Tips for dealing with today’s bullies

Published in the February 2011 issue of Voice

  • Take complaints seriously. If a student comes to you with a complaint about being harassed or bullied, don’t dismiss it as “just teasing” or by telling the student to “toughen up”
  • Report the alleged harassment or bullying to the person who has been trained in your building, or a member of a Student Assistance Project team
  • Be responsive to a student who comes to you for help. Make sure to keep the student’s trust  – you may be the only person that student will reach out to during a critical time
  • Offer professional help when appropriate. If a student seems to be in severe emotional or psychological distress, offer to help the student get in touch with a counselor or school psychologist right away
  • Talk to parents at conferences and open houses about bullying and cyberbullying, and how to open up discussions about it with their children
  • Don’t be a bystander. Do something. If in the hallway, stairwell, or some other school space, you witness a student being harassed and humiliated by another student, step in.

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