Bullying: What parents need to do in the schools

Bullying is not a school problem. Schools are responsible for ensuring that children don’t get bullied, and for ensuring that children learn how to get along with others. But bullying’s really a societal problem, it’s a problem that is throughout our society, and if it’s a societal problem it requires all of us to make a difference. So you as a parent, have a really important role in you child’s school, an important role to ensure that the school climate is a positive one. One in which bullying is not accepted, one that promotes healthy relationships, and prevents bullying. How can you do this? Well, the school climate is really the sum of the relationships in the school, and that includes parents, and their relationship to the school. Every school should have a safe school committee. That’s a committee of teachers, and parents, and students, who work to ensure that the school climate is a positive one, that everyone feels as if they belong, that everyone’s included, and that when problems like bullying occur, they’re dealt with in a very constructive and supportive way, for those children involved. That’s a really important role for parents. But if you don’t feel confident to be on the safe school committee, or you’d like to do something else, there may be ways in which you can connect with the school, by volunteering, by working with your child’s classroom teacher, and by just finding ways of ensuring that children from lots of different backgrounds, and lots of different ethnic, cultural backgrounds, children with disabilities, children with exceptionalities, children who are perfectly normal, all feel delighted to come through the door of the school each and every day. And that happens when everybody in the school is watching out for everyone else, and respect is the model for all.