School culture and policies are part of what helps us combat bullying in schools. Rick Rando, school empowerment speaker, shares what schools can do to help stop bullying.
5 Ways to Stop Bullying in Every School
Link to show: www.coolcatteacher/e260
Date: February 16, 2018
Vicki: Today we’re talking with Rick Rando @RandoSpeaks. He travels the country, delivers keynotes, and has a message about anti-bullying. But today, we’re going to talk about five ways to stand against bullying in every school.
So Rick, what’s our first way?
Rick: Well, basically, it all comes down to culture.
Number one? Know your school’s anti-bullying culture and showcase it proudly.
Tip 1: Know your school’s anti-bullying culture and showcase it proudly.
I’m a big Disney fan. Roy Disney said it best, “It’s easy to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
I have a quick acronym for you. It’s BEEE.
- Enforce/Reinforce that culture.
What you have to do is figure out what your school is about, how you want to approach bullying, to find exactly what it is about bullying that you need to look for or identify, and then basically create a culture around not having that be present.
Essentially, this has to be exhibited from the top down. And I’ll do one step further. Once you create your anti-bullying culture — what it looks like, how to identify it –, then you can’t be afraid to revisit that culture, knowing that. Is this something that’s working? Is it not working? Be able to revisit that tool, basically, create it or implement it almost like a business.
In a business when they implement something, it’s create and then train their staff and implement a new idea, and then they have to assess if it’s working or not to retool and retrain.
Essentially, it’s all about creating an anti-bullying culture. That’s something that we forget to do. When I go into schools, it’s something that a lot of schools don’t have, frankly.
Vicki: Yes. I remember seeing two young men today, and they said, “Oh, we’re just playing and having fun.”
I said, “I don’t like how it looks. You just have not to do it, because I don’t like how it looks.”
That’s part of that culture of, “This is how we treat each other.”
OK, what’s our second, Rick?
Rick: Give everyone the resources to live and to thrive in the culture that you’ve actually just created.
Tip 2: Give everyone the resources to live and to thrive in the culture that you’ve actually just created.
Like I said, once you clearly defined what bullying actually is (because there’s a difference between bullying and name-calling, teasing — there’s definitely a little bit of difference there, so it’s important to establish exactly what it is) but then, go ahead and give your staff, your parents, your students, your administrators the tools that they need to go ahead and stamp it out, identify it, deal with it.
To give you an example, like staff… I went to one school once and they all had t-shirts on that said, “We are not a bully school!”
From verbal training to disciplinary procedures to positive reinforcement of an anti-bullying platform or message…
Parents: In Allegany County, Maryland have on their website information that you can access, but also submit and anonymous incidence report. What happens is they get a chance to — the school board can assess to see exactly what this is and where it’s happening and follow up with administrators and hopefully serve those needs in that particular school. Parents feel really connected, that they have a platform to reach out and know that the school and the school board is going to handle it.
Students: Posters, fliers, assemblies. I do assemblies. I just came from one this morning in schools, talking about anti-drug, anti-bullying. Again, it’s about creating that culture of, “We’re not going to stand for it.”
Staff: Having those messages from the guidance counselor — guidance talks and handouts.
Administrators: I think that too many times, administrators are hamstrung about what they can do and what they can’t do because they can’t share information due to confidentiality. Or a lot of times, they just don’t know where to turn.
Giving them the resources necessary to again, identify it, and also be able to thrive in that culture where it’s going to be a zero-tolerance. So you’ve got to give your staff and your people the opportunity to be able to have the resources to deal with it and thrive in that culture.
Vicki: Very true. What’s next?
Rick: The third one is empower your students to take a stand.
Tip 3: Empower your students to take a stand.
At my martial arts studio, we have a program called Common Sense Before Self Defense. We give an anti-bullying tip every single week, and it’s all using your mind or your brain to be able to diffuse a situation or outhink the bully.
We say, “Using your brain before causing pain.”
We say, “Find your voice. Find a trusted adult. Find the courage to tell a parent your guardian. Find your voice to stand up to a bully. Tell them how that makes you feel, that it’s not OK. Find a trusted adult to confide in at the school system or a babysitter or childcare provider. Also find the courage to tell mom and dad, because a lot of kids think it’s their fault, that they’re doing something wrong, that they have shoes on or they speak the wrong language or have the wrong skin color.
