National Bullying Prevention Month: Six Ways School Principals Can Lead Anti-Bullying Efforts
September 30th, 2022
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. As a school Principal, you have the power to lead anti-bullying efforts and initiatives at your school. By working with work teachers and staff and creating a school culture where bullying is not tolerated, you can to ensure students are getting the proper education in a healthy environment.
Why the Principal is Important
As the head of the school, the principal makes a lot of the final decisions. Staff members, including the principal, have a responsibility to care about and nurture every student that comes into the building. When a child knows they have the support of their teachers, principal, and other adults, they will be more likely to come forward when they are being bullied or a witness to bullying. They know they will be believed and action will be taken.
The principal also has the opportunity to establish certain programs to help students communicate about bullying and other problems. Social and emotional development should be a core part of the school’s curriculum. However, many schools treat these skills as secondary needs. Principals can push for that curriculum to change.
Here are the steps you should take to establish a good anti-bullying campaign in your school.
Develop a Code of Conduct
It’s a good idea to develop a school-wide code of conduct that everyone on campus follows, teachers and staff included. When you display a strict no-bullying policy, there will be fewer instances of bullying. It is as simple as that. Of course, setting rules won’t completely get rid of bullying but it will help discourage it.
As a principal, you should be aware of everything happening at your building. Walk the school, talk to students, and be present during arrival and dismissal. Staying involved in the day-to-day can help prevent bullying or and other wrongdoings. Students should be closely supervised at all times. Staying vigilant will help you avoid instances of bullying.
Educate Your Staff and Student Body
In some cases, your students may not be aware of different forms of bullying such as physical, social, verbal, and cyber bullying. Create opportunities to educate your student body and staff about how to identify bullying, how to stand up to a bully, and resources in your district to help students cope. It may also be beneficial to invite a speaker to talk to students about bullying and share strategies for , how to deal with a bully, consequences of bullying, and how to discourage bullying behaviors.
Parents are a key piece of the puzzle as they may be able to get the inside story about what is going on, if bullying is a factor. They can help facilitate communication between school officials and the child. Make sure parents know who they can turn to if they suspect their child is being bullied and the school’s involvement to diffuse or remedy the situation.
Create a Reporting System
Parents shouldn’t be the only means of communication with the students though. You should make it easy for the students to report a bully or wrongdoing and they should be able to do so anonymously. This will help them come forward without fear of repercussions.
Remember that Communication is Key
All of that being said, the principal can’t do everything on their own. Communication between staff members, teachers, and students is important. There should be shared leadership in your anti-bullying efforts. Teachers can take the lead in nourishing their students and creating safe spaces. Students can take the lead when they come forward about a problem. Principals can support their staff in taking any action necessary.
We Want to Hear from You!
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, an opportunity to take a look at what is working and what isn’t working. What are you doing in your schools to prevent and address bullying? Please leave a comment below. Our blog is read by hundreds of school leaders like you. Sharing ideas is a great way to help create a positive school environment for staff and students alike!
Covey, J. (2014, October 30). Prevent bullying with a positive school culture. Prevent Bullying with a Positive School Culture: 3 Tips. Retrieved December 21, 2021, from https://www.leaderinme.org/blog/prevent-bullying/
Munavar, R. (2015, August 7). 7 ways for principals to deal with bullying in school. The Teachers Digest. Retrieved December 21, 2021, from http://theteachersdigest.com/7-ways-for-principals-to-deal-with-bullying-in-school/#:~:text=7%20Ways%20For%20Principals%20To%20Deal%20With%20Bullying,Practice%20what%20you%20preach.%20…%20More%20items…%20