Education & Training

Student Being Bullied at School: A Guide for Teachers

As a teacher, you are responsible for ensuring that your classroom is safe and healthy. Educators are the ones who protect and guide each student against bullying. Bullying is commonly defined as long-term physical or psychological abuse of students who are unable to defend themselves by an individual or group of other students.

Students or group of students to inflict injury and demonstrate violent behavior. Bulled students feel powerless, threatened and loss of self-esteem, which will affect their mental health. Thus, the teacher must identify and address bullying consistently and create a culture of respect and dignity in their classroom.

These are some of the stats and reports of students that are bullied at school.

  • 1 in 5 students (20.2%) report being bullied.
  • Among the students who claimed to have been bullied,

i. 13% of students reported that they were made fun of by calling names or insulted;
ii. 13% were bullied because of the subject of rumors;
iii. 5% who shoved, pushed, tripped, spitting at, or pushed;
iv. 5% were excluded from extracurricular activities on purpose.

  • According to bullied students, Bullying occurs most often at these locations:

i. 43% occurred at the hallway or stairwell at school,
ii. 42% inside the classroom,
iii. 27% in the cafeteria,
iv. 22% outside on school grounds,
v. 15% online or by text,
vi. 12% in the bathroom or locker room, and
vii. 8% on the school bus.

Nevertheless, school-based bullying prevention programs have led to a 25% decrease in bullying. If you don’t know what you’re doing, how can you make an impact as an educator? How can you prevent bullying in the classroom and stop the behavior before it gets out of control?

Here is the article covering every aspect of it.

Sign of Bullying:

In school, bullying is a widespread problem that affects all environments. Bullying can be as emotionally and psychologically damaging as physical intimidation and harassment. Bullying can be destructive and persistent, and it can also be subtle enough that teachers are unaware of it.

It can lead to long-term psychological, emotional, and physical problems for the victim. Both bullies and their victims are likely to suffer physical, mental, and behavioral health problems; victims of bullying are more likely to report psychosomatic complaints and attempt suicide than nonvictims. To combat bullying, teachers must recognize its signs and look out for them.

Following are some of the warning signs that a student is being bullied or being bullied by another student:

Signs a student is being bullied (for teachers):

  • Failing grades or being uninterested in schoolwork
  • Be alone often or excluded from friendships groups at school
  • Avoiding social gatherings or do not take part in the school program
  • Lacking self-confidence whenever asked to speak up
  • Insecure or frightened
  • Be a frequent target for teasing or mimicking at school

Signs your child is being bullied at school (for parents):

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Find or make up excuses not to go to school
  • Appears to be sad, depressed, or frightened when they come home
  • Change their route to school or are afraid to walk there
  • Difficulty in sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Your kid might come with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothes, books, or other materials
  • Shows self-destructive behaviors like running away from home, hurting themselves, or talking about suicide

Signs a student is bullying others(victims):

  • Get into verbal or physical fights frequently
  • Always prefer walking in the gang
  • Have friends who bully others
  • Are aggressive in nature
  • Frequently sent to the principal’s office or detention
  • Blame others for their problems
  • They are very competitive in nature and always worry about their reputation or popularity
  • Thinks superior of themselves

Bullying: Guidelines for Teachers

Teachers can use the following mentioned tips to intervene appropriately when bullying occurs in the classroom or school.

Talk about bullying

Talk and teach your students about how people are affected by bullying and ensure they know the consequences of bullying others at school. As a teacher, make sure to understand that bullying is not tolerated and will be addressed.

  • Conduct a bullying training prevention program or in-service to learn more about bullying and its obligations so that students get aware.
  • Your class needs to know the behaviors you consider bullying.
  • Establish clear and strict rules against bullying and define what behavior is acceptable and unacceptable.
  • Animate a video to illustrate the issue of bullying in a separate class you teach students.

Be visible throughout the school time

  • Ensure to keep an eye on the place where bullying might occur the most, like bathrooms, hallways, and even the lunchroom.
  • Make yourself available near the buses in the afternoon and during recess if you can.
  • Close supervision is required in all areas where bullying occurs.  Schools can install CCTV cameras in these areas.

Maintain open communication

  • Build a good and friendly relationship with all your students and get to know them as individuals.
  • Talk to students every day and ask how things are going and how they are doing at school.
  • Pay attention to any signs of bullying.
  • If your students are struggling, offer support or direct them to school resources to meet their specific needs.
  • Try your best to find out about student interests and goals.

Act immediately

  • Whenever you see someone being bullied or bullied, you should take immediate action: ask them what is going on or send them to the principal’s office.
  • Avoid normalizing by saying, “kids will be kids.
  • Provide the victim with helpful tips to cope up with the bully
  • Ask them (victim) to reach out to the teachers for help

Speak with the victims privately

  • Create a friendly zone where students feel safe talking with you.
  • Commit to helping the victim resolve the issue.
  • Identify the cause of the bullying and offer suggestions for how to overcome it.
  • Make a safe time to talk with the victim and ensure that the bully is unaware of the meeting.
  • Avoid talking to the victim in front of the bully because victims might fear opening their mouth and remain silent.

Speak with the bully separately

  • When you meet with students who bully others, please don’t allow them to blame the victim; instead, make them realize their behavior.
  • Take action against bullying behavior and implement appropriate discipline.
  • Give students (who bullied others) ideas for behaving differently in the future.
  • Tell them to research bullying and write a report about it as a punishment as it is a good idea to teach kids who bully others how harmful their behavior is to other people.

Bullying is a very sensitive matter. Sometimes, there can be the case where you can fail even when trying to create a friendly and bully-free environment. Here is a list of mistakes you may do unknowingly.

The don’ts for teachers

  • Do not confuse bullying with conflict. Bullying is commonly misunderstood by teachers who mistake it for a conflict and go after both sides; this is especially cruel for bullied students.
  • Avoid peer mediation. A teacher who gives both bullies and bullied students equal time to speak might empower bullies.
  • Do not label. No matter their gender, age, or size, bullies are out there in all forms. They come from wealthy backgrounds, troubled families, and low socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Do not scold weak students in front of the class or always pick them for punishment. They (weaker ones) may become a target of bullies.

Some guidelines for parents of the victim

Nobody can understand what their childlike parents do. Parents can also play a great role in stopping bullying by their children.

  • Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular activities that may help develop confidence
  • Please encourage your child to participate in peer-group activities that are appropriate for their age
  • Do not discourage your child from developing their own thoughts and beliefs
  • Take an active role in preventing the perpetuation of the child’s victim behavior.
  • Be a friend to them and ask them to share everything about school.
  • If you find your child depressed, motivate them by saying every child is special and unique.

Final thoughts

Bullying is without a doubt a major problem. Although it has decreased over time, it still affects so many students that it negatively impacts the school’s environment. Bullying hinders student learning and causes distractions, especially if students are anxious about being the next target.

Bullied students often stop attending school. However, schools should address such problems by collecting data on what’s happening inside their halls. Teachers in the classroom can also take the steps mentioned above to prevent bullying. It will also help you to go a long way in improving your effectiveness as an educator.

Do not ever turn a blind eye to bullying because students (victims) lose faith in you as an educator and person. You, as a teacher, should be a great impactor on your students when you address bullying consistently and effectively. Moreover, schools can position themselves by making and implementing multiple strategies to end bullying inside the school premises before it has resulted in anything tragic.

Admin

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