Before you begin the process of putting a peer group together, it is important to understand the words Diversity and Inclusion.
Participants of your movement should be diverse, and all should be equally involved and appreciated in the group. Having diversity and inclusion in your group allows all student groups to feel welcome and that their presence and voice matters. It can develop into students feeling more connected with peers in the school. You also want participating students who believe in bullying prevention and are willing to lead this movement in your school. This belief must be genuine.
Caution: Sometimes, groups brought together for a cause can become exactly what they say they are working against. This group should not be exclusive and not be a negative force in the school.
Some ways that you can accomplish membership.
You can choose to have nominations from teachers and students.
You can have students volunteer.
You can request input from the school counselor on providing a list of students who may be interested and bring diversity to your group.
Mission, Goals and Data, Oh My!
You no longer want bullying to happen in your school. Now what?
First things first. Assign an advisor when putting together a peer group and utilizing the Pennsylvania Middle School Bullying Prevention Toolkit. If no advisor is available within the school, you can contact organizations outside of the school to support your school and the group. One suggestion is Be the Change PA.
Before you get started, it is important that you answer questions about what your goals are and what you want to accomplish. It is also important to understand what students and adults think about bullying in your school.
What is your goal? Think about one main goal you want to accomplish.
How do you reach your goal? Think about steps to take and what needs to happen first. Knowing what students and staff need can help you with this.
What are the rules for members of the movement? Everyone’s voice is important. Think about the dos and don’ts.
What is the name of the movement going to be? Something easy to remember and catchy. Google names because you don’t want to copy others.
How do you promote your movement? For some ideas, go to the Activities page.
What is the first event or project going to be? Think something fun, something that will get noticed.
Support the Movement
Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group outside your school that believes in what you are doing, and wants to help promote and elevate the cool things you are doing!
It is a good way to get support from your community for your movement. It can include things like businesses displaying posters supporting your school’s movement, having a local celebrity or news anchor mention your program on social media or on the air, giving funds to purchase “swag” to give out during contests. The possibilities are endless.
Check out the sample letters at the bottom of the page that you can use to ask your school leaders and community for support, help and participation.
Student voice and engagement are very important in our schools today.
Students can get adult support for their campaign by offering adults in their building, parents, caregivers, community members, school board members, etc. bullying prevention training opportunities.
Bullying Prevention 101
Complete the Bullying Prevention 101 training with your advisor. After that, you can help train others. You could show this training at a school assembly, to parents and community members. You could also do trainings on some these things:
Why adults are important
How adults can lend a hand
What is happening in your school
What your movement is about and why it is important to you and should be to them
Empathy and Self-Care
Learn how to show understanding and compassion to your peers; and recognize and nurture your own well-being. Share this video with other students, parent groups, school leaders and community supporters to help create a bullying prevention movement.
A student advisory board within the school community can be a positive force.
Through a formal student-led board, students participate in advising the school on policy, programming and strategies based on what they have heard and learned from their peers.
There are many ways to create visibility for your movement. Partnership and sponsorship from community organizations and businesses are a great way to start. Here are some ideas:
Put your school movement logo or slogan on T-shirts, water bottles, book covers, parent communication, etc.
Provide inspirational stories, images or quotes for morning announcements at school, post them in the hallways, on social media groups and your school website.
Invite parents, community members or a community champion to come to talk at your school during an event.
See the Advocate page to find examples of how to ask for support and participation from your community and local business.
Media campaigns are another way to raise the public’s awareness. News releases, opinion pieces (op-eds) and letters to the editor are various ways you can connect with the general public and gain community support. Also, what appears in local newspapers is important to legislators.