Certification Element: Training
School staff members need to receive training on the best way to implement a safe school environment. The training should be developed based on the safe school plans developed by the leadership team and supported by the information gathered from the school community. Training does not need to cost a lot of money. Many free resources are available to help teachers understand how to create and maintain safe environments, including this training developed by the U.S. Department of Education.
Many curricular programs used for bullying prevention (such as social and emotional learning and others) also require pre-implementation training for teachers and other staff.Starting any program without providing training can have negative consequences. Often, the very practices we think should work can be counterproductive:
· Peer mediation or peer counseling for bullying: The power imbalance between the child who bullied and the child who was bullied can further victimize the child who was bullied
· Group counseling for aggressive children: Aggressive children often increase their aggression after such treatment
· Zero-tolerance policies and practices: Removing a child who has bullied from school does little to change his or her behavior or to repair the damage bullying has done