What is in this article?:
- Bullying Prevention for School Safety (with Related Video)
- Prevention Strategies
Through modern bullying-prevention strategies, schools can be more efficient in their response, more collaborative and more accountable.
Students don't report bullying for many reasons: they may fear retaliation from a bully; they may feel the reports will be ignored or that the bullying will become even worse; and often, students don't know where to turn.
The nation watched in shock recently as four middle school boys barraged 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein with jabs about her weight, attacks on her family, and chuckled as they made violent and graphic threats.
We also watched as Klein remained quiet, taking the abuse and failing to respond to the students. This incident might have gone unnoticed and unreported, had not one of the teenagers posted a 10-minute video of the harassment on YouTube.
As the video went viral and support poured in for Klein, many education institutions and parents began asking themselves: "Could that happen on our buses, in our community, at our school?
Valuable lessons may be learned from this incident that could help prevent such incidents from occurring or escalating in schools.
Do school administrators have any clue what is happening to students, bus monitors or drivers on the way to and from school?
And perhaps more important, are bus monitors and drivers trained properly with the right information on how to respond if students are abusing or bullying them? Do the bus monitors understand their roles and responsibilities for responding to the bullying or harassment of students? What role do the monitors have in the safety of the students on the bus?
In the recent documentary, "Bully," one of the students featured was tortured and bullied daily on the bus, but because of a lack of awareness and reporting, school administrators and parents were clueless about the situation. How can institutions ensure that they are made aware of these incidents?
A Failure to Report
These incidents and others clearly show drastic disconnects between school administrators and policy, and what is happening on buses, in locker rooms, in hallways, at sporting events, online and numerous other locations where bullying and abuse is taking place.
In recent studies, 65 percent of victims said bullying was not reported by them or others to teachers or school officials. Even when a bullying victim had suffered injury, 40 percent of the time the students said the bullying was not reported. In fact, studies show only one or two out of every 10 incidents are being reported; 80 to 90 percent of incidents are unreported and school leaders remain in the dark.
These incidents remain unnoticed for many reasons. Students may fear retaliation from a bully or don't want to be embarrassed. They may feel their reports will be ignored or that reporting it will make the situation worse. Many times students don't know where or whom to turn to; they don't trust the administration or law enforcement, or they may have not a way to report an incident anonymously.