On April 13, following the premiere of the movie Bully, NISCE did a feature on What Can We Really Do to Fight Bullying, and provided a toolbox of resources from The Bully Project for readers from a variety of backgrounds to use. Included in the resources was a Toolkit for Parents, Toolkit for Students, Toolkit for Educators, and a Toolkit for Advocates.
However, the conversation did not and should not stop there.
On Wednesday, April 25th educators, parents, and concerned community members attended a roundtable discussion, Fostering Empathy and Action in Schools, as a follow-up to the screening of the Bully. Taking from the undertone in the the movie, that one person can make a difference and a whole group can plant seeds of cultural change, the participants of the roundtable focused on many solutions to create this culture change when it comes to bullying.
Here are some suggestions the group put forth:
- Consider using the term ‘social cruelty’ instead of the label ‘bullying’, if you are concerned with the overuse or stigmatization surrounding the word
- Dive deeper into instances of bullying and look at whether the instance appeared to be intentional, featured a power imbalance, and was repetitious, before determining how best to respond to the incident
- Like health care, prevention is important. Start teaching your children lessons of respect and empathy early on to prevent bullying.
- Sit down with your child, watch or read about bullying (or other issues), and give them a ‘what they would do’ scenario in order to build a culture of respect and understanding
- Involve others: create a buddy system where older kids can connect with younger kids, talk about instances of bullying with others and brainstorm solutions; identify peer leaders who can educate others on how to ‘stand-up’ to peer bullying
A full report of the April roundtable You Have a Voice: Stand Up to Bullying will be posted on May 4th. The report will include further resources for parents, educators, administrators, students, and concerned community members to respond to bullying… and/or social cruelty.
Photo Credit: My School Signs