7 Steps To Stop Bullying in Schools and Churches

Stop Bullying written on boy's hands photo

How to Prevent Bullying at Schools, Churches and Events

Bullies are a daily issue children face all over the world. And, great efforts are being made toward bully prevention in the US. So much so we observe special dates several times a year. This is to remind us of how important it is to prevent bullying for our kids.

Bully Prevention Awareness

National Bullying Prevention Month
Observed the entire month of October every year.

National Stop Bullying Day
Observed once a year on the second Wednesday in October.
Wed, Oct 12th, 2022
Wed, Oct 11th, 2023

National Stand Up to Bullying Day
Observed twice a year on the last Friday in February and
the third Friday in November.
Fri, Feb 24th, 2023
Fri, Nov 17th, 2023


Understanding Bully Prevention

In recent years, bullying has become more of an issue for our youth. Most often in places where they socialize and gather, be it in person or online. Bullying also occurs in our private schools and church youth groups.

One out of every five (20.2%) students report being bullied.

Many times the severity of the problem is often underestimated until it’s too late. As a result, cruel and needless tragedies have happened due to bullying.

Every day, young bully victims suffer from:

  • harassment
  • threats
  • intimidation
  • pressured coercion
  • forced theft
  • verbal taunts
  • physical attacks
Children bullying young boy photo
Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school.

Also, the avenues for bullying have widened with the use of social media and mobile devices. Now, kids are often subject to cyberbullying. This can cause them to feel even more vulnerable… As though they have no safe zone.

According to our cyberbullying research, in which we studied parents of kids between the ages of 10 and 18, 21 percent of children have been cyberbullied.

Identifying Bully Behavior

Intimidation, extortion, physical and verbal attacks are all forms of bullying. These acts are more common among male students bullying in schools. By contrast, female students show a higher likelihood of engaging in social bullying. Acts like excluding someone, starting rumors, manipulating and embarrassing their victims.

Bullies fit no specific age group or demographic. They come from various cultural, religious and economic backgrounds.

The common factors shared by most bullies are they:

  • crave power
  • have sharp tempers
  • have difficulty following rules
  • derive satisfaction from inflicting injury
  • have elevated levels of self-esteem
  • display a positive outlook on violence
Students getting on bus for field trip photo

Bullying is a problem even in our private schools, churches and nonprofits events. Especially during outings like camps or field trips. Events are often overlooked as environments in which bullying is likely to occur. So, we encourage everyone to learn how to recognize bully signs early to prevent incidents. Our hope is that this article will help you identify and stop bullying in schools, churches, and at events.


The 7 Steps to Bully Prevention Programs

1. Adopt an Anti-Bullying Policy

An effective way to prevent bullying is to create a no-bully policy. This sets your organization’s conduct expectations for the youth. Also, encourage students to report incidents as soon as they happen for best results.

Barriers to helping when tweens witness bullying at school or online included being afraid of making things worse, not knowing what to do or say, not knowing how to report it online, being afraid others kids will make fun of them, being afraid to get hurt, and not knowing who to tell.

2. High Expectations for Non-Bullying Behavior

The most important aspect in bullying prevention is understanding the children. Every child needs clear, easy to remember rules to follow. Create policies for the youth with your organization’s conduct expectations. State how you do not accept any behavior that could lead to bullying. And, there are no circumstances at all that tolerate bullying. All staff and volunteers must uphold these expectations with consistent reminders. This helps a great deal in ensuring your environment is safe for everyone. It starts with people maintaining respect for one another. It starts with you.

3. Proper Adult Supervision to Prevent Bullying

Bystanders and witnesses, if any, play a crucial role. They help stop serious situations from escalating and even continuing.

Youth who are bullied often feel even more alone because there are witnesses who do nothing. When no one intervenes the person being targeted may feel that bystanders do not care or they agree with what is happening.

4. Bust the Bullies

It is crucial that instances of bullying observed or even perceived are immediately addressed. Taking quick action helps prevent the situation from escalating. This also helps prevent more incidents of bullying in the future.

5. Don’t Bully the Bullies

Fairness goes a long way in handling situations of bullying. When an incident occurs, speak with the children involved on an individual basis. Give each child a chance to tell their side of the story and do not presume to know the full situation. To understand what happened, speak with the bully who committed the act as well as the bullied. Don’t forget to speak with any bystanders who may have seen the act in progress.

6. Involve Parents, Staff and Children in Bully Prevention

Preventing bullying isn’t a matter of only addressing the children… It is also essential to involve the parents. By including everyone in the efforts to prevent or to stop bullying, it becomes more of a “community” or “team” goal. Let’s also empower children to report bullying and provide support for when they do. Educating everyone about the issues and dangers it poses can help you stay bully-free.

Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy.

It’s not always possible to stop bullying immediately. But, timely reports by adults and students will enable you to address them fast. Encourage everyone to get involved in making it a safer place. Because everyone should feel welcome.

When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time.

7. Programs to Prevent Bullying

It is important to understand the true definition of bullying to know how to recognize it. Bringing in experts to assist in training your team can be very beneficial if needed. This will help ensure all adults are knowledgeable and able to identify instances. Improving their ability to handle incidents as well as prevent bullying all together.

School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25%.

Conclusion

We all know bully prevention is essential in safeguarding the future of our children. It’s up to us to prevent bullying from spoiling the fun for everyone. Together, we help to end bullying, one child at a time.

At Beacon, we focus on the needs of churches, private schools and nonprofits. We have a long relationship with one of the nation’s leading insurance provider GuideOne. This strong partnership reinforces our ability to serve you well.

GuideOne and STOPit

GuideOne works with STOPit, the leading anti-bullying program in the US. STOPit provides helpful info along with anonymous reporting of bullying and harassment. They have online tools and a mobile app allowing you to report right away.

The STOPit app also:

  • gives access to experts who can resolve bullying issues
  • supports anonymous two-way communication with incident reporters
  • offers a multitude of helpful, time-saving tools
  • helps launch effective investigations of bully incidents

STOPit offers a great benefit to GuideOne clients. While not free, it is an option at a discounted rate.

GuideOne Insurance logo
STOPit Solutions logo

At Beacon, we know how important it is to provide access to invaluable safety resources. Resources that help guide you in the various ways you serve your community. We understand that the challenges you face put your mission at risk. So, we work hard to ensure you are able to meet those challenges with Beacon to guide you along.

If you need help, call the experienced agents at Beacon Insurance Agency today. Together, we can help prevent bullying in your church, private school or nonprofit.


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