Leading the Work of Creating the Healthiest School Environments Possible

For optimal learning to transpire schools must be safe places.  As leaders we are responsible for “safety” above other missions.  How do you feel about being responsible for school safety as it relates to bullying and specifically – cyber-bullying?

Let’s think about what schools can do to be intentional about being environments safe from bullying.

Might schools:

Acknowledge that there is the potential of cyber-bullying at school or connected to school supported activities

Have meetings with the school staff (instructional and support staff) to raise awareness, share information and build a commitment to creating the healthiest school environment possible

Set up a way to share/exchange ideas and initiatives within the district and community with each other that are related to creating, maintaining and advancing healthy school environments

With parents, staff, community and students work to develop and review school policy relating to bullying in general and cyber-bullying specifically

Explore possible school-wide initiatives to build the healthiest school environment possible for each and every student

Explore possible school-wide “social skills initiatives”* with the focus on seriously committing to one to frame your district’s positive energy

*Note: When a Google Search for “school social skills initiatives” yielded over 22,000,000 sources

Questions to Think About:

Some bullies seem to want to have power over the bullied through harassment and treats. Others seem to want to inflict embarrassment and/or physical or psychological harm.  Given how complex bullying can be should schools diligently and with robust effort strive to become environments that are free of bullying?

Incidents of bullying often happen to the same person over and over by the same bully or bullies.  How might schools break these repetitious patterns?

Might it be that the bully really lacks an accurate understanding of what he or she is doing?  If so, what might we do about that?

Many bullies seem to bully their victims as part of group behavior.  Thus, the person bullied can feel that many, many people want him or her to be hurting and want him or her to clearly understand their inferiority.  How might schools respond?

How might we and our school communities help bullies change and learn empathy and respect and appreciation?

Do bullies lack the power of self-control?

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