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Bullying Prevention

Bullying prevention starts with you. Learn how to recognize the signs, intervene effectively, and build a supportive community.

How can we prevent bullying?

Bullying has many formal definitions, but typically, it is when someone repeatedly uses threats, intimidation, or aggression to obtain objects, activities, or social gain from others. Bullying prevention focuses on strategies for reducing bullying behavior by blending explicit instruction and redefining the bullying construct. Teaching students to identify and respond effectively to the bullying and harmful behavior of others needs to match the student’s developmental level. The goal is the same – to reduce bullying behavior – but the process may look different across communities and across elementary, middle, and high schools.

Recognizing the signs of bullying is necessary for early intervention.

Behavioral Changes
  • Withdrawal
  • Changes in mood
  • Physical complaints
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Loss of possessions
Changes in Communication
  • Secrecy
  • Hesitation to go to school
  • Negative self-talk
Social Interactions
  • Loss of friends
  • Being the target of rumors or teasing
  • Being bullied online

Helping students understand and prevent bullying

School-Wide Expectations

Everyone in school deserves to feel respected. Clear, school-wide definitions of respectful behavior help students understand what it means to treat others well and recognize inappropriate behavior from others.

Responses to the Stop Signal

Students need to know how to respond when someone indicates their behavior is unwelcome.  Teach students calm and responsible ways to acknowledge a "stop" signal and respect boundaries.

Recruiting Help

Empower students to seek help from adults. Teach them specific routines for getting assistance when they experience bullying, harassment, or intimidation.

Signals and Routines for Unwanted Behavior

Building on established expectations, students should learn a universal signal and routine for letting someone know their behavior is unwanted.  This signal should be simple, memorable, and easy to use in any situation.