In the first part of my discussion with researcher and cyberbullying expert Lissa Albert, we discussed what a parent should do if they suspect their child is being bullied. Today, we’ll look at what schools can do.
Q1. What do you believe is the most effective approach for tackling bullying in schools?
As an educator, I believe that we must always begin with as much as we can learn about any topic before we make a plan to tackle the problems. This is very important where bullying and cyberbullying are concerned; many people are unaware of just how these behaviors are defined and manifest, and my thesis topic centered around the need for awareness in the educational field before any action is taken.
Q2. In your experience is the “zero tolerance” policy in schools proving effective at lowering the incidences of bullying?
Zero tolerance, in my opinion, is not the answer. When we enforce zero tolerance, we are automatically branding the bully and sending a message that there is no room for improvement. Absolute zero tolerance does not take into account the entire picture, only the behavior. If we do not work on the situation, we are simply trying to eliminate players who are a symptom, not the problem.