In her article Ensuring Student Voice Nancy Willard, author of Positive Relations@ School (& Elsewhere), shares a conversation she had with a 5th grader about bullying. Her perception is common among students, saying that bullying takes place away from adults and that those who report it are fearful of retaliation. This does not mean that as adults we should remove ourselves from the equation. Instead we need to use all of our resources! We need to involve students in the solution.
Students have a unique understanding and insight into peer issues. They have the knowledge to create effective ways of addressing the problem of bullying and harassment.
“There are brilliant, kind, and caring young people in every school who can … provide leadership within their schools to better create a culture of kindness and respect.” Willard cites specific guidelines for creating effective student leadership teams as well as what their roles should be.
It is imperative that we continue to teach our children People Safety skills such as how to get help safely and effectively and how to advocate for themselves and others. To add strength and relevance to our leadership efforts, we need to ask the experts!
Kidpower Austin teaches workshops for children, parents, schools and organizations to build personal safety skills. These skills help people protect themselves from bullying, harassment, and abuse. Visit kidpoweraustin.org for more information.
For free articles about bullying prevention and about adult leadership, visit our free online library: http://www.kidpower.org/library/articles/#bullying-prevention