It’s an unfortunate reality that bullying in schools and on student trips can be a common occurrence.
Take action to address bullying when it occurs on a student trip, using these guidelines.
Stopping a bully on the spot is essential to ensure the behavior is corrected and the trip continues to be an enjoyable and educational experience for all involved. According to stopbullying.gov, there are several things you can do at that moment:
- Intervene immediately. It’s OK to get another teacher or chaperone to help.
- Separate the kids involved.
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
- Stay calm and reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
- Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Avoid these common mistakes:
- Don’t ignore it or think kids can work it out without adult help.
- Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
- Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
- Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.
- Don’t talk to the kids involved together—only separately.
- Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
Later, once it’s determined what has taken place, be sure to support the children involved—whether they are being bullied, bully others or see bullying taking place.
According to the Bully Project, bullying is less prevalent in school communities and classrooms that have democratic cultures and value student voices. Ensure youth know they’re heard and supported—while letting those who are doing the bullying know what’s problematic with their behavior.
Refer back to preventive pre-trip activities and lessons such as creative writing assignments, presentations and classroom discussions, as a reminder of how to treat others with kindness and compassion.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Teach & Travel.