Many parents and guardians might not realize, but bullying on Valentine’s Day is a serious issue affecting kids of all ages.
Valentine’s Day bullying is a bit different from bullying on other days. On Valentine’s Day, it’s very hard for students to avoid some form of bullying – like feeling left out, teased, or made fun of. These things can lead to feeling depressed and alone, which is exacerbated by the fact that other kids will be enjoying their fun on this colorful holiday. Although Valentine’s Day has an uptick of bullying, there are also ways we can stop this awful trend.
The source of bullying in schools on Valentine’s Day
For students who do not have a significant other or groups of friends to exchange valentines with, the day can be down right excruciating. And if you think schools make things easier for children, you may be mistaken. In fact, some schools support fundraisers that allow students to buy flowers or sweets for their classmates, making this issue even worse. The Valentines are then presented to the students during class, which makes it obvious to see who did not receive a Valentine. This leaves students who did not receive chocolates or flowers prime targets for bullying.
How can parents and teachers help prevent bullying in schools on Valentine’s Day?
In primary grades, it’s usually expected that everyone in the class gets a Valentine. This helps avoid anyone feeling left out and reduces bullying on Valentine’s Day. However, in secondary schools, students often switch classes throughout the day, so it’s not as easy to give everyone a Valentine. This can make some students feel left out or teased for not getting anything on Valentine’s Day at school. So, what can parents and teachers do to stop bullying in schools on Valentine’s Day?
1. Try to ensure that everyone receives something on Valentine’s Day
If parents are aware of students feeling left out or bullied on Valentine’s Day they can bake treats to pass out in every class their child is in. Teachers can also participate in providing Valentine’s Day treats to all of the students in all of their classes. If some parents and teachers help spread the word to other parents and teachers then hopefully every student will have an opportunity to receive at least one Valentine’s day treat so that they do not feel completely left out.
2. Remove school fundraisers that promote Valentine’s Day gift giving
If schools got rid of the fundraisers that single out certain students, this would help prevent bullying in schools on Valentine’s Day. As an alternative to selling gifts that will be delivered to the students during class students could still buy treats and give them to one another more privately. This at least would get rid of the open displays in classrooms that point out which students have significant others or a lot of friends.
3. Provide support for students who experience bullying
While we may wish to completely eradicate bullying from schools, the reality is that it may still occur on Valentine’s Day. The most effective approach to minimizing bullying is to educate students about its harmful effects. By raising awareness about bullying, students can recognize it and take a stand against it when they witness it or its aftermath. Encouraging students to support those who are bullied or appear to be feeling left out is crucial—they can speak up for them, offer a listening ear, and inform an adult about the situation. Providing ongoing support to individuals who have experienced bullying, both within and outside of school, can help prevent them from falling into depression. All the parties involved (including the bully) should receive the proper support in order to cut down on bullying. For additional tips on how to prevent bullying in schools visit this the stopbullying.gov website.