How to spot a victim
- Students may come to your office frequently, often under the guise of something else than bullying
- Student may exhibit signs of depression and anxiety
- Students who are bullied will frequently miss school because of it
- Student may avoid lunchroom, recess, or other places where bullies may potentially be
- Student may blame themselves for their social standing
- Students may lash out as others
- Students who are victims may sit by themselves at lunch
- Be aware of students who are no longer spending time with other students they once considered friends
How to spot a bully
- Student is referred to counselor office frequently for conflict-related issues
- Student lashes out at other students
- Students may have difficulties getting along with school staff
- Students will sometimes complain of problems at home
- Other students report that the student is spreading rumors
*Remember, relational/social bullying is harder to spot than physical and verbal bullying, but counselors must take special note of students who are engaged in it!
- Encourage your school to create a school-wide conflict resolution program
- Take a proactive role in creating a positive school climate
- Work with administrators, teachers, and support staffs to educate them on how to spot the signs of potential bullying
Responding to bullying
- If you see it, stop it immediately. Ask students involved if they wanted to come and talk to you. If not, hold a very brief conversation with them about their behavior.
- Keep your office as a safe zone where students who are bullied can go
- Hold small group or individual sessions with bullies and/or victims of bullying
- For bullies, these can be sessions about resolving conflicts in a positive way
- For victims, these may include teaching them how to respond to bullying or working with them if they have emotional issues due to bullying
- The government’s official website on bullying provides resources for educators, students, and parents regarding bullying.
- StopBullyingNow run by Stan Davis, who is a researcher on bullying and a founding member of the International Bullying Prevention Association.
- An article by the National Association for School Psychologists that focuses on bullying and intervention for school psychologists and counselors
- “The Buzz on Bullying” by the American School Counselor Association. Provides facts and information on bullying.
- Cyberbullying: What Counselors Need to Know by Sheri Bauman.
- This book, published by the American Counseling Association, was written for counselors and other professions in which cyberbullying is a relevant topic. Dr. Bauman is an internationally renowned researcher on cyberbullying and a member of the Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding’s Anti-Bullying Task Force.
- KidsHealth provides information for students about what school counselors can do to help them alleviate problems with bullying. Provides a good resource for how counselors can advocate for students.