Bullying has been a challenge faced by children throughout all phases of history, but recently educational advocates have begun to identify the serious consequences and ramifications that bullying has on young children.
Bullying often begins in the earliest years of school, so it’s critical that administrators, teachers, parents and even students work to prevent bullying from taking place within their own classrooms.
As you look to begin a new school year, you should think about implementing a new anti-bullying program in your own elementary school. These programs are designed to teach children and educators about the different types of bullying, ways that bullying should be addressed and innovative ways that can prevent bullying from occurring in the first place.
11 Anti-Bullying Programs for Elementary School
- Designate an Anti-Bully Tree — Locate a tree that is near the entrance of your school, and decorate it with a few anti-bullying messages and quotes. Ask students to add their own messages of love, kindness and hope throughout the year to create a lasting anti-bullying symbol for all children who enter the building.
- Create an Anti-Bullying Committee — Get students, parents and teachers involved by starting an anti-bullying committee. The committee should plan events throughout the year that raise awareness about bullying and teach students how to prevent bullying from taking place within their classrooms.
- Implement a Positive Note Program — With this type of program, you can encourage students to leave positive anonymous notes for their classmates. They can leave them in someone’s cubby, or place them in their desk for them to find the next day. This program provides students with a simple way to spread joy while encouraging them to see the good in others.
- Revamp the Fitness Curriculum — Many students are bullied during health and fitness classes when they often need to showcase their physical strength or exertion. To remedy this, create a new fitness curriculum that focuses on having fun while exercising versus being competitive. Focus on healthy habits rather than reaching certain milestones, such as being the farthest jumper or the fastest runner.
- Design a Buddy System — In an elementary school, a buddy system works well when it pairs an older student in the fourth or fifth grade with the younger students in the school. The older student serves as a mentor and can provide the younger student with support and guidance. The younger student can ask their buddy for help whenever they need it.
- Create a Playground Patrol — The playground patrol is a group that older students can join after they have received proper training and resources. Through this program, the designated older students should monitor the playground for any negative behavior, such as name-calling, physical altercations or isolation. They can then work directly with students who are being bullied and also advocate for the need for good behavior on the playground.
- Market Anti-Bullying Policies Throughout the Building — Encourage students to get involved with this anti-bullying campaign. Create an anti-bullying slogan or theme for the year, and then have students design posters based on that theme during the first week of school. Hang those posters throughout the hallways to serve as a reminder throughout the year.
- Switch Up the Lunch Routine — Students naturally gravitate toward their friends in the cafeteria, but it can be beneficial for students to get to know more of their classmates throughout the year. Every few days, switch up the lunch table assignments so that students have more opportunities to socialize with new and different classmates.
- Offer Daily Words of Inspiration — During the morning announcements, include a daily dose of anti-bullying inspiration. Profound quotes, actionable tips, and statistics can be read that will remind students about the importance of treating others with kindness and respect.
- Kick Off a Kindness Rock Program — Through the kindness rock program, students can transform garden rocks into works of art that include positive messages about kindness and inclusion. These rocks can be hidden throughout the school and on the playground in hopes that they will make someone smile.
- Start an Anti-Bullying Book Club — Create a book club that includes a reading list of books with anti-bullying messages. Book club members will learn not only from the books that they read, but they also will be inspired by the discussions that occur during the book club meetings.
No one wants to start the school year off on a bad note, and it can be particularly hard for young students to overcome the fear and anxiety that is associated with being bullied. With these simple yet effective anti-bullying programs, your elementary school will be able to address the important issues surrounding bullying while providing students with easy tools that can be used to prevent bullying from occurring in your school.
These anti-bullying programs couple perfectly with anti-bullying curriculum and journal prompts. As always, keep on writing!
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