I know it's so easy (and understandable!) to be mad when bullying happens; To be mad at the principal, or the teacher, or the parents, or the kid... But, can I, just for a second, place another option in your mind:
Maybe, we deal with bullying so badly because society is lacking conflict management skills.
- the principal felt confident that they had an answer.
- the teacher felt like they had all the tools to handle every behaviour in their classroom.
- the parent had all the wisdom to handle their kid with aggressive behaviour.
- the child or teen bullying knew how to regulate their emotions and feelings and handle their pain.
Now think about how conversations might go when bullying did occur from a place of confidence. I can imagine everyone would feel much calmer. There would be more listening, more collaboration, and cooler heads.
I know that this isn't a popular thought, but it's one we need to start pondering.
It could be that ONE answer is to help students, teachers, administrators and parents handle conflict better.
If we made this a priority, I believe we'd start to move the needle towards much safer schools for everyone.
Kathleen is an anti-bullying specialist, a conflict coach, a teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend...