The weeks following Labor Day bring the start of a new school year. For some students, there is a palpable excitement to return back to school, to see friends and swap summer vacation stories and meeting new teachers. For others though, the there is a fearful hope that maybe this year is the year things will be different. Since bullying is in the forefront of public consciousness, let’s work to make our schools safe for all students, teachers and staff; as we’ve seen over the summer adults can be bullied too.
What can we do to help everyone in our school communities start off on the right foot? Here are some tips for students, parents, teachers and staff:
- There is a saying plastered all over the New York City subway system, if you see something, say something. The same is true about bullying in schools! If you see a fellow student being targeted, ask if he/she is ok afterward, encourage the target to talk to an adult, or step in stand up for the target (I know much easier said than done!) If you can let the targeted student they are not alone, it’ll help them feel less scared and perhaps will be able to feel empowered to advocate for himself/herself.