Back to school: Strategies to stop bullying

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (cue the iconic back to school shopping commercial). This catchy jingle is not the best reflection of the majority of children and teens who are returning to class. For some, it’s the end of summer vacation that stings the most, but for others it is the fear of returning to a place where they are bullied.

In an effort to put an end to bullying the Canadian Red Cross is highlighting a number of different resources that can help identify, stop and prevent bullying as well as provide options for in-class training sessions for students and teachers. Here are a few strategies that students and parents can turn to if bullying is or becomes a part of student life.

Strategy 1: Knowing what to do
Bystanders have an impact on bullying. If you see someone being bullied, do something. According to PREVNet, when a bystander intervenes the bullying typically stops within 10 seconds.

Parents can teach their children how to identify situations that require intervention and what options they have for taking actions to make it stop. Red Cross programs teach that fighting back is not the answer but that stepping in to support the person being bullied is the best thing to do. If children are not comfortable with stepping in or it is not safe to do so, getting the help of a teacher or adult is another helpful strategy.
Young girl getting onto a school bus

Strategy 2: Talking about it
Talking about being bullied can make it stop. It’s an adult’s responsibility to protect children. Teachers and parents can talk to children about what bullying is and what to do if they are victim to it.
Speaking up doesn’t always mean telling someone face-to-face that you are being bullied. Sometimes it’s less frightening to write a letter to an adult to explain what is happening. The bottom line is that children need to know and believe that the best thing to do is to tell someone.
Student gives thumbs up in a classroom

Strategy 3: Be the change
Everyone has the ability to promote positive relationships. With the new school year about to start, students and teachers have an opportunity to initiate change at school. The Canadian Red Cross offers a list of things youth and teachers can implement at school and also offers a bullying prevention training program called Beyond the Hurt. This specialized program teaches youth and adults how youth can take an active role in resolve and prevent bullying.

For more information on Beyond the Hurt Youth Facilitator program, please visit our website
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