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Providing follow-up and support

Consult administrators, teachers, and staff members to alert them to the problem and to get a better understanding of it.

Continue to monitor the behavior of the bully and the safety of the victim. Provide protection for students who may be targeted by bullies. One measure might include creating a buddy system to reduce the risk of attack or ridicule of the targeted student.

Bullied students need to process the circumstances of the bullying, vent their feelings about it and get support. Some may need assistance reading or interpreting social signals, determining how to understand their own behaviors, practicing assertive behavior, building self-esteem or identifying friends and classmates who can give them support. Use role-plays to help bullied students develop potential strategies and to gain confidence.

Students who bully may need help recognizing that their behavior is harmful and inappropriate, taking responsibility for their behavior, developing empathy and finding ways to make amends. They also may need help to learn how to use power in socially appropriate ways (e.g,. focusing their energy on causes they care about, being responsible for helping other people, especially those people who are older or younger than they are).

When there are suspicions of bullying, gather more information by talking with bystanders privately. Step up observation and supervision and provide bystanders opportunities to discuss and practice positive involvement in preventing bullying. Again, role playing can be very useful in this regards.

If the situation doesn't change, remove the bully--not the victim--from the classroom.

The Follow-up to bullying and providing support chart will help you to keep records of bullying incidents and the follow-up and support you initiated.