Bullying Awareness Month is coming up in October. It is an important month to highlight anti-bullying programs and initiatives in your school. If your school doesn’t directly or effectively address bullying, it is a great time to open up conversations with your administration.
Bullying Awareness Month
I find that my students believe that any misunderstanding, problem, or conflict is bullying. I like to educate my students on what exactly bullying is and how it differs from conflicts, accidents, and misunderstandings. Then, I work on giving my students the tools to help manage these situations.
At my school, we prepare for Bullying Awareness Month with lots of support and info-sharing through guidance lessons. I am at a middle school, so kids picking on each other often goes with the territory. I use a specific guidance lesson to introduce the bullying topic with definitions, and “what to do if” scenarios.
Here is a link to the bullying guidance lesson if you’d like to check it out. Then, in the next guidance lesson on this topic, I take our school resource officer (police officer) in with me and he explains the legalities of bullying to students. I am in Texas, which just passed very strict anti-bullying interventions through David’s Law, so we spend a lot of time and effort on this topic during Bullying Awareness Month and year round.
One important perspective change I had about bullying came after hearing Ross Greene speak. He emphasized that in the bully-victim relationship, there were skills lacking on both sides. Since then, I coach others to think about bullies with skill deficits that need intervention, rather than as a bad kid. This month, consider intensive interventions that focus on social problem solving, empathy building, and impulse control.
Check out Ross Greene’s article B is for Bullies (and the Bullied) and advocate for policies that go beyond zero tolerance and create a school climate where bullying is solved and not managed.
-Laura from Social Emotional Workshop
Check out our other posts on Bullying and share what you do in the comments!
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