Please don’t tell my mom, but…My mom was wrong. Your mom was probably wrong, too. And maybe your dad and your grandfather, if they told you what my mom told me. “Oh he’s just a little bully. He just wants attention. Just ignore him, and he’ll just go away.”
We grew up with that. Just ignore him. He’ll go away.
But research, unlike my mom, says children who bully don’t always just go away.
Research says that schools that make the effort to end bullying can be very successful. Research says that the most successful school programs concentrate on engaging and training – seriously training – a caring adult to teach, model and engage students in understanding concepts like kindness and empathy, and to intervene when they discover bullying behavior.
Teachers and education support professionals like bus drivers and teachers’ assistants have been begging for such training. In recent years, educators have reported an increase in bullying behavior in schools, playgrounds and buses.
The National Education Association has answered the call with information and materials and training that can help anyone who cares about keeping kids safe.
Go to nea.org/bullyfree to find resources, guides, success stories, links to other websites… It’s all part of the campaign for National Bullying Prevention Month organized by the National Bullying Prevention Center.
But it’s more than a month or a website. It takes a human heart determined to step in and act. On nea.org/bullyfree, you will find a Bully-free Pledge. Pledges might seem a little corny these days. But it’s a powerful thing to say out loud that you will step in and act.
It’s a promise to yourself that you will protect a child who needs you. I hope to never hear an educator or a parent or a Sunday school teacher or a Scout leader say to a frightened child, “Just ignore it.” Schools that are seeing a decrease in bullying are not ignoring it. They are acting.
I agree to be identified as a caring adult who pledges to help bullied students.
I will listen carefully to all students who seek my help and act on their behalf to put an immediate stop to the bulling.
I will work with other caring adults to create a safe learning environment for all the students in my school.