You might be a student, there are a lot of them on this website, or you might be a parent of a student, a teacher of a student or just an important adult who cares about a student. Your assignment today is to pass this blogpost on to a student you know.
School can be an exciting place, a boring one, a supportive one or a terrifying one. A person’s school career can fluctuate between all these feelings and more. Most students are involved in bullying situations at various times in their school careers.
We know that very often you tell someone about bullying and nothing happens. There is mistrust that adults can or will do anything at all. You are often confused about the best path. Should you fight back? Shut down social media? Try to be a friend? You often perceive that you are not supported in this journey. You don’t feel like you are being made a part of the solutions. In severe situations, you might have trouble learning and develop negative habits to cope. You might not feel “normal”, or feel like you don’t know what “normal” is. (I don’t actually think there is a normal, though so many seek it. That’s why the word is in quotation marks.)
We know you want to understand how to deal with bullying and want your school to take a part in that. At No Such Thing as a Bully we say everyone uses bully actions and victim responses at times, one set of skills solves both. These skills strengthen and will help you in so many areas of your life.
Your parents can help you learn with this system (and learn things themselves) and you can encourage your school to start using No Such Thing as a Bully. Underneath the No Such Thing as a Bully umbrella you have opportunities to involve yourself in solutions. You can be a part of creating a bullying prevention team, or a peer support group. You might make a Friendship Bench, or watch for a person sitting on one. You might take extra training and get ideas about how to define yourself instead of accepting what other people have said about you.
At No Such Thing as a Bully, we work to redefine the problem. I learned, at a workshop with Dr. Dan Dana that when the problem is defined wrong the solutions don’t work. No Such Thing as a Bully moves the problem from “You against me”, to “Us against the problem.”