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Bullying Prevention: Implementing Anti-bullying Programs in Schools

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Preventive measures
  3. Conclusion
  4. References


Throughout the years bullying has proved to be an increasing issue amongst schools across the nation. Research indicates that bullying is the most prevalent form of aggressive or violent behavior that occurs in schools. Bullies show an elevated risk for delinquency, truancy, poor school adjustment, and social problems. Thus, it has become necessary for schools to search for bully prevention programs and strategies that can prevent these negative and harmful consequences.

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Bullying is defined as an imbalance of power between the aggressor and the victim; where the bully has an upper hand, edge, or advantage of power over the victim. The various forms of bullying are physical aggression such as hitting, kicking, shoving, etc., verbal aggression such as name calling, teasing, and threatening, relational aggression including social exclusion and spreading rumors, and cyber-bullying which commonly happens via social media and is the use of technology to cause emotional and psychological harm. For most students, the reason behind their bullying comes from a sense of superiority over others, it can be influenced by role-models from home, social media or friends, personal projection through others to deal with insecurities, and a form of popularity amongst peers.

Cultural and societal factors play a role in fueling the negative behaviors of a bully, like mocking others who do not fit in within cultural and gender-norms based on their sexuality, body modifications, gender, etc. For a bully to feel comfortable enough to pursue and continue harassment of others, there has to be an environment set in place to further encourage their negative behavior.

Preventive measures

The goal of bullying prevention is to create an everlasting effect on the involved parties, both behaviorally and mentally, as they mature beyond adolescents. Bullying and cyberbullying have been associated with a range of negative outcomes in all students who are affected. Victims of bullying tend to be less engaged in school, have higher rates of absences, and often experience declines in their grades.

Moreover, lower rates of student participation in school activities and performance on standardized tests are reported in schools that have been found to have high rates of bullying. In addition to academic problems, victims of bullying also are at risk for experiencing negative psychosocial outcomes. Research indicates that these students experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, social adjustment, and physical health problem. They tend to also have low self-esteem and a risk of suicide behavior. There is a clear need for change in school climates, classrooms, and homes to increase prevention of bullying.

How does an educator know if a student is being bullied at their school? In most cases, teachers are not aware that bullying is happening around the school because it’s not within their classroom. However, bullying happens when and where adults are not present. According to, by being knowledgeable and observant, teachers can help prevent bullying in their classroom as well as around school. To be sure their school is an inclusive environment, teachers will have to pay close attention on a regular basis including making sure students are aware that they can come and talk to them. It makes all the difference.

Teachers must remember that all bullying doesn’t look the same. Sometimes bullying consist of harder-to-detect actions, which involves spreading rumors or isolating a student from their friends. Students may be in fear and hesitant to even call harassment, “bullying” too. Phrases students use when they are hesitant to talk about being bullied is, “there was small drama” and “she was just messing with me”. These are all small clues educators should be cautious of.

To create an anti-bullying classroom, educators can start examining school climates and identify bias-based bullying. According to Teaching Tolerance, bias-based bullying is any form of bullying that targets someone or makes someone feel threatened or uncomfortable because of who they are. For example, their race color, religion, culture, sexuality, family, etc. As well as, pay attention to how students look physically and respond both emotionally or mentally to certain situations. For example, a student may be a victim of bullying, if the student presents with any of the following:

  • leaves school with torn or damaged clothes and belongings,
  • has unexplained cuts and bruises,
  • has fewer friends,
  • seems afraid to be in school and afraid to ride the school bus,
  • has lost interest in school work or are performing poorly,
  • appears sad and depressed,
  • avoids the cafeteria or other gathering with peers.

To educate parents about bullying, schools can create an event called Parent Night. Parent night can be a monthly informational meeting. In this meeting school staff and administrators can help parents learn about the anti-bullying programs their using to keep students safe, teach parents how to reinforce these anti-bullying methods at home, and have an opportunity to talk with teachers and administrators about problems with bullying. Schools can also create bullying prevention committees.

The committee can be made up of parents, teachers, and students. Their goal will be to help/improve school programs and organize fundraisers. Lastly, schools can provide resources using a parent action tool kit to emphasize the importance of educating parents. The tool kit will consist of links to an online sharing community and 10 questions parents can ask their children’s teachers.

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In conclusion, the goal of bullying prevention is to create an effect on the involved parties, both behaviorally and mentally. Educators and parents can practice preventing bullying in the classroom and in homes by staying educated and involved, observing warning signs, implementing strategies and techniques, and incorporating anti-bullying programs. As of April 2015, all U.S. states and the District of Columbia have laws that require schools to address bullying. It’s important as educators to protect our students and encourage them to always shine.


  1. Bauman, S., Toomey, R. B., & Walker, J. L. (2013). Associations among bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide in high school students. Journal of Adolescence, 36, 341–350. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.12.001
  2. Bender, D., & Lösel, F. (2011). Bullying at school as a predictor of delinquency, violence and ‐other antisocial behavior in adulthood. Criminal Behavior and Mental Health, 21(2), 99-106.
  3. Costello, M. (2017). Bullying Basics. Teaching Tolerance. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from
  4. Dempsey, A. G., Sulkowski, M. L., Nichols, R., & Storch, E. A. (2009). Differences between peer victimization in cyber and physical settings and associated psychosocial adjustment in early adolescence. Psychology in the Schools, 46, 962-972. doi: 10.1002/pits.20437
  5. Durwin, C.C, & Reese-Weber, M. (2018). EdPsych: Modules, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  6. Espelage, D. L., Low, S., & De La Rue, L. (2012). Relations between peer victimization subtypes, family violence, and psychological outcomes during adolescence. Psychology of Violence, 2, 313–324. doi:10.1037/a0027386
  7. Ross, D. M. (2002). Bullying in J. Sandoval (Ed.), Handbook of crisis counseling, intervention, and prevention in the schools (2nd ed., pp. 105-135). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  8. Ttofi, M. M., Farrington, D. P., Lösel, F., & Loeber, R. (2011). Do the victims of school bullies tend to become depressed later in life? A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 3, 63–73.

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Bullying Prevention: Implementing Anti-bullying Programs In Schools. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from
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