How to deal with bullying over face masks in school
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“LIKE many aspects of the pandemic, masks have become a polarising issue and, unfortunately, disagreements about them have spilled over into schools,” says Erica Lee, a psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry, at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Battles about the best ways to stop the spread of Covid-19 include backlash over sending children to school in masks. These battles include the decision of whether to send children to school in masks.
Regardless of what side of the mask debate you’re on, Lee offers a few suggestions to help children deal with potential bullying, as well as tips to educate them on how to prevent bullying of other students.
- Lead by example:
- Communicate empathy:
- Teach them to refocus and re-frame:
- Teach them to be an upstander:
- Know your rights:
At the end of the day, they should know that their education should be the focus, not their appearance or personal health decisions.
“Our job, as caring adults, should be demonstrating that people can disagree about important topics and still be respectful of one another,” said Lee.