Anti-Bullying Week takes place In November every year and is marked by schools across the country. By law, all state schools must have a behaviour policy in place that includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying. But we know that the legal obligation isn’t what truly motivates schools to prevent and deal with bullying.
As well as being devastating, and having long-lasting consequences for those directly involved, bullying in school can have disastrous effects on pupil motivation and attitudes toward school.
One important aspect of dealing with bullying is effective and considerate communication on the subject. Schools must show their strength in handling bullying and their commitment to eradicating it altogether, while also remaining sensitive and avoiding controversy.
In short, it’s important to get it right when you’re talking about bullying. So, as a guide, we’ve compiled this blog, which contains some of the best tweets on this sensitive topic.
Demonstrate Practical Action
Our Respect group #LHRM met @brianorbistc to share thoughts on how to take our respect agenda forward.— Linwood High School (@LinwoodHigh) June 25, 2018
Thanks for listening and for your advice. Our work will inform the new anti bullying strategy.
Thanks to all group members for all their hard work
More to follow in August... pic.twitter.com/aNzCZYoZPn
Here, Linwood High School in Bournemouth does a great job of demonstrating the practical action they are taking to continue improving their anti-bullying strategy. In this tweet, they mention discussing the issue with an expert in the field, using his status to further emphasise their efforts.
While it might feel like grandstanding upon a difficult issue, schools should not shy away from communicating the concrete steps they are taking to improve respect between pupils. Rather than seeing it as cynical, parents and carers are often reassured by evidence that schools regard the issue with the seriousness it deserves.
Refer to Outside Organisations
There are many organisations that exist to help children deal with the effects of bullying. Schools should always look to prevent bullying in the first instance. However, by communicating with children to let them know about the options available to them for help, schools are fulfilling a key responsibility.
We always make sure children know how to keep themselves safe. These posters will be shared in school next week during #AntiBullyingWeek— Ryhope Junior School (@RyhopeJuniors) November 6, 2019
Look out for all of our amazing work which will be shared. pic.twitter.com/uExcCDa4WS
In this tweet, Ryhope Junior School has taken advantage of some excellent posters promoting Childline, an important resource for children in the UK, and announced their plans to display them within their school.
Reassure and Educate Parents
Bullying behaviour over online platforms is a serious issue. Due in part to the gap in internet fluency between parents/carers and children, it is one that many parents feel unable to act upon. It is therefore a great idea to hold events, such as that being held at Moyle Park School, to help educate parents and carers about online safeguarding.
Reminder to all @moylepark parents that tomorrow evening we will have a talk on “Online Safety and Cyberbullying” from Sue Cullen of Barnardos Education. Kicking off in the school at 7pm. @Colaistebride parents more than welcome also! #wellbeing #onlinesafety pic.twitter.com/XVpedktrrx— Luke O Mara (@lukeomara) November 3, 2019
If your events are to achieve the desired results, they need to be well attended. If you want to know more about how good communications can improve parent engagement and attendance at important events, get in touch.
Promote Positive Behaviour to Prevent Bullying
Saying no to bullying won’t make it happen just like that. Bullying prevention takes continuous, long-term work that promotes good behaviour and the building of a compassionate environment.
Bullying Prevention Awareness Month came to an end yesterday. Throughout the month we recognized students for spreading kindness #LivoniaPride #NijiIro #BullyingPreventionMonth pic.twitter.com/2qSgxPOP5R— Niji-Iro Elementary (@NijiIroSchool) November 1, 2019
Niji-Iro Elementary’s spreading kindness campaign is a great example of a long-term effort that turns the bullying narrative on its head. By linking their good work to a wider initiative via the hashtag #BullyingPreventionMonth, Niji-Iro projects their Twitter account into a popular and topical Twitter search term. This increases the chances of attracting new followers and user engagement as well as further spreading news of their anti-bullying work. The use of bright and colourful pictures with interesting content also helps the tweet stand out in the feed.
Make Sure You Have A Social Media Policy
Due to their public accessibility, ill-considered tweets can potentially cause serious problems for schools and their staff. These pitfalls make it essential for every school to have a thorough and wide-ranging social media that all staff agree to and abide by.
By following a social media policy, schools and their staff should stay clear of online issues that draw negative attention, especially on the sensitive topic of bullying.
Writing aqaquate social media policies requires research, expertise, and error-free copywriting. Contact the team at Eduprise, and we’ll be happy to send your school a social media policy template to get you started.