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25 August, 2010

As a teacher, I know how difficult it can be to know how to deal with bullying in schools.  There’s several responses to take, but many are simply not practical.

A couple that may not have crossed most people’s minds:

  • Peer support networks.  Sometimes this is beneficial, particularly with student support – even students from different grades are able to help diffuse the most potent results of bullying in schools (particularly social exclusion).
  • Training students in dispute resolution techniques.  If students feel that they are able to step in and mediate, they may also be more willing to step in – taking away one of the most potent weapons of most bullies (i.e. isolation).

Of course, still more effective would be to engage the bullies themselves, and to figure out why they’re doing what they’re doing.  But, perhaps even these two ideas – ones focused on students changing the culture of a school, rather than having it as being totally officially-driven – may be able to help some schools.

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