Anti-Bullying Action Steps for Schools and Educators

Recent research on resilience and bullying says that “Schools play a critical role in the process of child and adolescent development by providing the components or strengths they need to be caring and productive citizens in adulthood.” 1

Educators play a big part in building resilience in their students, and educators’ efforts are important because they support the efforts of families and community members in this child-raising collaborative. With this in mind, we’ve created these anti-bullying tips for schools and educators based on the Developmental Assets research, the qualities and external factors that we know kids need to be successful.

  • Create a Caring School Environment – School should be a warm, inviting, and accepting place. Parents and students alike should feel comfortable and welcome at school. Be sure that all students know that they are important to the school environment and feel that they are actively a part of what makes the school great.
  • Encourage Parents to Be Involved – Schools send out letters asking for help in the classrooms and in other ways, but oftentimes parents sense that the school does not see them as partners in raising their children. Make sure that is not the case. Invite every parent to volunteer or contribute a skill to the classroom. Be conscious of families who have situations that create roadblocks, and brainstorm with them and with other educators about ways to overcome them.
  • See Youth as Resources- Create ways for students to contribute to the school so that they feel that they are a resource. Encourage a reading buddy classroom program, have a student council, or allow students to have a voice about which lunch program you use.
  • Create Service Experiences for Youth – Whether the choir sings at a nursing home, the student council picks up trash on the playground, or a grade level competes to bring in food items for the homeless shelter, every small act of service that children do helps them learn that life is not just about them. This also connects them to causes bigger than themselves and helps them see needs where they may not have seen them before.
  • Provide Clear Boundaries and Safety – Teachers need to be clear about their classroom rules and then enforce them. Three basic rules should guide all classrooms: respect for self, respect for others, and respect for property; all positive behavior falls under those guidelines and creates a respectful and safe environment.
  • Encourage School Engagement- Provide an array of extra-curricular and after school offerings in order to promote students’ bonds to school through relationships, interests, and time. When kids spend time together with each other (and with other adults in the school) doing something of shared interest, they see school as having an important role in their lives. In turn, they will feel more comfortable at school, and they will seek out ways to become even more involved.
  • Promote Positive Values- Children are not born with positive values, but every interaction that they have is a potential opportunity to help them learn. Use literature and historical figures to promote these values as well as those unplanned teachable moments to promote the concepts of equality, social justice, integrity, and responsibility. Connect these with the themes of respect in the classroom.
  • Help Students to Dream about Their Futures – School is where many students find out about potential future careers. Seek out ways to engage students in the knowledge of what they can do with their futures. Be on the look out for job-shadowing experiences or apprenticeships. Encourage students to engage with all curricula – even in areas where they struggle – so that the doors of opportunity remain wide open to them in their futures.

Download these tips (PDF).


1. Donnon, T., & Hammond, W. (2007). Understanding the relationship between resiliency and bullying in adolescence: An assessment of youth resiliency from five urban high schools. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 16, 449–471. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2006.11.007




This is critical information. Creating a caring school environment is of primary importance. Many of the following articles have this as a goal. For example, “Successful Teachers,” “Educator’s Guide to Bullying,” “Aggressive Girls,” “Assertiveness Training for Children,” “Cliques and Put-Downs in Elementary Schools,” “Words Can Inspire,” and “What Will Your Students Remember?” These are reproducible and meant to be helpful. They may be viewed at:

I agree. I am a teen in high school that is being bullied, but the school just tells me “well we will talk to them” and then the kids stop for a couple of days then they start right back up again. I really love being at school but it is really hard when I am being bullied everyday and all the time. I mean I want to have fun because this is my senior year. School has always been my faveriote time of the year, I am geek but I dress okay. People pick on me because I am different, i dress different, I ack different, so that is the reason that I am bullied. I think the school should do something more. The school also says that they have a zero tolerance for bullying, but they do not inforce it very much. I mean I really hate being bullied because it makes me sad and hurt.
I am from the wayland-cohocton central school. I am in wayland, new York. My name is Melinda S. Houtz, I am 17 years old. I know how other kids feel when kids bully them, because I am going through it right now.