The Complete Guide to Receiving Protection from the High School Bully In One Video!

A video surfaced a little while ago on USA Today and other media outlets regarding the amazing behaviour of a group of 5th Grade students at the Franklin Elementary School in Mankato, Minnesota. You just have to watch it.
You can watch the video here: [youtube id=”xdeuivQYnas” width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””]
It is a wonderful story of support and friendship and how a positive relationship with a bullying victim can be a transformational event in a young and vulnerable person’s life.
I began to think back to my own experience.
There I was, attending the Littlehampton School on Day 1 of my high school career and meeting David, the high school bully, standing by the school gates and picking on every new student he could find.

I was one of those victims.   I was one of those vulnerable kids.

I wish that I had five friends at the Littlehampton School who did for me what they did for their friend at the Franklin Elementary School.
It is because of my experience way back then (when dinosaurs still roamed the land, according to my kids!) that I feel so passionate about the work that we now do with respect to bullying and harassment.
Having legislation (as we do here in British Columbia, Canada) helps a great deal but it is still not enough.

Inform, instruct, train and demonstrate. That is what is needed to create a sea-change for those victims of bullying and harassment.

Organizations must be proactive in their activities towards bullying once their policy has been written and in place. Please do this…no lip service!
Employees including managers and supervisors should be aware of their roles in relation to preventing and responding to workplace bullying and have the appropriate skills to take action where necessary.
Such information about workplace roles and training to improve communication and relationship skills can be provided through a variety of educational opportunities.

The onboarding experience for new employees should include information on:

  • The standards of behaviour expected in the workplace including the use of social media
  • What is and what is not bullying and harassment
  • How workplace bullying should be reported and how such reports are managed
  • Where to go for more information and assistance

 Training for current employees can be delivered in any number of ways but it should include:

  • What is and what is not bullying and harassment
  • Awareness of the impact certain behaviour can have on others
  • The health and safety duties and responsibilities of every employee, supervisor and employer relating to workplace bullying
  • Measures used to prevent workplace bullying from occurring
  • How individuals can respond to workplace bullying
  • How to report workplace bullying
  • How workplace bullying reports will be responded to including timeframes

Managers and supervisors should also be trained in how to respond to workplace bullying reports and in skills that will help them notice nuanced signs of problems. Also, how to develop productive and respectful workplace relationships.
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The demonstration part is everyone’s responsibility.
Not just Human Resources, not just the boss…EVERYONE is responsible for the culture of a workplace…..being responsible and demonstrating that responsibility are two very different things though.
Those five students at the Franklin Elementary School knew the difference.