Posted by Joe on 1/7/2014
Bullying has become a worrisome problem, causing not only discomfort and stress but leading to illness and even death. Good planning and strategic messaging can prevent and even stop bullying in the school, workplace and other environments. The key points are to make your message clear and foster the proper attitudes.
Preventing bullying in your environment starts with an attitude of respect and tolerance. Enforce strong rules about respecting all individuals regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion and other differentiating factors. Point out relevant laws when appropriate. Create a friendly, tolerant environment in which people who break these rules are given serious consequences, such as a suspension, and make sure that people who report bullies are taken seriously.
Help encourage respectful behavior by providing strategic messaging. Use posters to display not only the consequences of bullying but also the results of bullying. This helps humanize the issue, showing bullies that their hurtful words and actions have a destructive impact on the people they torment. Informative literature that provides information about how to report and stand up to bullies is also very beneficial, especially for people who have never experienced bullying before and need a quick way to respond to a bully.
When implementing a new anti-bullying policy in your environment, begin with a positive campaign, such as a campaign for respect. Provide incentives for people to reach out to one another, and host special events, such as a Mix It Up Lunch Day, in which people in different social groups are encouraged to interact with one another.