Magazine article AMLE Magazine

In Every Issue: MENTOR ME

Magazine article AMLE Magazine

In Every Issue: MENTOR ME

Article excerpt

Unfortunately, bullying most often occurs in middle school; emotional and physical bullying are the most prevalent types. It is important that you intervene immediately! Although the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 57% of the time bullying stops within 10 seconds if someone intervenes, in about 85% of bullying cases, adults don't intervene (www.BullyingStatistics.org).

Despite the reasons for not intervening, please know that in reality, students want you to intervene- and it does make a difference. In fact, the impact of bullying is not only on the student being bullied, but also on the bystanders (witnesses), who often report feelings of guilt or helplessness for not supporting the victim.

The Southern Poverty Law Center recommends the following steps if you witness bullying:

* Stop the bullying immediately and talk to the students who are involved separately.

* Reinforce the school's anti-bullying policy, explaining that bullying is not tolerated at your school.

* Support the bullied child in a way that ensures he or she feels safe.

* Offer guidance to bystanders and let them know how to appropriately intervene in the future.

* Impose immediate consequences that are logical and connected to the offense (e.g., taking away social privileges).

* Notify colleagues and parents.

* Follow up with both students, enabling them to recognize their own behaviors and identify positive interactions.

Because young adolescents are vulnerable and may experience embarrassment, ridicule, or rejection from those in cliques from which they are excluded, it is important to ensure that your school has a socially inclusive, supportive school climate. …

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