What Are Effective Intervention Strategies for Bullying?

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    Counselor Brief

    What Are Effective Intervention Strategies for Bullying?

    In the crucial fight against bullying, we've gathered insights from four experienced School Counselors on effective intervention strategies. From implementing talking circles to educating on bullying identification, these professionals share their top strategies to address and prevent bullying in educational settings.

    • Implement Talking Circles
    • Promote Peer-Mediation Programs
    • Instill Universal Value Message
    • Educate on Bullying Identification

    Implement Talking Circles

    I have recently held a lunch bunch with a group of 5th-grade girls who are involved in unkind behaviors. One intervention strategy would be a talking circle or lunch bunch, asking them questions like: What is their definition of bullying? What does bullying look like at your school? When you see bullying, how do you react? What are your experiences? What can we do to stop bullying at our school? Ask the students; they may already have the answers.

    Linda LangenSchool Counselor, Indian Community School

    Promote Peer-Mediation Programs

    I have found peer-mediation programs in schools to be highly effective in addressing bullying by fostering open dialogue and empathy. Hope Squad is one program I have found to be most successful, as it trains selected students to serve as mediators and student leaders for students who require a friendly face to speak to a counselor, who can then facilitate constructive conversations between those involved in bullying situations. In addition to providing victims with the opportunity to express their feelings, this approach also encourages bullies to understand the impact of their actions on victims. Through guided discussions and conflict-resolution techniques, we hope to promote understanding, reconciliation, and ultimately, a safer and more inclusive school environment for all students.

    Savannah Rubio
    Savannah RubioSchool Counselor, Princeton ISD

    Instill Universal Value Message

    One of the best things we've done as a school is to incorporate the message that each and every person matters. That, as Christians, we believe Jesus Christ died for all of us. And yet, He would have been willing to die for any one of us. And if the Creator of the universe thinks we are all worth loving, who are we to argue with Him?

    Josh PierceSchool Counselor, Kearney Catholic High School

    Educate on Bullying Identification

    One strategy I often use when dealing with bullying is to ensure that the students fully understand what bullying is and what it is not. It is essential that students know the difference between being bullied and being bothered. They must also understand the impact of their own actions and words—as the intent might not be to bully, but it may be perceived that way. Being proactive and educating students on what bullying is, how to identify it, how to handle it, and the impact it has is crucial.

    When it comes to bullying, and life in general, students need to learn essential skills related to acceptance, resilience, conflict resolution, decision-making, appropriate usage of social media and technology, communication, self-advocacy, how to deal with adversity, and how to build effective relationships. To learn these imperative skills, a positive culture must be developed within the school setting. Individual and group counseling sessions are very beneficial, modeling behaviors as the adult figure is vital, and having open and regular conversations with students and their parents/guardians is impactful.

    Lori AufieroSchool Counselor, Southern Westchester BOCES, Center for Special Services