How To Stop Bullying In Schools

Bullying as a vice has been on the increase recently and has taken root in our schools. Day in day out news never miss incidents of pupils or students being ill-treated by their fellows and this has been stressing to parents who no longer have the courage to entrust their children under the care of teachers in schools for the fear of safety. The bullied children are affected directly in their academics, suffer from sleep problems, anxiety, and far worse even depression. The bullies themselves may end up having extensive problems in their adulthood such as drug and substance abuse or violence. So the question is, how do we stop this problem?
Students should be taught virtues like kindness and empathy. When students are able to approach issues from various perspectives, they are less likely to indulge in inhumane acts against their fellows. They should participate in activities that boost their social-emotional learning. This will enable them to understand and appreciate their identities and those of others and to do this, they need to have empathy and kindness. “Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and teachers need to embed this skill into their curriculum.” (Patterson 15) Students should get together and practice conflict resolution, work through problems and understand those around them.
Educators should identify gateway behaviors. Indicators of bullying can be recognized in the early stages and if these signals can be seen at onset, they can be tamed to avoid a much bigger problem in the future. These gateway behaviors include; Stalking, ignoring or excluding, causing physical harm, laughing cruelly, spying, prolonged staring, and eye-rolling. These behaviors may not necessarily be classified as direct bullying but interventions should be put in place to mitigate the likelihood of them causing bullying in the future.

Established systems within the school where bullied children can freely report can also help curb this menace. There should be strong repercussions for bullying. Counselors and other professionals are advised to meet with children involved and their families to discuss the issue and help determine the solutions. Classroom discussions should also be held about the motivations and effects of bullying to sensitize students and promote self-awareness. This impacts positively on the students thus can help stop bullying in schools.
Another way educators can help prevent bullying is by participating in simulations. It should not be just a theoretical issue but educators should know exactly how to deal with the bullying incident should it come up. “We are currently using technology to recreate the experience for pre-service teachers in a mixed reality lab.”(Quinquis 45). Pre-service teachers are asked to respond to the bullying situation and provide a fitting solution.
Although bullying has been part of the society since its inception, joint efforts of the schools, parents and the students themselves can make going to school a healthier and safer experience.
References

Ericka, Dawes. Early Childhood Literacy, 2015
Quinquis, Maureen-Creegan. Teach Students to Prevent Bullying, 2014

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