Developing a Healthy School Culture

The following framework is comprised of three components of a comprehensive bullying prevention plan, which can be undertaken by your community.

1. Reflection

Reducing bullying necessitates that schools reflect on the use of power within the school, from the administration to the student body, and consider the relationship between responsibility and power (positive and negative power).

2. Changing Attitudes

Bullying prevention necessitates the creation of a school culture that fosters respect for the rights of children, and of all people, to be safe, strong and free. This entails creating an atmosphere that:

  • genuinely accepts and even celebrates our differences;
  • promotes a general respect for others’ feelings, needs and concerns;
  • actively encourages the identification and naming of racism, homophobia and sexism and all forms of aggression, and develops ways to respond to them; and
  • fosters personal and community development.

3. Strategies for action

An effective, long-term, systemic strategy aimed at preventing bullying within the school is best developed by:

  • encouraging and developing skills for respectful, sensitive, and effective adult intervention;
  • strengthening students’ social and conflict management skills – raising their awareness about bullying, and its impact on children and teens who experience it, providing the information they need to resist bullying; and
  • developing a comprehensive school policy.