About Bullying - Information for Communities
Why is bullying a community issue?The issue of bullying in schools has helped to raise the awareness about the harm caused by bullying and aggression elsewhere in society.
The wider community beyond the school gates needs to address this issue for a number of reasons including:
- Bullying is an infringement of an individual’s human rights;
- A community or organisation which condones or ignores bullying loses respect
Adults should provide role models that promote positive behaviour for young people.
Power of a CommunityBullying can be prevented, especially when the power of a community is brought together. Community-wide strategies, such as the BRO Campaign can help identify and support children who are bullied, redirect the behavior of children who bully, and change the attitudes of adults and youth who tolerate bullying behaviors in peer groups, schools, and communities.
- The Benefits of Working Together
- Potential Partners
- Community Strategies
- Helping Schools
- What should youth and community groups do?
- Where to get help
The Benefits of Working TogetherBullying doesn’t happen only at school. Community members can use their unique strengths and skills to prevent bullying wherever it occurs. For example, youth groups may train it’s workers to prevent bullying. Local businesses may sponsor promotion items such as t-shirts with anti-bullying slogans for an event. After-care staff may read books about bullying to kids and discuss them. Hearing anti-bullying messages from the different adults in their lives can reinforce the message for kids that bullying is unacceptable.
Potential PartnersInvolve anyone who wants to learn about bullying and reduce its impact in the community. Consider involving businesses, local clubs, adults who work directly with kids, parents, and youth.
- Identify partners such as community health workers, social workers, mental health specialists, law enforcement officers, neighborhood associations, service groups, faith-based organizations, and businesses.
- Learn what types of bullying community members see and discuss developing targeted solutions.
- Involve youth. Teens can take leadership roles in bullying prevention among younger kids.
Community StrategiesStudy community strengths and needs:
- Ask: Who is most affected? Where? What kinds of bullying happen most? How do kids and adults react? What is already being done in our local area to help?
- Think about using opinion surveys, interviews, and focus groups to answer these questions. Learn how schools assess bullying.
- Consider open forums like group discussions with community leaders, businesses, parent groups, and churches.
- Develop a comprehensive community strategy:
- Review what you learned from your community study to develop a common understanding of the problem.
- Establish a shared vision about bullying in the community, its impact, and how to stop it.
- Identify audiences to target and tailor messages as appropriate.
- Describe what each partner will do to help prevent and respond to bullying.
- Advocate for bullying prevention policies in schools and throughout the community.
- Raise awareness about your message. Develop and distribute print materials. Encourage local radio, TV, newspapers, and websites to give public service announcements prime space. Introduce bullying prevention to groups that work with kids.
- Track your progress over time. Evaluate to ensure you are refining your approach based on solid data, not anecdotes.
Helping schoolsCommunity groups can work with schools to reduce the level of bullying among young people. An episode of bullying is rarely confined to one situation. For example, an incident at a youth club may well be linked to something which has happened earlier in the day at school. It is helpful if youth leaders and teachers have discussed procedures for dealing with problems like this.
What should youth and community groups do?The development of anti-bullying policies in schools provides a model for any group in society.
- Awareness of the scope and nature of the problem can be raised through research and discussion.
- A policy should be developed outlining how bullying can be prevented and how incidents are dealt with after they have happened. If it is to work, such a policy must involve all members of the organisation.
Where to get help:
- Youth services: http://www.yoss.org.nz/
(06) 3555 906
- Youthline: http://www.youthline.co.nz/
0800 376 633
- Kidsline: http://www.kidsline.org.nz/
0800 543 754 (4pm to 6pm weekdays)
- Whatsup: http://whatsup.co.nz/
0800 942 8787 (noon to midnight)
- The Word: http://theword.org.nz/
- Depression helpline: http://depression.org.nz/
0800 111 757 (8am to midnight)
- Rainbow Youth: http://www.rainbowyouth.org.nz/
(09) 376 4155
- CASPER Suicide Prevention http://www.casper.org.nz/
- Lifeline http://www.lifeline.co.nz/
0800 543 354 - 24 hr ph counselling
- Tautoko 0508 828 865
- The Low Down
0800 111 757
0800 37 66 33
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.