5 Ways to Help Your Child Prevent Bullying this School Year

As children head back to the classroom, now is a great time for parents and guardians to talk with your kids about bullying. Here are five tips to help your child prevent bullying and to help them deal with bullying:

Back to School Logo1)     Establish lines of communication and talk for at least 15 minutes a day. Bullying can be difficult for parents to talk about, but it is important that children know they can talk to you, before they are involved in bullying in any way. StopBullying.gov and our partners at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have easy tips and tools that can help start the conversation.

2)     Make sure kids know safe ways to be more than a bystander. When kids witness bullying, it can affect them too. Helping kids learn what they can do to help when they see bullying can help to stop bullying. Click here for more suggestions on how bystanders can help.

3)     Know your state’s anti-bullying law and your school’s anti-bullying policy. Forty-nine states have laws requiring schools to have anti-bullying policies. Know what your school policy says and how to report an incident of bullying if you ever need to.

4)     Learn how to support kids involved in bullying. When you find out your child is involved in bullying, it is important to know how to respond. Whether your child is bullying others or is the one being bullied it is important to know what steps to take, and which to avoid, in order to resolve the situation.

5)     Take an active role in anti-bullying initiatives. The key to addressing bullying is to stop it before it starts. Work with your children, their school, and the community to raise awareness and take action against bullying. Toolkits like the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Community Action Training Modules can help you start an initiative in your community. You can get your children involved, too, by using the Youth Leaders Toolkit to help them mentor younger children.

Visit StopBullying.gov for more helpful tips on how to prevent bullying, and have a great school year!

Deborah Temkin is a Research and Policy Coordinator for Bullying Prevention Initiatives at the Department of Education


  1. My younger grandson was knocked down outside his apt.with his older brother watching.At school the following days, the older brother was taunted for several days about his brother being beat up by this boy’s brother. I encouraged him to ignore it, to prevent a fight between the two of them. His mom talked to the boys and threatened to speak with their mother, the taunting stopped.

  2. Do to the amount of bullying that goes on at our school district (townsend) I was amazed that every year we send a teacher or paraprofessional to the Montana Behavioral Institute(MBI) for bullying. I have never seen nor heard of someone intervening in that situation with the exception of the principal. We have middle school teachers talking to each other about children in the hallway as kids are passing. To me that is bullying in the highest form.

    • You mean the teachers are bullying the students. Do you say bullying is when the teachers talk about students among themselves? Why is that bullying?? Maybe they are discussing ways to help. Or do you mean they are talking bad about the student and putting them down? I do call the last one bullying and yes they should set a better example!!!..They are a lot of grown up bullys. Parents of the school bully is a perfect example.

    • I guess the parent of the child being talked about or bullied goes directly to the teacher and or the principal and superintendent and demand they stop and set a better example. If they then argue with you or put you down you go to the media. They may however start bullying you.

    • Teachers are protected. Sadly. Here in Oregon this teacher/coach has thrown a chair in a rage, screams in kid’s faces in angry rages and benched my son, a leading scorer, an entire game for missing practice to attend his grandfather’s funeral. Keep talking. Speak to state representatives. A few have responded to me. Start a petition on change.org. Tell Arne Duncan the US secretary of the Dept. of Education. His assistant responded. Write to our President. He responded to me. Document everything. Take pictures, video.

  3. The tips to prevent bullying are good, but they are a little too late for my son. Because of bullying through the gangs at his school, I had to enroll him in a private online Christian School. It is very expensive, but worth the peace of mind we get from not having to worry about our son’s safety. Apparently, The Chicago Public System couldn’t provide him with the safe learning environment that he is entitled to by law!

    • Working as someone who sees this thing quite frequently, bullying needs to be dealt with at the district level and schools need to take more responsibility in ridding bullying from the schools. As I tell many parents who consider taking their children out of schools, bullying exists everywhere. It exists within public school districts, private schools, and even online (cyberbullying). The answer is not to pull your child out of the school district, but to hold the district more accountable. IF the school district is made aware of bullying issues (EVEN if it’s off of school property) the school district must respond and act accordingly to the knowledge of it. Schools have been found guilty and fined for not taking responsibility or the appropriate steps in dealing with bullying acts on or off of school grounds. You must start at the local level, however, and document everything. If the school fails to respond, you approach the school board, if the school board fails to implement a solution, then you take it to the superintendant. If the superintendant fails to comply, then you can take it to the Office of Civil Rights but you MUST make sure you have everything documented because the first thing they will as is how was this handled through the district. The problem with bullies is that they exist everywhere. It exists within the work place, schools, and life in general so not only should people be taught not to bully, they should also be taught how to deal with bullying (especially emotionally) so that they learn to deal with it and not to run from it. Pacer Parent Center in Minneapolis MN has a great resource for this type of thing. You can go to Pacerkidsagainstbullying.org or Pacerteensagainstbullying.org to help your child learn how to fight back!

      • What will you do if your son was bullied by an administrator of a private school? A very smart 7-year old who made a simple,silly mistake but was given an action plan, later on had to see the assistant head of school everytime he did something. My son developed fear and anxiety over his teachers and the administrator, he ran away from them if approached thinking he was in trouble. Now my son is on therapy and had left that old school and started a different private school. Do I need to transfer my son to a public school so he is protected by his rights? It hurts to see your young child suffering because of an intimidation of those in power.

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