Bullying is the number one attributing factor in school shootings. According to the FBI 75% of all active shooter events in a school environment are from students who felt bullied or persecuted in their school. This is far and away the number one contributing factor on the FBI’s list. Active shooting events in schools are rarely impulsive acts. It is over time and through repeated incidents that a student can start to feel they need to lash out or do something drastic to resolve the situation.
You absolutely must stop bullying when you see it. Not only does bullying hinder the ability for students to learn, but by creating a learning environment that is bully free you are taking a large step towards making your school safer.
When you see bullying happening in your school the Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
- Do not ignore bullying, it will continue to go on if not confronted and appropriately dealt with.
- Calmly separate the kids involved and speak with them separately and privately, part of bullying is the public spectacle.
- Have a real discussion with the students involved to determine what happened and how to make a corrective action. There is a reason that the bullying student is acting out, this needs to be understood. On the other side, the student bullied needs to feel supported and that they are not on their own in resolving the incident.
- Understand that policies like “zero tolerance” or “three strikes and you’re out” do not work for bullying. Suspensions or expulsions as punishment for bullying incidents are not the answer. Not only are these policies shown to not be effective but may make it less likely for students and teachers to report incidents. Again, understanding the reasons the bullying student is acting out while making it clear to them their behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated is key.
Bullying is just one of the 20+ topics SSI Guardian’s Advanced Safety Education training covers in a completely fact based, PhD authored, and comprehensive course. For more information on our program and how we can work with you to make your school safer Click Here.