Tragically, between one in three and one in four children report that they have faced some type of bullying at school. If you are a teacher, a school administrator, or a student leader, you may be looking for innovative ways to stop bullying at your school. For the most effective results, you may want to do a blend of educational seminars, peer sensitivity training, and other anti-bullying initiatives, but you should also get your school sign involved. Check out these ideas on anti-bullying messages for your school sign.
1. Remind Students that School is a Bully-Free Zone
Use your school sign to remind students, parents, and visitors that your school is a bully-free zone. You can put up simple messages such as "No Bullying Past This Point" or "Bully-Free Zone". Alternatively, you may want to explain your bullying rules. For instance, if you have a no tolerance rule and all bullies will be put on probation, you may want to outline that on your sign.
2. Give Tips on How to Stop Bullying
Most kids are fairly kind, and they don't want bullying to be part of their school culture. However, they aren't sure what to do to stop bullying. Help these students be proactive by giving them tips on what to do when they see bullying. Consider displaying this message on your school sign: "See Bullying? 1. Speak Up. 2. Be a Friend 3. Get an Adult". Or empower students with reminders such as "When you speak up, bullies get quiet", "You have the power to stop bullying", or "Don't let bullies set the tone. Be kind to everyone."
3. Share Positive Ideas
Don't wait for bullying to start before dealing with the problem. Instead, work on creating a culture where students always lift each other up. In this vein, use your school sign to promote positive messages. These sayings are a great place to get started:
- Put Yourself in Someone Else's Shoes
- Be Kind. Hold the Door Open When People Are Behind You
- Talk to a New Friend at Lunch Today
- Invite Everyone to Play at Recess
- Embrace Uniqueness. Differences Make Us Special.
- Be You!
4. Post Stats about the Risks of Bullying
Students, parents, and even faculty members may not realize the long-term effects of bullying. Some students may think that their actions are without consequences, but when they see what bullying can do, they may make a concerted effort to stop leaving people out or to stop directly harassing other students.
You may want to share that bullying can lead to a heightened risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide, and remind students that those mental health issues can last long into adulthood. In many cases, even people who just witness bullying can develop mental health challenges from the experience. You may want to share stories of kids who have suffered adverse effects of bullying. The Stop Bullying Now Foundation has some great statistics about bullying that you can share on your school sign.
5. Link to Resources
Let kids know where they can get help. Tell students that they can report bullying to a school counselor or administrator, perhaps even anonymously. Share links to anti-bullying resources or organizations where victims can get help. Keep in mind that bullies are often acting out because they are hurt as well. While that doesn't justify their behavior, it underscores the importance of helping bullies find mental health resources as well.
6. Highlight the 'Anti-Bully of the Month'
Positive reinforcement can be essential when you're trying to create a bully-free zone. To encourage people to speak up against bullying, you could highlight an 'anti-bully of the month' on your school sign. The anti-bully may be a sports team captain who goes out of their way to break down cliques by sitting at different tables during every lunch period. They may be a student who has gone to a peer counseling camp to learn how to be a stronger anti-bullying force in your community. They may be someone who spoke up when someone was being bullying. Or, you may find countless other reasons to identify and applaud certain students or groups for their efforts.
7. Speak Up on Behalf of Bullying Targets
People who are victimized by bullying aren't always able to speak up for themselves, but you can use your sign on your behalf. For example, you may want to post something that says, "If you bully me, I won't submit. I won't comply. I won't roll over until the abuse stops." You may want a short message such as "Dear Bully, I am human too. Respect Me."
Bullying online and in person is a painful part of many children's school experiences, but it certainly doesn't have to be. You can start to change your school's approach to bullying in a variety of ways, and the right messages on your sign can help. Ready to invest in a new school sign? Then, contact us at Stewart Signs today. We can help you customize a digital school sign or a changeable letter sign that is perfect for your needs.