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Tips for How to Stop Bullying in the Classroom

Everyone who pays attention to the news knows how much of a problem bullying is in schools today. This has always been a problem for youth. But with the widespread use of social media and other ways students can be threatened and humiliated, teachers and educators in all academic roles need to play their part to curb this widespread problem.

According to the National Bullying Prevention, one out of every four students reports being bullied during the school year. Fortunately, more than half of bullying situations are stopped when a peer steps in and helps the person who is being bullied. With greater awareness and communication about the issue, bullying prevention programs have been successful in curbing this problem, Statistics show that these programs can prevent bullying by as much as 25%.

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No matter how much effort is put towards ending this national epidemic, educators will always have to stay in tune with what's going on in their classrooms to help prevent bullying at school as it occurs. Here are several ways teachers can to their part to stop bullying before it gets out of hand…

The first thing schools and teachers can do is create strategies for assessing how often bullying occurs and how other students react. These can include confidential surveys that students, other teachers and administrators can fill out where they can honestly share their perspectives. To gauge the effectiveness of your strategies that you put in place, you should give assessments periodically and compare the feedback.

Next, schools should include bullying as part of their behavior strategies that ties in to substance abuse, sex education and important topics that fall outside of subject matter education. These anti bullying activities and presentations should talk about the effects of bullying, types of bullying and how students can step up and support each other when it occurs, and students should also know the consequences that students will face if they bully other children. Making sure there are clear policies and rules in place that are communicated to students, teachers and parents is critical to building a safe environment.

Of course, the most important thing educators can do once they have these policies and prevention programs in place involves taking immediate action when bullying occurs. Too often, teachers and parents foster the problem of bullying in schools because they take a 'kids will be kids' approach and turn a blind eye to abusive behavior. That's why constant communication and positive reinforcement can be the best way to prevent bullying. You can do this by talking to the children in your classroom every day in ways that encourage peaceful behavior. Set up activities that not only reward good academic behavior, but also reward positive peer relations.

Parents also have to be part of the equation. Children have always had homework to help back up their daytime schoolwork. Making sure parents have informational brochures, and other forms of information that educate them about how serious bullying is can go a long ways towards solving the problem. Parents are often stressed and tired after working all day. It can be daunting enough trying to get kids to eat the food you put on their plate. So it's especially challenging for parents to know if their child is bullying or the recipient of bullying during their day. Children can be ashamed and reluctant to talk about. That's why we need to give parents the tools and information to spot behavior in their children that should raise flags. And we need to all work together to help children on both sides of the problem resolve their issues so they can become positive members of society as they grow up.