Empowering Students: Bullying Prevention in Our Elementary Schools

Empowering Students: Bullying Prevention in Our Elementary Schools

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, but in our elementary schools, preventing bullying isn't a one-off event. Bullying prevention is built into the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum, Second Step, which is taught all year long.

The approach to bullying prevention is proactive and comprehensive. These critical lessons are embedded into classroom activities, discussions, and interactions throughout October. The goal of the bullying prevention unit is to empower students with the knowledge and skills needed to prevent bullying and respond appropriately when they encounter it.

This year, at Maltby Elementary, this looked like students writing about bullying and sharing their reports with the class. In another classroom, students created colorful cards that would become a scavenger hunt around the school for their peers while also providing a visual reminder of what all students learned. 

mbe anti bullying week2

Emphasized in the unit are the "Three R's" of bullying prevention: Recognize, Report, and Respond. During Anti-Bullying Week, the first week in October, students and teachers reinforce these principles.

Recognize: We help students understand what bullying looks like, including its different forms such as verbal, physical, and cyberbullying. By recognizing the signs, they can be vigilant and supportive of one another.

Report: Reporting is a crucial step in addressing bullying. We teach students how and where to report incidents, and we ensure that they know they can always turn to a trusted adult for help.

Respond: Equipping students with the knowledge and confidence to respond appropriately is vital. We emphasize the importance of being an upstander rather than a bystander. Students learn how to support victims, diffuse situations, and seek help when needed.

The goal is to establish a culture of kindness, empathy, and accountability by embedding these concepts into the SEL curriculum and dedicating a week to focused learning. This culture helps to build a community where every individual experiences a strong sense of belonging.

mbe class presentation