Administrators play an important role in bully prevention programs. They need to be the first line of defense by helping the school community to establish a policy addressing bullies in school. Bullies can only be stopped with a strong administrative initiative to tackle the bullying epidemic.
First and foremost is establishing a no tolerance for bullying policy. Students,teachers and parents all need to see that the administration is 100% behind them in keeping the students and teachers alike safe and able to accomplish the tasks they have come to school perform. Among other things this means being responsible for enforcing the consequences/administering the punishments when bullying does occur and be the primary source for educating teachers, parents and students about bullying and bully prevention programs.
An important component of bully prevention programs is to create a community atmosphere in the school. When the teachers, students, administration and other school personnel function as a unit where everyone is accountable for their behavior, bullying can be stopped. This includes instructing all staff to recognize social hierarchy among students and empowering the staff to function as the leaders providing appropriate role models for all. Increased presence of staff in hallways and play areas at all times is another important deterrent. Students and personnel alike need to know that they are in a safe environment. If the school budget allows it, video surveillance of areas where it is not possible to have a human presence may also be helpful in some schools.
Administrators need to be responsible for establishing the procedure of whom to contact when a bullying incident has occurred. Be this the administrator,school social worker, other staff member; their name, phone number and/or email address, and hours when they are available to receive complaints needs to be posted and communicated in writing to parents, teachers and students. If there is an established policy for whom to contact, all parties involved will know that your school is actively working to enforce its bullying policy and that their grievance will not fall through the cracks.
Finally, establishing an anti-bullying slogan which is posted throughout the school and tagged on to morning announcements and all communications with parents will function as a constant reminder to all that bullying will not be tolerated. Administrators are the anchor of all bully prevention programs. Their talents,enthusiasm, and determination, can send a message to potential bullies in school:We stand together. Bullying is not allowed!
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