How Schools and Teachers Can Create Safe Schools and Eliminate Bullying
Wiki Article by Amanda M. Artzer
This article’s learning targets are designed to help future teachers. Outside links are provided to help readers even further. The article is broken down into many sections for easy understanding.
The point of this article is to enable readers to gain control of their classroom. It focuses on bullying, and how to identify bullies.
Readers should be able to recognize some of the signs of school bullying.
Ideas and ways of preventing bullying will be suggested to help future teachers eliminate violence in schools. Readers will have a grasp of what to do about bullying.
Children are more often the target of violence, rather than the cause. Schools should be a safe place for all students. (U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences , 2007)
For statistics visit http://nces.ed.gov/programs/crimeindicators/crimeindicators2007/.
Bullying is a form of violence. What is bullying?
“In 1998-99 academic year, 3,523 students were expelled for bringing a firearm to school.”
“Nearly 8% of adolescents in urban junior and senior high schools miss at least one day of school each month because they are afraid to attend.”
(National Education Association Health Information Network, 2005)
Bullying can be physical, threats, teasing, and exclusion. The bully will often blame their target for their actions. (StopBullyingNow )
• They look different
• They do not fit in
• Sexual orientation
• They are an easy target
• Social status
o Punching, kicking, sexual assault, showing, tripping, etc.
o An example of this gossip, and spreading rumors about a person.
o Such as teasing and taunting a person.
• A newer one is Cyber bullying
o Cruelty through instant messages, web pages, emails, etc.
“Physical aggression: hitting, kicking, pushing, choking, punching
• Verbal aggression: threatening, taunting, teasing, starting rumors, hate speech.
• Exclusion from activities: This does not mean that a student should have to be friends with every other student; it does mean that children should not be allowed to systematically exclude others: “No one play with Mary;” “No one wants to play with him;” “Don’t be her friend.”
The last coach the girls dealt with, Michaela Ward, was bullied by the girls as well. “Among the pranks they allegedly pulled on Ward: giving her what the report described as a “chocolate tampon” and sending racy text messages from her cell phone to her husband and another coach.” When pictures of the girls surfaced on the internet of them in Condom shops, and drinking; the girls were suspended from the cheerleading squad. When they were told they would be kicked off if another incident occurred a girl replied, “Good luck with that.” Ward is the one who took action. She resigned from the school, and went to the media ( Kovach, Campo-Flores , 2007).
1. Positive behavior must be addressed and supported. This does not just include discipline, but extends to academics as well. Teachers must provide a “caring school environment,” and engage students to participate and excel. Love and support should be shown to all students, and not just negative behavior should be noticed.
2. Students who have “…severe academic or behavioral difficulties early on…” should be recognized and helped immediately. This should begin early on, before problems can escalate and become overwhelming challenges. Services, such as tutoring and counseling, should be provided.
3. Students who are “…experiencing significant emotional and behavioral problems…” should have intervention from schools. Schools needs to collaborate with outside sources, such as “…social services, mental health providers, and law enforcement and juvenile justice authorities.”
Do not verbalize frustration, or “pick on” students. Be very mindful of comments that can be hurtful, or considered negative reinforcement. Never yell or scream at a student. Make sure that you, the teacher, do not become a bully (StopBullyingNow).
Link for more information to assess what makes a teacher a bully: http://www.stopbullyingnow.com/bullying%20by%20teachers.htm.
T – Tailor for diversity. Make it a point to know as much as possible about your students, including their diverse cultural, ethnic, behavioral, and learning characteristics, along with stressors they may experience outside of school.
E – Encourage positive behavior. Aim for a 4:1 ratio of positive comments to negative corrections for all the students.
A – Arrange the environment for success. Teach your behavioral expectations directly and immediately through collaboratively-established classroom rules and well designed classroom routines.
C – Consult your peers. Seek collaboration with experienced teachers and specialists before difficult problems start to become entrenched.
H – Hug yourself. Prevent stress and burnout by focusing each day on what you are accomplishing and not just on what is frustrating.”
