By Dave Young

Many of the bully programs being used in the U.S. today discuss the problems of bullying and provide information that is already known. however they offer no solutions to manage it.  They discuss what is happening to kids but not how to implement these strategies to manage the bullying or what to do when it actually occurs.

This is like going to the doctor because you know you are sick and when you get there the doctor says, “yes, I can see you’re not feeling well, you need to take better care of yourself,” then sends you home, without being told EXACTLY what that means or what to do.

This is why I have researched all of the anti-bully programs in the nation, why I contacted schools and spoke to their administrators, educators, teachers, students, the bystanders that watch it occur, spoke to bullies themselves and their targets, and spoke to their families and parents who have survived, and some who have not survived being bullied, before we developed the right formula and sequence to help schools MANAGE BULLYING.

What I have found was interesting.  The educators and administrators with kids in the school systems are more proactive then the ones who do not have children in the schools, and the ages of the educators, teachers and administers now are much younger than in the past.

The one thing they agreed on was their dissatisfaction of the current bully programs they were using.  They either did not have the confidence in what they have tried for a few years, or were not getting support needed to be successful not only from their own school but from the parents of their students.

The programs that say they will stop bullying are not being truthful, most schools that settle for a bully free zone compromise their student’s safety because they should be striving for bully free schools!  That is our goal – and should be yours.

Below are the 8 individual categories that EVERY bully management or anti-bully program need to be address, and I am sharing with you our proven formula for success in managing conflict and crisis within schools across the country.

Step 1

Create awareness – this is done in a lot more ways than just telling people to be aware – most people already know it is happening and how dangerous it is.  We can ensure everybody understands the definition with their roles and responsibilities are when they witness bullying, how to manage bullying and how to respond to bullying throughout your school year.

Step 2

Identify bullying – this means you have to define your bullying categories because some bullying situations cross over into criminal acts that should not be taken lightly.  So after we’ve identified all the different ways a person can be bullied, this not only reinforces your awareness but also identifies the problems that exists in the first place.  Without being able to properly identify it managing it becomes impossible.

Step 3

Develop prevention strategies – saying that you’re preventing bullying is more than just having a report in place to document it when it occurs – that doesn’t prevent the situation from occurring.  After you develop awareness and identify bullying, understand your prevention strategies start at HOME, they are MANAGED in the classroom, and are SUPPORTED by the commitment the school makes by outlining the roles and responsibilities of their teachers and parents working together.  If we do not provide guidance on prevention strategies then we cannot be shocked by how our children, teachers and parents will respond to bully related incidents.

Step 4

Develop response strategies – these are based on many things like environment, ages of students, number of students present when the incident occurs, the education and experiences of your teachers and the maturity levels of all parties involved, and the support given from their parents.  Right now these response strategies vary from school to school, city to city and state to state.  Some think a response to bullying is just writing a report or pointing a finger at some kid at school who is getting picked on and saying, “Hey don’t do that,” or just calling their parents or kicking them off the bus or out of the cafeteria.  Response strategies are going to be different between the age groups of the students, they’re also going to define the student’s roles with the roles of their parents and teachers.  Time and time again proves if you do not remain alert, be decisive and have a pre-planned response then you’re basing your response with the HOPE nothing will happen.

Step 5

Monitor the situation – this is a critical part of your management strategy and means 3 to 5 days after the bully related incident has been reported and you have gathered all of the possible information, spoken to the students involved and their and parents, you’re going to monitor the progress you took and confirm the action taken was the right action to take.  You will check on the wellness of your students and parents involved.  You will NOT act like it never occurred!

 Step 6

Follow through – in most bully related incidents a follow through NEVER occurs, unless there was severe violence – this is the wrong assumption to make.  Most schools think that because it was reported and a report was taken and they have heard nothing back and all is quiet on the home front so to speak, then they did their job and all is well – WRONG!  Where do you think the phrase came from, “It is quiet before the storm”!  I recommend typically 12 to 15 days after the incident has been reported and addressed to follow-through with all parties involved which is nothing more than contacting each of the parents and students involved and their teachers that responded to ensure their parents have understood what took place and document progress, and get their levels of satisfaction documented or note any additional information or action that may be required.

 Step 7

Support – this is how to develop, establish and implement the various role playing exercises, identify the support mechanisms at home, work groups in schools and other educational services available and needed within your community.  If you do not support the action you take then your efforts will not see the expected results, and what is happening on the surface can be very misleading.  No child commits terrible acts of violence for a one time incident!

 Step 8

Continuous Education – how to establish long term programs needed for the students, teachers and the parents along with the communities.  Identify the webinars, conferences, develop new programs, create educational videos, instructional DVD’s, write articles, and publish books, web sites, teleconferences, message boards and other training certification programs.  Because bullying effects the entire fabric of the communities these schools are in, continuous education is the only way to improve our performance.

Safety on any level is a shared responsibility – make sure each of you are doing your part!

Are you interested in hosting an anti-bullying program in your school? Call us at 877-690-8230 for more information.