Wednesday, March 20, 2013

the 5Rs of Bullying

I had the idea for this bulletin board and did the lettering and banner but a fantastic parent volunteer at my school made the kites, birds and clouds for me.  Our school has WONDERFUL parent volunteers.  This board in a busy hallway is a beautiful visual reminder of what Steps to Respect teaches are the keys to bullying prevention and intervention:
Recognize - all students, staff, and parents know and understand a common definition of bullying;
Refuse - we train students to refuse bullying if they are being bullied or they are a bystander;
Report - bullying is a mean pattern of behavior that needs adult intervention.  Again students who are bullied, bystanders, and parents/guardians are encouraged to tell a trusted adult about bullying.  If they are afraid to report our school provides an option to report annonymously via our bullying box;
Record - when bullying occurs via electronics it is critical to the investigation to record (save) the evidence.  Students are taught not to delete mean postings, voice mail, etc. before showing it to an adult who can document exactly what was sent; and
Receive - if we want students to report bullying then the adults must receive the reports in a manner that lets reporters know their concern is taken seriously.

We know that the reason students give most often for not reporting bullying is that the adults won't (or can't) do anything. It is vital to the success of a bullying program that staff, parents/guardians, and others to whom young people come for help know how to listen and respond effectively.  The 5th R (receive) urges adults to plan ahead, stay clam, listen and look patiently, and support the young person who comes to us. For more information see the Committee for Children web site steps-to-respect.

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