As October carries significant with it being National Bullying Prevention Month in the United States, the Stride PD Center has created and launched two free courses for school leaders and teachers. These courses provide definitions, offer statistics, focus on everyone affected in bullying (e.g., the victim, the bully, and bystanders), share strategies to support students, reveal downloadable resources that can be put to immediate use, and give a certificate (with PD clock hours earned) upon successful completion.
Knowing that all of us are responsible to prevent bullying and support those suffering under bullying, this blog will explain a bit more about each course so that you can make an informed choice about which course to take first. You can find both of them on our Student Support page.
A Holistic Approach to Prevent Bullying
Course length – 1 hour.
This course is broken apart into 3 major areas: (1) responsibility – it is real and more prevalent than we believe, so all of us must act to prevent; (2) recognition – everyone is affected by bullying meaning there is a wider implication of those behaviors; and (3) restoration – environments and people can help students change how they view themselves and treat others.
To start, bullying can be summarized with these terms – ongoing and unwanted aggressive behavior. With that stated, the course shares types of bullying and examples of things that are NOT bullying. Statistics are shared to ground you in how bullying is become more pervasive as well as locations in the school where students share it occurs most often. After learning signs that reveal bullying may be occurring, a real-world scenario is used to show that bullying adversely affects everyone.
One of the strongest sections of the course is “Reasons and Effects” as it breaks out the risk factors and effects on each perspective – victim, bully, and bystander. The course closes with specific ideas about school culture (inside and outside the classroom), proactive steps to take by stakeholder role, and an idea for whole-school PD.
If a school leader wanted to discuss bullying with their staff, they could have the teachers take the online course ahead of that discussion. We also provide a document, with framing questions, and some guidance that could help the leader apply their learning to their, specific school.
Resources: Signs of bullying one-page document, reflection takeaway, Proactive Steps to prevent bullying one-pager, and a Bullying PD plan.
Course length – 0.5 hour.
This topic was pulled out from the previous one due to the fact that it is the fastest-growing form of bullying. The infusion of technology into every part of our lives, along with the significant increase of social media usage, are critical explanations of the need for this course.
The course itself looks at understanding and identifying this bullying form while closing out with ideas on how to help. The best way to define cyberbullying is to remember this simple equation: bullying + technology = cyberbullying. The course will look at several distinctions of what is and is not cyberbullying while then giving you the chance to practice to ensure understanding. A critical part of the course is linking you to research over time so that you can see what has happened in recent years. After wrangling those statistics, you shift to see a few reasons why students cyberbully and then learn the 8 major types – so that educators can know how to look for this behavior and its effects.
Finally, you get to a document called “How to End Cyberbullying” that is downloadable. This one resources offers ideas for students, families, teachers, school leaders, and district officials. When all stakeholders are focused on this topic, some students are prevented from starting down the “bully road” while others are protected from being bullied along the way. School leaders can take this document and use it as the foundation for whole-school PD and discussions that can be applied to your local context.
Resources: reflection takeaway document, Bullying Comparison one-pager, links to research, and a 6 page document about ending cyberbullying.
Take advantage of these free courses to learn more about what you can do – as an educator – to prevent bullying and provide support to those affected by it.