The following is a brief outline for creating an environment that leaves little room for bullying. Whether your group is in a classroom, youth group room, large group meeting room, or small group this following principles will be helpful for the leader to cultivate a safe environment. This can also be used in training volunteers as there is a Powerpoint Presentation that goes with it at the bottom of this post.
Four Key Principles
- warmth, positive interest, and involvement from adults
- firm limits as to unacceptable behavior
- in case of violations of limits and rules, consistent application of non-hostile, non-physical sanctions (discipline as opposed to punishment)
- behavior by adults at home and in community organizations that creates an authoritative (not authoritarian) adult – child interaction
Elements to Effective Anti-Bullying Policies
- A strong, positive statement of the organizations desire to promote positive peer relations and especially to oppose bullying and harassment in any form it may take by all members of the community
- A succinct definition of bullying or peer victimization, with specific examples
- A declaration of the rights of individuals and groups in the community – students, teachers, clergy, LGBTQ, minorities, etc – to be free of victimization by others
- A statement of the responsibility of those who witness peer victimization to seek to stop it
- Encouragement of students and parents with concerns about victimization to speak with school/church/community leaders about it
- A general description of how the community organization proposes to deal with the bully/victim problem
- A plan to evaluate the policy in the near future
- Gathering information about bullying in community directly from students
- Establishing clear organizational rules about bullying
- Training all willing adults in the community to respond sensitively and consistently to bullying
- Providing adequate adults supervision, particularly in less structured areas, such as playgrounds, parks, swimming pools, etc.
- Improving parental awareness of and involvement in working on the problem.