Imagine a school where:
- some targets of bullying are able to render aggression ineffective on their own, not only stopping bullying themselves but gaining peer acceptance and a boost in social status and self-esteem in the process.
- bystanders are able to intervene in bullying situations and change peer social norms without risk to their own social status or of becoming a target themselves, the main barriers to intervention.
- students who need adult help with a bullying problem can reach out to any adult they trust, in confidence, and get not only effective support in stopping the bullying, but also help in healing and becoming empowered so future aggression doesn’t result in bullying.
- students feel comfortable telling adults about a bullying problem as the risk of retaliation is eliminated.
- teachers have a heightened sensitivity to peer social interactions and dynamics as well as a set of strategies to not just identify and stop bullying but also to influence the peer group to make bullying less accepted.
- administrators who are resolving a bullying problem are able to have an open and honest conversation with the aggressor that results in a change in behavior without resorting to punishment.
- a student who continues to bully after administrator engagement is provided not with a punitive consequence unrelated to the behavior but accepts a previously agreed-to constructive consequence that influences the aggressor to change behavior and doesn’t penalize the target.
- all the adults who monitor a bullied student through the entire day—homeroom teachers, specialists, substitutes, and cafeteria and playground monitors—have been notified about the bullying problem and will intervene to stop any further aggression.
- parents are proactive in helping to prevent their child from being bullied and to influence bystander intervention and know in advance what actions to take should their child become involved in a bullying problem, whether as a target or an aggressor.
- administrators, teachers, and parents work together amicably, objectively, and in partnership to resolve a bullying problem.
In other words, imagine a whole school community empowered.
This is CirclePoint.