5 Ways to Prevent Bullying on College Campuses

Posted by Megan Miller on 2 June 2016 |

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5 Ways to Prevent Bullying on College Campuses

Anti Bullying PreventionApart from our moral and social responsibility, for educators, bullying on campus simply cannot be tolerated. Under Title IX, your responsibility is clear: educators must provide a safe and harassment-free environment that allows students to participate and benefit from your programs. The best way to do that is by instituting anti-bullying prevention training and programs on your campus.

Bullying is often thought of an issue that happens in K-12, and that once kids “just make it through” the high school years, they will be free to start fresh at college.

However, that is a painful misconception. Without the support of family and the added stress of living alone for the first time, worrying about loans, a heavier course load and a new lifestyle, the impact of bullying can worsen.

If bullies are not taught to take responsibility for their actions or are not disciplined, they will bring these tendencies with them to college and repeat their behaviors.

Bullying is Just Not a K-12 Issue

Bullying is often thought of an issue that happens in K-12, and that once kids “just make it through” the high school years, they will be free to start fresh at college.

However, that is a painful misconception. Without the support of family and the added stress of living alone for the first time, worrying about loans, a heavier course load and a new lifestyle, the impact of bullying can worsen.

If bullies are not taught to take responsibility for their actions or are not disciplined, they will bring these tendencies with them to college and repeat their behaviors.

6 Different Types of Bullying

According to verywell.com, the six different types of bullying are defined as follows:

  • Physical bullying: Physical bullying is the most obvious form of bullying, and it’s the easiest to identify. It occurs when people use physical actions to gain power and control over their targets.

  • Verbal bullying: Perpetrators of verbal bullying use words, statements and name-calling to gain power and control over a target, and they often do it when adults or authority figures are not around. Typically, verbal bullies will use relentless insults to belittle, demean and hurt another person. They choose their targets based on the way they look, act or behave.

  • Relational aggression: This is a sneaky and insidious type of bullying that often goes unnoticed by parents, teachers and authority figures. Sometimes referred to as emotional bullying, relational aggression is a type of social manipulation where bullies try to hurt their peers or sabotage their social standing.

  • Cyberbullying: Technology, specifically social media and texting, enables bullies to say things that they do not have the courage to say face-to-face. As a result, online bullying is often mean and cruel—and the consequences significant. To the targets of cyberbullying, it feels invasive and never ending. Bullies can get to them anytime and anywhere, often in the safety of their own home.

  • Prejudicial bullying: Prejudicial bullying is based on prejudices tweens and teens have toward people of different races, religions or sexual orientation. This type of bullying can encompass all the other types of bullying including cyber-bullying, verbal bullying, relational bullying, physical bullying and sometimes even sexual bullying.

  • Sexual bullying: Sexual bullying consists of repeated, harmful and humiliating actions that target a person sexually. Examples include sexual name-calling, crude comments, vulgar gestures, uninvited touching, sexual propositioning and pornographic materials. For instance, a bully might make a crude comment about a girl’s appearance, attractiveness, sexual development or sexual activity. In extreme cases, sexual bullying opens the door to sexual assault.

How Can You Address Bullying on Your Campus?

Bullying is a real issue and needs to be identified and addressed on campuses with victim support and training on anti-bullying. Reports indicate that victims and bullies have a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than those who haven’t been involved with bullying.

Here are some ways to stop bullying on your campus:

  1. Conduct anti-bullying online training that teaches faculty, staff and students about the different types of bullies, the methods they use, the causes and effects of bullying and safe ways to intervene. Online training helps with prevention of bullying by sending a strong message that bullying is unacceptable.
  2. Create a campus policy and clearly communicate it to faculty, staff and students. If bullying behavior is detected, you should determine if the behavior violates campus policies or laws. Review student codes of conduct, state criminal laws and civil rights laws.
  3. Encourage students to talk to someone they trust if they face bullying situations. Although they do recognize it as a serious issue for their age group, young adults may be reluctant to seek help for cyberbullying.  
  4. Report criminal acts to campus or community law enforcement.
  5. Consult the college’s Title IX coordinator to help determine if the behavior is sexual harassment. Also, an ombudsperson can help direct students to appropriate campus resources.

Campus Answers offers bullying training for students, faculty and staff. Our bullying prevention program features a comprehensive overview of bullying, including coverage of the types of bullies, methods used to bully, causes and effects of bullying and dangers of failing to prevent bullying. 

To learn more about our bullying prevention and intervention training, click here.

 

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