Post submitted by Kimmie Fink, Welcoming Schools Consultant
In recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month, Welcoming Schools is pleased to share our top five resources to stop bullying:
- What Do You Say to “That’s So Gay”?: Whether it’s a first grader who doesn’t know what “gay” means or a fourth grader who does and uses it try to sound cool, this kind of language can cause an unsafe learning environment and must be addressed. Our most popular resource walks educators through the process of responding to this common, hurtful phrase: stop it, educate, be proactive, don’t ignore it, don’t excuse the behavior and don’t try to judge how upset the target is. This resource is also available in Spanish.
- Be Prepared for Questions and Put-downs around Gender: Many student comments and questions are predictable and practicing answering questions related to gender or interrupting hurtful teasing based on gender will help you to respond more easily when the situation arises. Practice our straightforward sample responses to comments like, “Juan plays with dolls. That’s weird.” and “Aisha looks like a boy.” This resource is also available in Spanish.
- Bias, Bullying & Bystanders: Our tip sheet for elementary school educators is a great place to start this October. We know that when students and adults perceive that others in their school jump in to stop bullying, they are more likely to intervene in bullying themselves. Teachers can work toward ending bullying by becoming upstanders, practicing, teaching students how to be allies, involving families and engaging students with books.
- Six Key Points on Bullying, Bias and Schools: Why address bias-based bullying in elementary schools? We’ve already done the research for you. Usethis quick reference tool to look at statistics that support the connection between safety and success for students. Additionally, review the many ways to be an ally and reflect on what child development experts say about noticing differences.
- Film: What Can We Do? Bias, Bullying and Bystanders: This 12-minute training film spotlights experienced teachers using Welcoming Schools’ lesson plans on bias, bullying and standing up for each other. Watch as educators model how to engage students in real conversations about bias-based bullying. The video is available in its entirety on our website, along with a guide for a 60-90 minute professional development session.
Bullying must be stopped in its tracks. If we do not proactively address the underlying bias that drives it, we will never be able to truly change bullying behavior. These resources will give you the tools to not only stop bullying when it occurs, but to create the kind of inclusive, empathetic learning environment where it doesn’t happen in the first place.
If you'd like to improve your school climate, consider reaching out to us for professional development! Welcoming Schools has facilitators across the country ready to help all students at your school succeed.
HRC's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier program dedicated to creating respectful and supportive elementary schools by embracing family diversity, creating LGBTQ- and gender-inclusive schools, preventing bias-based bullying, and supporting transgender and non-binary students.