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Early Intervention: The Key to Overcoming Bullying
posted by: Alana | February 26, 2016, 03:38 PM   

Guest Post by: Mike Forney


As we recognize International Stand up to Bullying Day today, February 26th, we know that teachers struggle with the impact of bullying perhaps more than anyone. The subject of bullying is extremely sensitive and when you experience or witness its effect from a close proximity, you understand the devastating effect it can have on students and your classroom.


Luckily, there are plenty of excellent guides available to teachers to help protect your students from bullying and violence at school that cover the all the bases including the impacts of suffering alone, early prevention, and teaching acceptable behavior.

Suffering Alone

One of the major issues surrounding the subject of bullying, and the reason high-profile campaigns like International Stand up to Bullying Day even exist, is the fact that far too many victims of bullying suffer in silence – and silence is one of the leading causes of tragic consequences.


Reading a horrific newspaper story that a young child who had not even reached their teenager years committed suicide or discovering that your student is engaging in acts of self-inflicted harm as the result of victimization are obviously a severe shock to the system and truly brings home the price being paid by bullying.


Being bullied can easily produce long-term consequences on a student’s mental and physical wellbeing and no one should ever have to suffer from it.

Never Too Early

At the beginning of the school year, you want to do all that you can as a caring teacher to protect your students from bad things happening to them throughout the year and encourage them to understand what constitutes unacceptable behavior.


A growing realization about the mental health issues that can be triggered by bullying is thankfully encouraging a greater level of dialogue and action on trying to “stamp out bullying.”

It is never too early to try and bully-proof your classroom and there are plenty of resources out there to help you do it.


Obviously, a very young child’s understanding of bullying will be vastly different to what a teenager might have to contend with, but adjusting your lesson plans or classroom setup with bullying prevention in mind is a great first-step!

Teaching Acceptable Behavior

There has to be a level of tolerance and understanding about a student’s development pattern, but it has been shown that early examples of name-calling and physical actions like hitting other students, need to be nipped in the bud, before they have any chance of progressing to a bullying pattern.


There are numerous studies which show that bullying patterns are visible within students even as young as preschool, so you will need to discourage this behavior on the one hand while on the other hand, teaching your student how to be resilient if they are on the receiving end.


Teaching protective behaviors and instilling the confidence to display resilience to bullying could turn out to be valuable life lessons.


Your student may be inwardly fearful of bullying, but as peers tend to target victims who appear passive and timid, encouraging your student(s) to stand up to it from the outside - and just as importantly share any problems they are having - could turn out to be a vital life skill.

How have you combated bullying in your classroom?
Tell us in the comments below.


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