The whole-school anti-bullying approach
Many of the tools we have provided in this section are intended
to help you assist beginning teachers in intervening in and preventing
bullying. As a principal, you play a critical role in addressing
bullying across the whole school. Research indicates that the most
effective anti-bullying programs take a whole-school approach. Below
is a very brief overview of the whole-school approach. For more information,
go to the Bullying resources tool.
A whole-school approach to preventing bullying seeks
to develop a school environment characterized by caring, open communication
and involved adults. This entails school staff establishing and enforcing
firm limits to unacceptable behavior, consistently applying non-aggressive,
non-physical negative consequences and acting as positive role models.
A whole-school approach includes the following activities at the
school, classroom and individual levels:
- Survey teachers and students to determine the prevalence of
- Coordinate supervision of students during break periods and
in unstructured settings, e.g., playground, cafeteria, etc., which
is when and where bullying occurs most frequently at school.
- Develop school-wide anti-bullying policies and coordinate efforts
to educate staff and students on the content and enforcement
of these policies.
- Teachers work with students to establish and enforce classroom
rules against bullying.
- Integrate discussions of bullying into the curriculum.
- Meet with families to expand their involvement both in class
and throughout school.
- Instruct all school staff to provide immediate intervention
in bullying incidents.
- Help students form friendship partnerships to foster responsibility
for students who are bullied and to discourage bullying in general.
Older students can form mentor partnerships to support new students
or students who have difficulties fitting in with their peers.
- Call on school counselors/mental health professionals to deal
with more serious incidents of bullying and to help in ongoing
See the Bullying resources tool for more information
and tools to help you create a whole-school approach to preventing
bullying in your schools.