Schools need to find ways to reduce this problem. This includes having all teachers, staff, and administrators on board to prevent bullying from occurring. Here are some tips to help you reduce bullying in your school.
1. Have a Clear Definition of Bullying.
Bullying occurs at all grade levels. An entire school district needs to have the same language within all its schools in order to reduce bullying. To start, the schools need to have a common definition of bullying. CPI defines bullying (2011) as being characterized by intentionally aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of power and strength. It can be exemplified through physical, verbal/nonverbal, and/or relational means. It is a repeated offense, even when teachers observe it for the first time. Talking to the victim about what happened and whether there have been past occurrences is very important.
Staff should be able to distinguish between teasing and bullying. According to Sweeting and West (2001), teasing is reported more frequently than bullying because teasing is done to irritate or provoke another with persistent distractions or other annoyances. Bullying, on the other hand, is an imbalance of power. This is key. Bullied students are unable to defend themselves, which is what causes the imbalance of power. Bullying occurs in different forms such as threats, teasing, name calling, excluding, preventing others from going where they want or doing what they want, pushing, hitting, and all forms of physical violence (Mahoney, 2012). The severity of bullying varies from case to case.
With the growth of the use of social media among students, staff should be aware that cyberbullying is becoming more of a problem. Cyberbullying is the “use of any electronic device to harass, intimidate, or bully another” (Mahoney, 2012). This includes texts, emails, videos, and posts and messages on social media websites. Schools need to ensure that bullying prevention efforts are stressed when it comes to cyberbullying. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, “All school staff need to be trained on what bullying is, wha