Every child is entitled to feel safe in the classroom, hallways, or on the playground. In our schools, where so many of our students may have a parent deployed or may have experienced many transitions making them the "new kid" over and over, establishing a climate where bullying is never tolerated is even more important. DoDEA is committed to providing exceptional educational programs and this can only be accomplished when children feel safe, secure, and are happy in the hallways of our schools across the globe.
DoDEA is joining forces with the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education and Justice to empower parents and students to take a stand and lend a hand to stop bullying.
As educators, you know first-hand that bullying negatively affects the atmosphere of the school and disrupts the learning environment. Student achievement suffers among both the students who are bullied and those who engage in bullying.
In an atmosphere where bullying is tolerated, teacher morale declines which can interfere with discipline and learning. When students regularly witness bullying, they can begin to feel that the adults are not in control or are uncaring. And finally, parent confidence and trust in the school erodes when students experience bullying or are accused of bullying others.
There is no set formula for the best way to intervene when you suspect or observe a bullying incident. You must consider a variety of issues, including the safety of all children, the age and gender of the children involved, the circumstances surrounding the bullying, the form and type of bullying, and the role of bystanders.
After a bullying incident, there's more you can do to prevent it from happening again.
All school personnel including teachers, administrators, custodians, clerical staff and students and parents must work together as a "school community" to eliminate bullying and harassing behavior.
It is important to make clear that the school not only expects students not to bully, but that it also expects them to be good citizens, not passive bystanders, if they are aware of bullying or students who appear troubled, possibly from bullying. Developing simple, clear rules about bullying can help to ensure that students are aware of adults' expectations that they refrain from bullying and help students who are bullied. For example, one comprehensive program, the Olweus
School rules and policies should be posted and discussed with students and parents. Appropriate positive and negative consequences also should be developed for following or not following the school's rules.
Increase adult supervision in places where bullying has occurred or is likely to occur. Bullying tends to thrive in locations where adults are not present or are not vigilant.
DoDEA is committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.