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Bullying intervention strategies

Bullying prevention in schools is a full-time exercise. For true change to take place, the culture of a school must be transformed. But it’s not as difficult as it sounds. With a yearround bullying prevention program, clear expectations of faculty and staff and established guidelines for how to treat incidents, students and adults can be a part of a culture of caring. 

Here are 10 strategies for bullying prevention for schools:

  1. Establishment of school-wide policies and classroom procedures pertaining to bullying that are distributed to students, parents, and teachers.
  2. Depiction on bulletin boards and in hallways that school and classrooms are bully-free zones, and that students treat each other with respect.
  3. Develop strategies to recognize and reward positive social behavior.
  4. Speak with ALL involved in a bullying situation separately and in private.
  5. Develop separate intervention plans for children who are bullied, children who participate as bystanders, and children who bully others. Some intervention plans may need to include steps to address circumstances where a student who has been bullied also bullies others or vice versa.
  6. Be mindful of class seating arrangements to promote positive role models and limit access.
  7. Hold periodic class meetings and assemblies to remind children of bullying prevention.
  8. Contact parents of all students involved in a bullying incident; meet separately with parents of each student to provide information about bullying; explain school’s bullying protocol; and address the specifics of the situation. Do not identify names of other students. Provide support and clarifications to address parents’ emotional reactions, as well as solicit parent input and review intervention plan. Assess extent of social/emotional/family problems in conjunction with the school counselor and ensure that appropriate referrals are given to parents.
  9. Establish procedures for documenting episodes of bullying and intervention.
  10. Assign all students classroom allies/buddies and periodically re-arrange the assignments.
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