The assembly will kick off the campaign, and the pledge will help students start thinking about sexual bullying – and what they need to do to stop it. But the work is not yet done.
A series of social media messages can help remind students how to interact with each other, and what to do if they see or suspect sexual bullying is happening – or if it is happening to them.
In addition to educating students, social media can also reach and educate parents and other allies in your efforts to create a culture that does not tolerate sexual bullying. It also reaches a primary medium where sexual bullying occurs.
All messages are released over time and can be repurposed for other uses.
Research has found that placing prevention messages around the school can help decrease sexual bullying. To help your school take part in this effort, Step Up. Step In. provides a series of flyers that can be printed and hung in key points around your facilities.
The messages remind students throughout the course of their days about the dangers of engaging in sexual bullying – and empowers them to help others who are victimized by it.
Our own research in Georgia found that sexual bullying occurs most frequently when students are congregated in small or large groups with minimal supervision. These findings backed up national research.
Consider hanging the Step Up. Step In. flyers in areas where youth are more likely to engage in the behavior – and likely to see the message when it matters most – such as:
Four to six weeks after the assembly, announce a Step Up. Step In. Student Essay Contest that encourages youth to write down their changed views on sexual bullying. The Essay Contest will help you gauge what students have learned through your initiatives – and to identify how students’ perceptions, opinions, and behavior have changed.
To announce the contest, determine through what channel it should best be communicated to students – e.g. in homeroom, in a specialized class, to specialized grade levels, etc.
Then provide written Contest Overview and Essay Guidelines – such as word counts (keep it short to maximize participation!) and general themes students can utilize as starting points. Your customized materials should include deadline and submission requirements.
From there, allow ample time (three to four weeks) for students to put their thoughts onto paper. Remind students during the development period about the contest, and encourage participation. Social media can also be utilized to communicate the initiative to students and other audiences. Be sure to offer a prize, which could be anything from gift cards to local restaurants and movie theaters to school-logo’ed items.
Once essays are collected, a judging panel – which could include teachers, administrators, parents, and other supporters – reviews entries and selects first-, second-, and third-place winners.