Bullycide: Suicide as a Result of Bullying

While it is now well known that bullying is very damaging to its victims, it is still not generally considered to be a serious issue. Throughout time immemorial victims have been told to "toughen up," "stop whining," to "get a thicker skin" or to “fight...


Bullying Prevention for School Resource Officers

According to the U.S. DOJ’s office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) the following guideline addresses the general requirements for an effective strategy to deal with the problem of bullying at school. 

  • Keep updated on your state’s laws and your schools’ policies related to bullying.
  • Enlisting the school principal’s commitment and involvement is the #1 priority for addressing bullying in schools.
  • Use a multifaceted, comprehensive approach: establish a school-wide policy that addresses both indirect (rumor spreading, cyber bullying, etc) and direct bullying (physical aggression):  provide guidelines for teachers, other staff and students (including witnesses) on specific actions to take if bullying occurs; educate and involve parents so they understand the problem, recognize its signs and intervene appropriately, adopting specific strategies to deal with individual bullies and victims, including meeting with their parents.
  • Develop a comprehensive reporting system to track bullying and the interventions used with specific bullies and victims.
  • Encourage students to report known bullying either directly to you or other school authorities, or unanimously through message lines or bully boxes on campus.
  • Encourage students to be helpful to classmates who are being bullied.
  • Develop activities in less supervised areas utilizing staff, parent volunteers, or students
  • Reduce the amount of time students can spend unsupervised.
  • Stagger recess, lunch, and/or class release times.
  • Monitor areas where bullying can be expected (bathrooms, lunchrooms, playgrounds)
  • Conduct post-intervention surveys to assess the strategies impact on school bullying.

Bullying can no longer be dismissed as a rite of passage experience for anyone.  Suicide caused from bullying is a serious issue that law enforcement officers, principals, teachers, parents, managers, human resources professionals, EAP providers and union leaders need to take very seriously, and very soon.

 

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About The Author:

Pamela Kulbarsh, RN, BSW has been a psychiatric nurse for over 25 years. She has worked with law enforcement in crisis intervention for the past ten years. She has worked in patrol with officers and deputies as a member of San Diego's Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) and at the Pima County Detention Center in Tucson. Pam has been a frequent guest speaker related to psychiatric emergencies and has published articles in both law enforcement and nursing magazines.

 

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