5 Ways Schools Can Stop Bullying

Develop a Comprehensive Anti-bullying Plan

A setting in which children are afraid for their physical safety is clearly not a good learning environment: Not surprisingly, schools with lower levels of bullying also have higher test scores. That's just one reason for staff, teachers and administrators to adopt an ongoing, comprehensive approach in order to reduce or eradicate bullying.

Workshops and anti-bullying lessons work best when there's a comprehensive program involving follow-up sessions, school-wide education and continued enforcement of the rules. Ideally, such a program should focus on everyone, not just the students most often perceived as bullies. The truth is that a school isn't made up of one group of really bad eggs and one group of helpless victims. Many kids pass through phases of bullying and being bullied -- year to year, or even hour to hour.

For example, children who are usually kind to their peers may become unwitting accomplices if their friends become bullies. Comprehensive programs can encourage these children to stop their friends from bullying rather than becoming bullies themselves out of fear. Similarly, a child who has been a frequent target may start to bully someone else in turn, especially if a younger, weaker or less socially adept student joins the class. An education program and consistent enforcement of the rules can help to break this cycle.

With a combined strategy, schools -- and students -- can reduce bullying in the hallways, in the classroom and at school events. It's an ongoing battle, but one well worth fighting.

For more information on bullying prevention, see the next page.

Related Articles


  • American Psychological Association. "New ways to stop bullying: Psychologists are driving efforts to get effective, research-based bullying-prevention and intervention programs into schools." Monitor on Psychology. Oct. 2002.http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/bullying.aspx
  • Bazelon, Emily. "Was Phoebe Prince Once a Bully? "Did her school in Ireland turn a blind eye to early warnings of her troubles?" Slate. Aug. 17, 2010.http://www.slate.com/id/2263470
  • Bazelon, Emily. "What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?: The Untold Story of Her Suicide and the Role of the Kids Who Have Been Criminally Charged for It." Slate. July 20, 2010.http://www.slate.com/id/2260952/entry/2260953/
  • Cyberbullying Research Center. (Aug. 26, 2010)http://www.cyberbullying.us/index.php
  • Kealan, Oliver. "Phoebe Prince "Suicide by Bullying: Teen's Death Angers Town Asking Why Bullies Roam the Halls." CBS News. Feb. 5, 2010. (Aug. 27, 2010)http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-6173960-504083.html
  • Matheny, Keith. "Schools Tackle Teacher on Teacher Bullying." USA Today. April 7, 2010. (July 12, 2010) http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-04-06-teacher-bullying_N.htm
  • Pacer Center. "Your Three-Step Plan to Stopping Bullying." (Aug. 25, 2010) http://www.pacer.org/publications/bullypdf/BP-12.pdf
  • Parker-Pope, Tara. "When the Bully Sits in the Next Cubicle." New York Times. March, 25, 2008. (July 11, 2020) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/25/health/25well.html?
  • Stop Bullying Now! (Aug. 27, 2010)http://www.stopbullyingnow.com/index.html
  • Telephone interview with Robin Arnold. Aug. 20, 2010.
  • United States Secret Service and United States Department of Education. "The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States." May 2002.http://web.archive.org/web/20080709174034/http://www.treas.gov/usss/ntac/ssi_final_report.pdf


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