Bullying in schools is, and likely forever will be, in the headlines.
Google “bullying and violence” and pages of information load onto the screen. Students who bully were often bullied themselves.
Bullying and school violence are tragic, but we know knowledge is power.
With the 2023-2024 school year in full swing, now is an ideal time to share four resources to keep close when managing bullying in school, and beyond.
Resource 1: The Violence Project
Located at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, psychologist Dr. Jillian Peterson, and sociologist, Dr. James Densley designed The Violence Project as a place for all to locate research and information about school, and other, mass shootings. The Project is non-profit and non-partisan with the goal of “reducing violence through research.” On the website, you will find statistics, graphics, and, sadly, a K-12 School Shooting Database.
To understand the connection between school violence and bullying, the article, “The Role of Bullying in School Shootings,” from the University of Virginia’s School of Education, includes a list of publications and, “5 Facts About Mass Shootings in K-12 Schools,” from the National Institute of Justice, lists the things they have in common.
Resource 2: Bullying Basics from Learning for Justice
Learning for Justice works to sustain the mission of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Loaded with free resources for educators, Learning for Justice is committed to racial justice, and houses information about bullying, such as:
- Hate at School
- Resources for Addressing Sexual Assault and Harassment in Class
- Intersectionality and Allyship
- Bullying by Teachers
- Bullying: Guidelines for Teachers
Resource 3: Books about Bullying
These lists put books on bullying at your fingertips! Explore the curated suggestions from We Are Teacher, Common Sense Media, and Amazon to find titles your students will learn from and enjoy. There’s even a free Trauma Toolkit from Teaching Channel!
28 Must-Read Books Anti-Bullying Books for Kids from We Are Teachers
Books about Bullying from Common Sense Media
Books about Bullying from Amazon
Free Trauma Toolkit by Susanne Leslie at Teaching Channel
Resource 4: Four-Day School Week
Our last resource is an idea to explore that many schools have already implemented! The study from Stanford, above, tells a promising tale. According to Mortons’ research, a four-day school week could decrease bullying incidents by 31% and the prevalence of student fighting by 27%.
“Effects of Four-Day School Week on Adolescents: Examining Impacts of the Schedule on Academic Achievement, Attendance, and Behavior in High School,” by Emily Morton at Stanford University
The Interesting Effects 4-Day Weeks May Have on School Climate from Education Week summarizes the study’s findings.
Over 1600 schools in half of the states in the US have adopted 4-day weeks. In addition to the reduction in bullying, there has been an increase in student morale and a more positive school climate. In most districts, teachers continue to work 5 days but have one day without students for lesson planning, correspondence with parents and families, meetings, and more. Another boon to the 4-day school week is financial savings. Yet, some remain skeptical due to concerns about child care. Many districts have solved this issue by providing care at the school.
Bullying is challenging and can be a difficult behavior for teachers to manage. We know these resources will be helpful to you in your role.
Looking for ways to promote social change? Teaching Channel offers a graduate-level, continuing education course so you can get started. Course 5131: SEL and Empathy-based Bullying Prevention includes tools to empower bystanders so they can become upstanders. This course explains the complicated nature of bullying and provides ways that you and your students can be part of the solution.