Schools influence the behaviour of children through the way teachers teach and the concern (or unconcern) they show for their students' individual well-being. Bullying is less common among children in schools in which (i) there is good classroom management (ii) lessons are interesting (iii) teachers have reciprocal good relations with their students.
It can also be helpful for schools to address bullying specifically through the school curriculum.
Work with children in classrooms
Here are some suggestions on what could be included:
Knowledge about bullying
Attitudes, beliefs and values that are incompatible with bullying
- What bullying is
- Why bullying must be stopped - the harm it does
- The content of the schools anti-bullying policy
Skills for coping with aggressive people and helping victims
- Being unprejudiced
- Being cooperative and empathic
- Resisting negative peer group pressure
- Developing self-acceptance and acceptance of others
Schools need to think carefully about how such knowledge, attitudes and skills can be promoted through activities that are age appropriate, Here are some suggestions
- Reacting effectively if bullied - being appropriately assertive
- Resolving differences constructively, using conflict resolution techniques
- Helping others who are being bullied, by being a good bystander
- Arrange for class meetings or CIRCLE TIME at which students can share their experiences and concerns with their peers. This can help to promote more empathic relationships.
See resources provided by Inyahead Publisher www.inyahead.com.au/bookshop/circle-time
- Provide clear advice on how children can respond when any of their peers seeks to bully them. This can include the use of a graduated response that could lead to the reporting of intimidating behaviour (see the Hand Diagram) or the use of a fogging technique.
- The encouragement of resilience through applying the principles of rational emotive thinking to promote self-acceptance. See especially the work of Giulio Bortollozo rebtoz.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/rebt-and-bullying.html