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Postive School Climate

Build a Positive School Climate:  Barbara Coloroso author of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander recommends schools take the following seven steps:

Intervene with Discipline

  • Communicate clear discipline policies
  • Students should understand the consequences for unkind acts
  • Help students that bully take ownership for their actions through restitution, resolution, and reconciliation

Create Opportunities for Students to "Do Good"

  • Encourage students to do “good deeds” for one another
  • Provide students that bully an opportunity to serve others (crossing guard, tutor for younger students, cafeteria helper)

Nurture Empathy

  • Help students see the perspectives of others

Teach Friendship Skills

  • Teach and model friendship skills
  • Provide students with opportunities to be a good friend

Monitor Children's Exposure to Media

  • Raise parents’ awareness of the importance of monitoring children’s exposure to violence on television, in music, and video games
  • Teach children to be “media-wise” and to discern between fact and fiction

Teach Ways to "Will Good"

In the book Integrity, Stephen Carter defines “willing good” as “speaking and doing what is right even when the burden is heavy.”

  • Model and teach students to stand up for one another, even in difficult situations

Teach Empathy and Perspective Taking

  • Implement Bullying Prevention Programs, such as Committee for Children’s Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention  Program, which focuses on four levels: the individual, relationships, schoolwide implementation, and integration into the curriculum

See School as a Safe Harbor

  • By teaching children the skills they need to navigate social interactions successfully, educators can help bring children up to "do good" and to make positive contributions to the school culture. "[It's] good if they get this from elsewhere," Coloroso says, "but it must happen in school."

Reprinted with permission from Committee for Children