National Stop Bullying Day is observed on the second Wednesday of October as a day dedicated to learning about bullying and prevention strategies. Bullying at school affects students’ health, well-being, and academic performance. Students who bully others are more likely to demonstrate aggressive, violent, or criminal behaviors and abuse drugs and alcohol. Students who are victims of bullying tend to experience depression, loneliness, and anxiety -- may potentially last into adulthood. Students who witness bullying are prone to suffer higher rates of drug and alcohol use, mental health problems, and school absences.
Creating a safe and supportive school climate can aid in bullying prevention. By utilizing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), efforts are made to positively transform a school’s climate and culture by teaching necessary social skills and emotional skills. There are five competencies of social and emotional learning -- self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. SEL has the potential to decrease aggressive and controlling behaviors in students who bully while increasing their ability to be respectful and kind. SEL can improve confidence and self-worth along with reducing social withdrawal among students who are victims of bullying.
Social and emotional learning is known to reduce bullying by creating strong teacher-student relationships, positive peer-to-peer relationships, safe space for students, understanding of empathy, and teaching student bystanders how to help.
Resources to learn more about how SEL can aid in bullying prevention:
Prevention: Learn How to Identify Bullying & Stand Up To It Safely
Social-Emotional Learning Helps Prevent Bullying
Build a Safe Environment
Social-Emotional Learning and Bullying Prevention
Schoolwide SEL to Prevent Bullying
5 SEL Activities to Reduce Bullying in Your School
23 Must Read Anti-Bullying Books for Kids
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