In more concrete terms of being able to handle bullies, when you empower your students to take a stand, you can teach them how to agree with a bully. “Yeah, I know these glasses maybe look a little odd. But, man, I can see crystal clear, and that’s why I get such good grades.” Or, “I know these shoes might look a little off, but man, I can run really fast.”
You know, being nice to the bully, walking away, using trickery. If you’re caught into a bathroom, and all of a sudden the bully comes in. You can suddenly start itching like you have poison ivy or something. “I wouldn’t touch me. I’m really contagious.”
Of course refusing to fight or calling for help — these are all concrete things that you can use to teach to empower your students and your kids to stand up to bullying.
Vicki: So important. OK, what’s our fourth?
Rick: Reinforce effort. Work at leadership success as often as humanly possible.
Tip 4: Reinforce effort. Work at leadership success.
So as a teacher, as an educator, we do what we call spotlighting or highlighting. When we see a positive behavior being done, we want to say, “Guys, did you see how Timmy lined up so fast and so quickly. He’s standing perfectly still, and this is what we want to see everybody do.”
What we’re looking for is once we’ve created this culture, this anti-bullying culture in your school system, saying we’re not going to be picked on, we’re not going to tolerate this behavior, we’re going to go ahead and showcase people that are actually modeling that culture, modeling that positive behavior.
Essentially, in business, we say, “Find somebody doing something right. We’re going to spotlight it. We’re going to highlight it.”
Everybody’s version of success could be different. Johnny with ADHD is having trouble concentrating, so when he does something in that realm, that one step further of concentration, we want to pat him on the back, and we want to spotlight him. Whereas Timmy who gets good grades all the time, and for him, it could be really going above and beyond on a project, where we want to highlight him and give him that high-five and that fistbump. Also just making sure that we’re catching kids doing something right in that positive behavior realm.
Vicki: Oh, and catching them doing something right is so important, because otherwise, people are always running because we’re never saying anything positive! (laughs)
OK, what’s our fifth?
Rick: Our fifth thing is probably the most important element as far as anybody that’s handling or being around children. It’s to be there for your students and families. Serve their needs each and every day.
Tip 5: Be there for your students and families. Serve their needs each and every day.
“Serve” is this catch phrase. It’s this buzzword now in the corporate world. It really comes down to being present, listening, paying attention, and being willing to go above and beyond — even when you don’t want to, even when it’s inconvenient, even when you feel like this kid doesn’t deserve it. OK, you’ve got to be there, and you’ve got to pay attention. You’re looking, and you’re noticing these small things, these small imperfections. How do we, as parents, know that our kid is being bullied anyway? We’re looking for different patterns of how they’re eating, or how they’re behaving. Maybe they’re short with us. We know when our kids are not feeling well because of the signs, the physiognomy that we use to study our child. Why can’t we do the same thing in a classroom? Why can’t we do the same thing in our class of 25 kids? We’ve got to know these kids. We’ve got to know that THEY know that they care about us and we care about them because we’re in that leadership position.
As a teacher — and I’ll just end with this — you have an unshakeable accountability to continue to be a positive example in our society, but the most awesome responsibility lies in the magnitude of our daily actions in the minds of our adolescents that we model and are around. They continuously look to us with wide eyes and open hearts to mimic our actions, repeat our words. Our ultimate role — of a teacher, of someone that influences children — is to be their superhero. Be present.
Vicki: Wow, Rick. I think we’ll end with that.
Educators, let’s take a stand against bullying. Let’s really be present for our kids.
Contact us about the show: https://www.coolcatteacher.com/contact/
Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford [email protected]
Rick Rando – Bio as submitted
Author, Consultant, 6th Degree Black Belt, and Keynote Empowerment Speaker, Master Rick Rando is regarded as a High-Octane Motivational Master. Focusing on instilling confidence and individuality, Master Rando has conducted thousands of presentations on empowerment and leadership in the business world and in academia. He owns one of the largest open-spaced martial arts studios in the country, teaching hundreds on children weekly.
Rando is a CEO (www.randospeaks.com), philanthropist, marathon runner, and most importantly husband to a beautiful wife and father of two wonderful children.
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