How to Make Bullying Stop

Everyone can work together and follow these steps to make bullying stop.

Talk to an Adult
If you or someone you know is being bullied, talk to a responsible adult right away. This person could be your parent or another relative, a teacher, principal or other school staff member.

You or your parents can also contact the Youth Against Violence Line for help:
Toll-free: 1-800-680-4264

Listen and Take Action
Adults are accountable, too – they must make sure bullying is reported and action is taken so the problem doesn’t get worse. School staff and parents can help prevent bullying by following these guidelines:

  • Maintain open and clear communication, especially when problems arise.
  • Be involved in student activities.
  • Treat all students equally.
  • Be visible and approachable.
  • Establish clear rules of conduct and enforce them consistently.
  • Set a good example.
  • Create a comfortable and positive learning environment.
  • Recognize students for their talents and achievements.

Intervention is vital. When talking to a child about an incident, explain that “ratting”, “tattling” and “snitching” are negative words sometimes used to discourage kids from reporting. It takes courage to report. Reporting helps keep everyone safe.

Work with the School
Whether a child is the victim, a bystander or a bully, do the following to achieve a positive resolution:

  1. Contact  the appropriate school staff member and report the situation. In most cases:
    • Contact the teacher if the problem occurs in an area supervised by the teacher, such as in the classroom or gym change room.
    • Contact the principal if the problem occurs on the playground, in the hallway, at lockers, at the bus stop, during extracurricular school activities, on the way to or from school, or if the problem persists in the classroom after you have alerted the teacher.
    • Contact the school district office if the problem continues after you contact the principal.
  2. In working toward a positive resolution, discuss the following:
    • Who will look into the complaint, and when?
    • When will that person get back to you and what information can you expect?
    • How will the school keep your child safe while the problem is being investigated (for example, supervision of the alleged bully)?
    • How will your child’s identity and privacy be protected to prevent retaliation?
    • What services are available in the school (or school district) should your child need emotional or psychological support?

When advocating for your child, it’s reasonable for you to ask how and when the people in positions of responsibility are going to take action. For more information, read one of the following guides:

Call it Safe – A Parent Guide for Dealing with Bullying in Elementary Schools

Call it Safe – A Parent Guide for Dealing with Harassment and Intimidation in Secondary Schools