Programs to Prevent Bullying at School
Prevention is the first step against bullying. In this article, we'll tell you all about two very effective programs to prevent bullying at school.
These days, every school must be aware of the problem of bullying and thus find an adequate program to prevent it. According to the Rosario Ortega Ruiz, Doctor in Psychology, programs to prevent bullying at school must have two common objectives:
- Firstly, to seek to reduce violent acts in schools
- Secondly, to promote a good environment of democratic interpersonal relationships and mutual respect
“To educate in equality and respect is to educate against violence.”
– Benjamin Franklin –
In response to the problem of school bullying, various proposals and preventive programs have emerged. One of the key factors that must be worked on in order to achieve this end is the quality of coexistence in school.
To this end, it’s vitally important that teachers carry out activities to foster the creation of good relationships between classmates. Likewise, the school should be promoting empathy and awareness, so that possible aggressors and witnesses become aware of the problem of bullying.
In addition to this, they must work to correctly apply the bullying prevention programs at school. To do this, they must improve the quality of the educational relationships between teachers and students through participative and cooperative procedures.
Therefore, schools need to have the necessary knowledge, abilities, skills, and attitudes in order to understand, express, and regulate the emotional phenomena in an appropriate way.
“Education is the vaccine against violence.”
– Benjamin Franklin –
Programs to prevent bullying at school
One of the best known and most effective preventive programs is KiVa, a Finnish program to prevent and tackle bullying. This program is carried out in three school stages, divided into the age groups of 7, 10, and 13 years of age.
It aims to provide teachers with basic information on the subject of bullying and how to deal with it, and to get students to show their support for the victims. The program consists of 10 lessons that take place once or twice a month during the course of the year.
There are a total of 20 lessons, in which children learn to recognize different types of bullying. In addition to this, they’ll carry out activities, exercises, and group work in order to improve relationships at school. During the sessions, the students will hold discussions about bullying and respect for others.
They’re also given access to a KiVa video game, in which students enter a virtual school and practice different anti-bullying measures.
This innovative program, which focuses on working on emotions and social skills, is not only an effective method against bullying, but also increases children’s well-being at school and improves their academic performance.
Tutoring Among Equals Program
Another relevant program, used especially in Spain, is Tutoring Among Equals (or Peer Tutoring), which is a coexistence program involving the entire educational community. It’s aimed at improving school integration and working towards an inclusive and non-violent school.
It focuses on five elements or strengths:
- Educational centers and teachers
- Tutored students
- The students’ tutor
The program consists of carrying out peer tutoring to develop cognitive, psychological and emotional skills. In this way, cooperative development and individual and group class commitment are encouraged as a preventive element against school bullying and violence.
It’s mainly aimed at Primary and Secondary Education students, with tutors from higher classes. In this way, students in 5th grade of Primary School are emotional tutors for those in 3rd grade. And the students of the 3rd year of High School are emotional tutors for those in 1st year of High School.
However, to implement it correctly, students and teachers alike need training. There also needs to be a coordinator, who will be the point of reference to direct emotional tutoring among children.
A team is also necessary, made up of at least three teachers, the coordinator and a representative of the management team. This representative’s main function is to:
- Contextualize the materials
- Think about the activities that need to be carried out
- Develop new lines of positive coexistence
- Train the program coordinator
- Intervene in cases of possible situations of school bullying
In conclusion, we affirm the need for all schools to adopt some kind of program for the prevention of bullying, starting from the lowest grades.
Bullying is a very important and worrying social problem that the educational system must tackle and deal with in depth. After all, schools have the responsibility to help to create a better society for the future. We’ve highlighted two programs in this article, but there are many others that schools can adapt to any educational context.
In short, the school has a duty to teach values, social skills and emotional capabilities, as well as academic knowledge.