School counselors play a vital role in stopping bullying behavior. Here are some general tips that may aid your efforts.
How to Spot Children Who Are Being Bullied
- Student may come to your office frequently, often under the guise of something other than bullying.
- Student may exhibit signs of depression and anxiety.
- Students who are bullied will frequently miss school because of it.
- Student may avoid lunchroom, recess or other places where bullies may be.
- Student may blame themselves for their social standing.
- Student may lash out as others.
- Students who are being bullied may sit by themselves at lunch.
- Notice if a student is no longer spending time with other students once considered friends.
How to Spot Children Who May Be Bullying Others
- Student is referred to counselor’s office frequently for conflict-related issues.
- Student lashes out at other students.
- Student has difficulties getting along with school staff.
- Other students report that the student is spreading rumors.
- Student may report problems at home.
- Remember that relational/social bullying is harder to spot than physical and verbal bullying.
- Encourage your school to create a school-wide conflict resolution program.
- Take a proactive role in creating a positive school climate.
- Educate administrators, teachers and support staff about how to spot the signs of potential bullying.
Responding to Bullying
- If you see it, stop it immediately. Ask the students involved if they wanted to come talk to you. If not, hold a very brief conversation with them about their behavior.
- Identify your office as a safe zone where students who are bullied can go
- Hold small-group or individual sessions with kids who bully and/or are targets of bullying. For students who bully, these sessions can teach empathy, social and problem-solving skills. For students who are being bullied, these sessions may include training in how to respond to bullying, and work on emotional and self-esteem issues that may be exacerbated by bullying.
- Stop Bullying Now is run by Stan Davis, a researcher on bullying and founding member of the International Bullying Prevention Association.
- StopBullying.gov bullying prevention resources: The government’s official website on bullying provides resources for educators, students and parents regarding ways to prevent or reduce bullying.
- An article by the National Association for School Psychologists focuses on bullying and intervention for school psychologists and counselors.
- The Buzz on Bullying by the American School Counselor Association provides facts and information on bullying.
- Cyberbullying: What Counselors Need to Know is published by the American Counseling Association and written by Sheri Bauman, an internationally recognized researcher on cyberbullying, and a member of the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding’s Anti-Bullying Task Force.
- KidsHealth provides information for students about what school counselors can do to help them alleviate problems with bullying. Provides a good resource for how counselors can advocate for students.
Community-Wide Crisis Line (24/7)
The National Hopeline