Identity Based Bullying and How to Stop It
Bullying is a major problem in our schools. According to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center one out of every five students report being bullied. Male identifying students report being bullied physically more than female students whereas female students report a higher percentage of being the victim of rumors. Only about 46% of students report their bullying to an adult. Identity based bullying is a specific form of bullying in which it targets aspects of a person’s identity. This can include appearance, race, culture, gender and gender expression, language, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, immigration status, and sexual orientation. About 2/3 of elementary students say the bullying and name-calling that they have seen is based on a students’ appearance or body size. Being the target of bullying is painful, but it can be even more personal and hurtful when the bullying targets your identity. It’s important to note that this type of bullying occurs because of the bully’s biases, not because of the bullied person’s identity.
How to Help
- Help all students feel safe and supported at school
- Help every student feel they can discover who they are without judgment
- Promote a school environment of respect and inclusivity
- Be approachable. Many students don’t tell adults about the bullying they experience. Being approachable can help a student to feel more comfortable coming to you about an issue.
- Help students feel empowered to be allies. Most of the bullying that happens, occurs without an adult around, therefore empowering students to stand up for victims of bullying is super important.
- Be visible throughout the day. Walking the halls before class starts and being around the kids is a good way to prevent bullying. Students are much less likely to bully another student in front of a teacher.
- Increase bullying awareness with parents. Increase awareness through PTA/PTO meetings, conferences, newsletters, and seminars.
- Take a professional development course on bullying. CE Credits Online has courses pertaining to bullying and creating an inclusive classroom!
- Preventing (Cyber)Bullying: Creating Safe Schools For All Students
- Creating Compassionate Classrooms: Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)
- A Mindful Pedagogy: Strategies for Creating Compassionate and Purposeful Learning Spaces
- Creating School Environments Free from Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying