Author and active campaigner, SuEllen Fried from www.bullysafeusa.com is determined to tackle all child abuse, and regularly appears in schools and at conferences to impart her knowledge and advice on the topic.
We caught up with SuEllen, who has kindly shared these 3 key pointers for action when addressing the issue of bullying in schools.
Focus on training school counsellors over teachers.
“Because of testing pressures, teachers are not eager to take on added bullying prevention responsibilities, whereas counsellors see bullying issues as an essential part of their work with students. Counsellors have access to every student in the school and can be involved when bullying situations occur beyond the particular classroom.”
Ask the pupils questions.
“Rather than lecturing the children it’s much more beneficial to go into the classroom and interact. Young people are better engaged directly, and so it’s better to capture hearts with stories, and the mind with thoughtful questions.”
“By encouraging the children to lead the conversation and to talk to one another, a collective wisdom is built up where the children gain understanding of each other’s perspectives. Children who have been targeted can discuss different types of bullying without revealing their personal pain, and they can describe the reasons that bullies cause pain without identifying the specific perpetrators.”
From talking with SuEllen we can see that the issue of bullying is best addressed in a friendly and creative manner, rather than turning primarily to punishment. Our anti-bullying range of rewards help to reinforce positive behaviour, in order to set an encouraging benchmark for all pupils.