(The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment)
Look for at Risk Students
Look for disruptive behavior, and wonder why a student is acting that way. Try to understand students as best as possible. Enforce behavior in September to establish authority. Sit disruptive children near the teaching area. For more ways to intervene, go to http://www. teachsafeschools. org/bully_menu5. html#5b .
Some of the examples listed are:
“Never use victim’s names with the bulling student so as to reduce retaliation possibilities.”(The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment)
Teachers are not just responsible for teaching, but also need to look out for students. They have a responsibility to students to try to help them out as much as possible. Teachers should make students feel safe and comfortable to learn in their classroom.
2. Positive reinforcement allows for a better classroom environment.
3. Stop problems before they become problems.
4. Collaborating allows for more effective problem solving.
5. Teaching is not the only responsibility of teachers in the classroom.
Some might have more than one answer. Select from the choice what the best answer is.
1.On the first day of school, Ms. Stevens is welcoming her class of fourth graders. Her student, Sean, immediately begins being disruptive. He is talking and making jokes while they are reading out loud. Of the choices below, which would be the best action for Ms. Stevens to do?
a. Send Sean to the Principal’s office.
b. Verbalize her discontent for his behavior with anger, and make him write his name on the board.
c. Next class she should move him closer to her desk, and try to enforce positive behavior.
d. Sit him in the back of the classroom and ignore him the rest of the day.
2. What does bullying include?
a. Showing off, being disruptive, teasing
b. Refusing to do activities
c. Teasing, being rude to others
d. Physical and Emotional abuse
3. What percentage of adolescents in urban and junior and senior high schools, miss at least one day of school each month because of fear to attend?
4. Mrs. Evans suspects a student in her class of being involved in a gang. What is the best action?
a. Call his parents
b. Notify an administrator
c. Ignore her concern
d. Give him detention
5. Behavioral enforcement and rules should begin when?
a. After exams
b. After a student acts up
c. The first day of class
d. When many students are disruptive
2. “D” is the answer. Please review the bullying section.
3. “D” is the answer here as well, and the information is in a sidebar.
4. “B” is the best answer. Mrs. Evans should not ignore it, and the parents may not care that he is in a gang.
5. The best answer is “C.” Let students know from the first day of class what the rules are, and what you expect.
References Used in Article
Kovach, G, & Campo-Flores , A (2007). Mean Girls. Newsweek, Retrieved February 4, 2009, from http://www.newsweek.com/id/37993.
National Education Association Health Information Network, (2005, June 17). Statistics: Gun Violence in Our Communities. Retrieved February 4, 2009, from National Education Association Health Information Network Web site: http://www.neahin.org/programs/schoolsafety/gunsafety/statistics.htm
SafeYouth, Elements of Effective School Violence Prevention Plans. Retrieved February 4, 2009, from SafeYouth Web site: http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/faq/schoolplan.asp
Schwartz, W (1996). An Overview of Strategies To Reduce School Violence. ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education New York NY, Retrieved February , from http://www.ericdigests.org/1998-1/overview.htm
StopBullyingNow, Identifying Bullying. Retrieved February 4, 2009, from Stop Bullying Now Web site: http://www.stopbullyingnow.com/identify.htm
StopBullyingNow, What can educators do about bullying by school staff?. Retrieved February 4, 2009, from StopBullyingNow Web site: http://www.stopbullyingnow.com/bullying%20by%20teachers.htm
Teens health, (2007, June). Teens health. Retrieved February 4, 2009, from Dealing With Bullying Web site: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/problems/bullies.html
The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment, Classroom Management. Retrieved February 4, 2009, from TeachSafeSchools Web site: http://www.teachsafeschools.org/improving-school-safety.html
The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment, Improving School Safety . Retrieved February 4, 2009, from TeachSafeSchools Web site: http://www.teachsafeschools.org/improving-school-safety.html
U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences , (2007, December). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2009, from The National Center for Education Statistics Web site: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/crimeindicators/crimeindicators2007/
http://www. teachsafeschools. org/bully_menu5-2. html#5g
http://www. teachsafeschools. org/bully_menu5. html#5b .