Though schools across the nation have adopted anti-bullying policies that protect victims and punish perpetrators, they may be missing an opportunity to address the causes of bullying and help students break free of this behavior, according to the latest issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine, released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project.
"There Are No Bullies" examines bullying behavior and provides strategies educators can use to teach bullying students about healthy relationships. By recognizing that bullying is a behavior and not an identity, schools can help students change their behavior, ultimately protecting other students from bullying.
"Children who bully often are trying to fill a particular need," said Maureen Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance. "Schools that focus on addressing these underlying issues have an opportunity to prevent future incidents and create a safer school for everyone."
The issue also examines how after the tragic Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin, an unlikely partnership has formed between one of the victims' sons and a former skinhead. "The Sikh and the Skinhead" examines how the two joined forces to educate students and fight hate in the classroom.
Other articles provide tips to help educators identify institutional racism in their school as well as strategies to create a welcoming school environment to recruit and retain teachers of color. It also shows how educators can use Common Core State Standards as an opportunity to include texts that provide students with multiple points of view from various racial and ethnic backgrounds.
This issue includes Best Practices: Creating an LGBT-inclusive School Climate, a guide that offers advice on dress codes, gay-straight alliances and school policies that explicitly prohibit anti-LGBT bullying.
Teaching Tolerance magazine, published three times a year, is the nation's leading journal serving educators on diversity issues. It is distributed free of charge to more than 450,000 educators nationwide.