How Can Teachers And Schools Help?
Prevention is better than cure
The best way that teachers can help the victims of bullying is by preventing it from happening in the first place.
- All schools should have an anti-bullying policy (see below).
If bullying is happening
Unfortunately, even with prevention measures in place, bullying can still occur in the school and beyond. If this is the case, the following measures can help:
- Ensure that confidentiality is assured when students report bullying against themselves or others - they need to feel safe that once they make the disclosure, the bully does not find out it was them who told. An easy way to overcome this could be to say to the bully that "Another member of staff has witnessed you..."
- Promote awareness of the above confidential disclosure policy - young people will feel safe if they know they are protected by anonymity and are therefore more likely to report bullying
- Act upon every incident that is reported to you, and let the referrer know that you have acted upon it. If a student reports bulying but they do not see that action is taken, their confidence in you will wane.
- Take steps to ensure the safety of any bullying victims - be aware of the victim's school timetable and identify the risk areas/times. Speak to other school staff to get their help in keeping the victim safe from bullies.
- Confront students engaged in bullying in a firm but fair manner - sending a clear message to students that bullying will not be tolerated.
- Provide appropriate and consistent consequences for bullying behaviour - using the anti-bullying procedure if it is in place.
Further details for dealing with bullying can be found in the excellent document Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do that can be read and downloaded here.
ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES FOR SCHOOLS TO TACKLE BULLYING
All schools should have an anti-bullying policy which clearly sets out the rules and consequences of how teachers will deal with any case of bullying. The school rules should also enforce the anti bullying policy ensuring that all of the students know the boundaries and the consequences if they were to bully someone.
An effective policy should include:
Outlines on how school staff tackle the issue of bullying - preventative methods, educating students about bullying, pointing students to the right appropriate support (see the Links page).
Guidance on how incidents are dealt with after they occur, including what support the school will offer to the student.
All students and parents should be informed about the policy and what the consequences of breaching it are.
The Policy should outline each form of bullying including but not limited to:
Most of these are described on our 'What Is Bullying Page' or in the below document.
Other methods teachers and schools can use to tackle bullying can be found in this useful PDF document.