Students
- Not in Our School Bullying Prevention Online Film Festival
- Be the Upstander
- 5 Minute Film Festival: Turning Bystanders into Upstanders against Bullying
- Anti-Bullying Video from children in Australia who have experienced bullying.
- Anti Bullying Awareness video. It’s up to you!
- Sesame Street and Mila Kunis on Inclusion
- Bullies to Buddies Video Library
- That’s So Gay with Wanda Sykes
- Ways to Stop Bullying
- 4 Ways to Deal with a Bully