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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.

Preventing 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.
  • 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.

Emergency Contacts

Community-Wide Crisis Line (24/7)
(520) 622-6000

The National Hopeline
800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433)

Learn more:

School-Wide Initiatives
Support Staff
Bullying Programs Research and Results