Teachers and administrators may not be able to stop bullying entirely but it is they who set the tone and dictate the standards for acceptable in-school student conduct. Where bullying is concerned, total transparency is required. This means walking the walk, not just talking the talk, by establishing a task force or committee composed of parents, educators, invested community personnel (such as law enforcement, therapists, and business owners), and students to:
- draft a no-tolerance bullying policy;
- discuss how to operationalize the policy (i.e. make what's written on paper translate to daily practice);
- discuss ongoing sensitivity training for staff, students and parents;
- discern how to partner with community allies such as law enforcement and business owners (particularly after-school hangouts);
- discuss ways to enhance exemplary leadership, achievement, good citizenship, and school pride;
- create the equivalent of in-school "watch groups", comprised of students and staff, to spot potential problems in order to intervene, and;
- develop policies and protocol for supporting the bullied student as well as the bully.
In extreme instances, bullying consequences may include suspension or expulsion, or referral to law enforcement; however these actions are temporary remedies and do not address the issues experienced by the bullied student and the bully.
It is imperative that teachers and administrators adopt an aggressive, timely, thoughtful, and proactive position to deter bullying now.