In spite of countless advocacies, bullying remains rampant. A new research reveals a multi-tiered approach and recommendations for peers, parents, schools and new media platforms to stop bullying.
Published in the journal Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the study has taken into account more than 20 years of bullying research. According to study author Amy Bellmore, bullying is not a harmless rite of passage for children. It is destructive to youth, schools and the general public, so stakeholders must take these suggestions seriously.
Peers Higher levels of bullying happen when victims are not defended by their peers in their classrooms than in classrooms where pupils try to stop the bullying. Bellmore encourages students to share their emotional reactions, offer support and come up with peaceful alternatives to protect the victims.
These students must also be taught that adults can help with the problem when they witness or hear about bullying instances. The research insists that adults within the school and at home must support these students.
Accordingly, children who have good relationships with their parents have fewer chances to become bullies or victims than children who have been neglected and abused. Parents must be trained and taught relevant parental skills to initiate conversation regarding bullying that happens in schools.
Schools or communities play, on the other hand, should help enact such training. This may also help parents to encourage their children, who are not at risk of being bullies or victims, to defend their peers.
Next, the researchers assert that schools must conduct school-based anti-bullying programs. The programs that last longer and more intensive have been the most successful at combating bullying.
Interventions such as school polices, discipline, playground supervision and parent-teacher meetings are crucial components in this step. However, schools are not encouraged to just follow any intervention programs. They should consider also programs that have been successful.
New Media Platforms mainly deals with cyberbullying. Law enforcement will not get involved in cyberbullying unless harassment and threats occur or when schools asked for their help.
Social media companies are considered to have a major role in bullying. Hence, pages solely for bullying, blocking a bully’s account and reporting instructions for users must be created so social media users can report abuse online before it is too late.
“The fact that there are so many ways to intervene provides hope for stopping bullying and its negative effects,” Bellmore wrote. “Yet even with a mound of evidence about what may work, we still face many challenges to implementing these changes, as the most effective approaches are likely to require action on many fronts.”