Despite all of the media attention that it’s gotten over the past decade, bullying remains a top priority for many schools out there. It seems rather unlikely that bullying will be eradicated from American schools anytime soon, but anti bullying programs for schools do have a positive effect on the severity and frequency with which it occurs. It’s likely that there are always going to be a few kids that bully their classmates, but with the right kind of training and mentorship the frequency with which it occurs can be brought down over time. Bullying is a much greater issue than most people realize, and it leads to all sorts of issues for the kids that are being bullied. They often can’t perform as well in school because they’re nervous, they often end up with mental complexes later in life, and in many cases they act out violently, either against themselves or their fellow classmates, because they get fed up with it.
Every school across the country needs to have anti bullying programs come in on a regular basis. This is the best way by far to reduce the amount of bullying that goes on in a school and give kids that are being bullied the tools they need to stand up for themselves. Of course, not all of the school anti-bullying programs out there are the same. Here are five things that you should be looking for in such a program.
1. Great Communicators. First and foremost, the people leading the program need to be great communicators. If your children and students aren’t engaged in the program then they’re not going to learn, and it takes a lot to keep young kids engaged.
2. Message for Bullies and People Being Bullied Alike. It’s critical that the program you choose has a message for both bullies and the people being bullied. The program needs to show kids what they look like when they’re bullying someone else, and it needs to give kids being bullied the tools they need to stand up for themselves and make it stop.
3. Follow Through. It’s critical that the program you choose has follow through. They should have things set up so that they can come back and check in on how your school is doing.
4. Tools for Teachers. At the end of the day, teachers are often the only people who can stop bullying. Thus, the program should give them some skills to identify when bullying is happening and what their next steps should be to stop it for good.
5. Role Plays. It’s critical that the anti bullying program you choose engage in role plays. This is the best way for kids to actually see what bullying does to people being bullied, and examples help to drive home how they’re behaving if they are a person who bullies.
Nonviolent Communication for the Next Generation offers one of the few anti bullying programs that brings all five of these things to the table. Reach out to them to set up an appointment and learn how they can help you combat bullying at your school.