There are several ideas and activities that successfully help to foster a bully-free school environment. Implementing anti-bullying programs, communicating with students about bullying policies and helping them learn how to react to a bully, are successful practices in bullying prevention. Bullying in middle school requires consistent, active intervention methods. Student surveys, Internet bullying webisodes and role play activities help middle school students to establish bullying prevention principles.
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Communicate with Students
Communication within the classroom lays solid foundations to dissuade bullying. Define bullying. Ask students how they would envision a bully-free school and if they feel like their school is a bully-free environment. Post rules on posters around the middle school and the classrooms, including rules such as no inappropriate touching; students are not allowed to put anyone down or call them names; and, students also must respect fellow students. Make sure the students know that they are safe to ask questions and to report a bully. Conclude by defining bullying again and reiterate how a bully-free school would feel.
How to React to a Bully
Lay down the ground rules to your students in class. Break the students into groups and have them describe examples of what bullying might look like to them. Follow up by having them discuss how they should react to bullying. Role play various bullying types and strategies on how to deal with the bully. Counsellors can give effective examples of how to deal with a bully. Middle school authority figures can discuss openly the disciplinary measures that await bullying behaviour.
Distribute red and blue strips of paper along with a questionnaire to each student in the class. Explain that red strips are for "Yes" answers and blue is for "No" on the questionnaire. Questionnaires ask about bullying experiences, such as, if students have been called names or if someone has refused to be their friend. Questionnaire results are communicated to students, allowing them to understand the results and make safe decisions based upon bully prevention methods suggested by Dr. Throckmorton Online.
Visit the Stop Bullying Now website. Allow the kids to spend some time watching some webisodes and playing games on anti-bullying. The webisodes are followed-up with questions to make the students think about the situation and how to handle bullies. This website is designed by "Health Resources and Services Administration" for students and teachers to learn how to stop bullying in their school.
Responsible Relationship Pledge
Review strategies for mutual respect and the benefits of a bully-free middle school. Offer this voluntary pledge, as stated by Dr. Throckmorton Online:
I _____ , pledge to treat others the way that I want to be treated by them. I further pledge to do my part to make my school a bully-free school.
Place the pledges on a notice board where students can receive positive recognition.
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