Bullying: Teachers Matter!

Every year, teachers or other faculty members of schools are aware of physical or verbal mistreatment, but are unaware of how to solve the problem. Usually, speeches are given to students from administration, regarding how to spot someone who is being bullied, but there is, or rarely seems to be information given on how to end it. Bullying happens because many children do not fully comprehend their feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred, or sadness. They tend to lash out in any way that seems to release their frustrations, not realizing that they are not only creating similar feelings in someone else, but also continuing a cycle of abuse and mistreatment due to unspoken and untreated emotions.

It is important for teachers to understand why bullying happens and how to stop it. As often heard, children who bully others are or once were, the object of a bully themselves. Taking action to stop or prevent bullying in your school may be one of the single, most important acts you can do to improve the life of your student.

First, acknowledge the fact that bullying comes in all forms. It may be cyber bullying, written insults, verbal abuse, or physical attacks. Understanding the various forms of bullying will make it easier for you to spot an attacker and help someone who is being harassed.

Secondly, make it a priority to get to know and gain the trust of your students and understand who they are as a person, not just as a pupil. If they happen to become the target of abuse, chances are they will be more likely to open up to someone they know they can trust, rather than just a random adult.

Third, “practice what you preach” to your pupils.

Finally, contact parents or potential guardians of abused students, and of the student who is doing the bullying, inform them of the situation, and figure out ways to end the cycle. Also, check out www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org/ , a site that helps kids stand against bullying and http://dmh.mo.gov/docs/mentalillness/womenanger.pdf, a PDF discussing how women can deal with anger! [As well as http://freespirit.com/, a website designed to help kids and teens deal with anger!]

-Jada Winchester, CPPS Intern