Bullying and harassment impact the whole child including their academic, social-emotional, and physical well being. According to the American Psychological Association, children who are bullied are more likely to drop out or avoid school, may experience depression due to low self-esteem, and are prone to suicide. Therefore, it is imperative that school climate and culture support students by providing staff support and intervention strategies, engage students in academics, and provide student autonomy to empower students to be involved in their school community.
Bullying and harassment influence the entire school environment. It alters behavior management systems, which interrupts learning and instruction. There are various reasons bullying occurs. Specific groups of children have been known to be targeted such as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students and students with disabilities. According to the American Psychological Association, “Students with disabilities are subjected to more bullying, physical abuse, verbal abuse and social rejection than other students.”
To protect students from being targeted victims, adults in the organization must advocate for their students’ needs. Effective leaders provide teachers, support staff, students, and parents with professional development opportunities that focus on anti-bullying programs. Character education is also integrated into class curriculum based on school norms that do not tolerate bullying and harassment. Guest speakers can also be utilized to introduce students to individuals who have differences to build tolerance for others.
You can visit the link provided to read more about recommendations made by the American Psychological Association to include the following bills under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act including: Academic Social and Emotional Learning Act, Achievement through Prevention Act, and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.