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"Battle Bullying Before It Starts: Are You Aware of These Alarming Signs?"

Understanding Gateway Behaviors: Stopping Bullying Before It Starts

By Kinota Braithwaite, Author and Youth Speaker

All principals want their schools to be safe and welcoming places for students. But did you know that there are subtle signs that could lead to bigger problems, like bullying? These signs are called "gateway behaviors," and it's important to recognize and address them early to prevent bullying from taking hold.

What Are Gateway Behaviors?

Gateway behaviors are like the first drops of rain before a storm. They might seem small, but they can grow into something much bigger. These behaviors are the early warnings that something isn't right, and if we ignore them, they can turn into serious issues like bullying.

Examples of Gateway Behaviors

Teasing and Name-Calling: When someone makes fun of another person, even if it's meant as a joke, it can still hurt and lead to bigger problems.

Excluding Others: Leaving someone out of a group or activity might seem harmless, but it can make that person feel isolated and sad.

Spreading Rumors: Sharing false information about someone can harm their reputation and make them a target for more hurtful actions.

Ignoring or Rejecting: Pretending someone doesn't exist or rejecting their ideas can make them feel unimportant and unwanted.

Why Stop Gateway Behaviors?

Imagine a small fire. If we put it out right away, it won't grow into a big, dangerous fire. The same goes for gateway behaviors. If teachers address them early, they can stop them from turning into bullying. When teachers prevent gateway behaviors, they create a school where everyone feels respected and safe.

How Can We Stop Them?

Notice the Signs: Pay attention to teasing, excluding, and hurtful language. These might be the early signs of gateway behaviors.

Talk About Respect: Have open conversations about treating each other with kindness. Encourage empathy and understanding.

Step In: If you see someone being teased or excluded, step in and support them. Show that this behavior is not okay.

Educate: Teach students about the impact of their words and actions. Help them understand that even small things can hurt others.

Remember, every small action makes a big difference.

Let's Start a Dialogue:

Principals, I extend a heartfelt invitation to engage in open conversations. Together, let's address concerns, exchange ideas, and craft experiences that transcend. Let's embark on a journey to enrich minds and create a lasting positive impact on the lives of students.

Warm regards,

Kinota Braithwaite

A Vision for a World Free of Racism and Bullying

You're welcome to connect with me at

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