Develop public relations

Advertising has proved again and again that the more often the media informs people that something is good or bad, the more likely they are to change their behaviours. This has been successfully applied to driving more slowly and without alcohol, to reducing smoking and domestic violence. The school needs to regularly inform students, parents, staff and the local community that bullying is bad and that perpetrators risk penalties. They need to publicise designated support staff, as primary-school parents generally know whom to approach, whereas high-school parents are less informed. There are many ways a school can undertake publicity. These include:

• annual contracts, pamphlets, student diaries, newsletters, websites, intranet, email and phone text messages

• lectures/seminars, school assemblies, the public praising of'acts of kindness'

• stickers, buttons, friendship bracelets, magnets, school posters (this could become a yearly competition)

• involving popular, well-known identities such as famous pop stars, sportspeople, actors, patrons and popular students to relay the anti-bullying message

• training in mediation and restorative justice, and

• conducting surveys that spread the anti-bullying message along the school community grapevine.

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