Steps to Prevent Bias-Based Bullying

Download Tips for Educators

Be an upstander

  • You are a role model for your students. They watch what you do and will follow your lead.
  • They notice whether you stop hurtful name-calling or comments based on bias: skin color, gender, religion, weight, ability, family structure.
  • They worry if they might be the next target of a mean remark.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

  • Improving your skills at anything takes practice – including stopping hurtful bullying and teasing.
  • Practice with colleagues what you could say to students to stop harassment, to educate, and to let all students know that you expect respect and accept diversity.
  • Practice responding to students’ questions about differences.

Teach your students how to be an ally

  • Work with your students so they know what they can do if they witness bullying:   – including talking with or befriending the targeted student, confiding in an adult, talking with the student who is being mean, causing a distraction to help stop the harassment, or speaking up in the moment.

Involve families

  • Host a family night with a panel of diverse families from your school community.
  • Hold a book night with students or teachers reading from books that show a range of diversity – including racial, ethnic, religious, economic status or family structure.

Use books to engage students

  • Read books such as One by Kathryn Otoshi or Benjamin and the Word / Benjamin y La Palabra by Daniel Olivas to spark discussion of hurtful teasing and ways to be an ally to classmates.
  • Use books to spark discussions of the real put-downs they hear, paying close attention to ones that target a child’s or their family’s identity.

Addtional Resources