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Bully-Proofing Your School. “School bullying is everyone’s business...if everyone is…truly committed, then there is solid evidence that the amount and severity of bullying can be reduced dramatically.”. SESSION 1. Main Premise : Kids need to feel safe in order to/before they can learn!!!

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Bully-Proofing Your School

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Bully proofing your school

Bully-Proofing Your School

“School bullying is everyone’s business...if everyone is…truly committed, then there is solid evidence that the amount and severity of bullying can be reduced dramatically.”

Session 1


Main Premise:

Kids need to feel safe

in order to/before they can learn!!!

(Social-emotional trumps academic)

Life in the classroom

Life in the Classroom

“Lost” teaching time

Proactive--> EARN BACK time

Teachable moments = prevention

Research shows

Research Shows:

  • Most victimization not seen

    • staff…unaware of 80% of playground bullying

    • On the playground: 4-6 incidences per hour

  • victims disliked; bullies achieve social status

  • 2-3 students per class feel afraid on a regular basis

  • Victim reporting: 36% of Elementary, 5% of HS

More research

More Research

  • Unseen health consequences (V and B)

  • Suicide<-->bullying

  • Socially-isolated kids:

    • more likely to be bullied

    • higher levels of depression and suicidal thinking

  • Bullying experiences don’t just “go away”

  • Greatest predictor of 8th grade achievement = 3rd grade prosocial behavior. EQ vs. IQ.

The caring community

The Caring Community

  • It’s Not about “fixing” the bullies

  • Mobilizing the majority (bystanders)

  • Making bullying unacceptable

  • Requires full climate change

  • Includes staff, parents, and students

  • Uses teachable moments to enhance learning

Key points

Key Points

  • 6% of kids are bullies, 9% are victims85% bystanders

  • Empower the silent majority to take a stand

  • The Caring Community IS the plate from which teachers can teach, not something added TO the plate

  • “Red Zone” kids (both bullies and victims)

Bully victims


  • More psychosocial adjustment problems than either the bullies or the victims

  • Elevated levels of depression and loneliness

  • Low school engagement

  • Socially ostracized by peers

  • More conduct problem

  • Often fit profile of seriously violent offenders


4 central program concepts

4 Central Program Concepts

  • Systemic, comprehensive

  • Focus on climate change

  • Teaches skills and strategies

  • Emphasis on Caring Community

Staff acknowledgement of the problem

Staff Acknowledgement of the problem

  • Bullying and harassing behaviors damage school climate

  • Adults and students create C.C.

  • Commitment to prioritize safety

  • Modeling of healthy, positive relationships

Bully proofing your school

  • Successful schools:

  • are proactive

  • deal with it promptly, firmly, and fairly

    Struggling schools:

    deny it

    ignore it

    rationalize it

    handle it inappropriately

    sweep it under the carpet

    blame the victim

    blame the parents

    make lots of impressive noises but take no substantive action

    • Adapted from Bullying in AmericanSchools (2003) by Anne G. Garrett

Session 2


Bully proofing your school

  • In the average elementary classroom, 2 to 3 students feel afraid on a regular basis (Garrity, Jens, Porter, Sager, & Short-Camilli, 2004).

  • On the playground there are on average 4.5 – 6.5 bullying incidences per hour (Craig, Pepler, & Atlas, 2000; Craig & Pepler, 1997).

  • 72% of girls and 81% of boys report that they were bullied during their school years (Hazler, 1996).

  • 36% of elementary students and 5% of high school students who are bullied report it to adults (NICHD, 2001).


Bully proofing your school



  • Lose power position

  • Fewer behavior problems

  • Change in thinking errors

  • May stay out of criminal

    justice system later in life

  • Some become positive

    leaders in peer group


  • Decreased vulnerability

  • Greater self-esteem

  • More friends

  • Protected by staff

  • Decreased self-blame

  • Less risk of repeated



  • Increased sense of safety

  • Decreased bullying

  • Improved academics

  • Improved school climate



  • Recognition for caring


  • Empowered to affect


  • More empathy and

    compassion for others


  • Fewer behavior management


  • Increased awareness of normal

    conflict vs. bullying

  • Creation of adult caring



  • Improved sense of security

  • Responsiveness from school

  • Mutuality in reinforcing

    good values

  • Sense of community within

    the school

Bully proofing your school

Definition of Bullying:

A person is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more persons.

(Olweus, l991).

Key elements of bullying

Key Elements of Bullying

  • Imbalance of power

  • Repeated

  • Intentional

  • Unequal levels of affect


Bully proofing your school

Normal Conflict vs.Bullying

Normal Conflictvs. Bullying

Equal power/friendsImbalance of power/not friends

Happens occasionally Repeated negative actions


Not serious Serious/threat of physical/emotional harm

Equal emotional reactionStrong emotional reaction from victim; little or no reaction from bully

Not seeking power/attentionSeeking power/control

Not trying to get something Attempt to gain power/material things

Remorse - takes responsibilityNo remorse - blames victim

Effort to solve the problem No effort to solve problem

Bully proofing your school

  • Types of Bullying

  • Physical aggression

  • Social aggression

  • Verbal aggression

  • Intimidation

  • Written aggression

  • Sexual harassment

  • Racial and cultural (ethnic) harassment

  • Cyber Bullying

Bully proofing your school

  • Personality Style of Bullies

  • Value the rewards that aggression can bring.

  • Lack empathy and compassion.

  • Lack guilt and blame the victim.

  • Often have social status and power.

  • Like to be in charge and to dominate.

  • Parents (or other role models) often model aggression.

  • Think in unrealistic ways.

Bully proofing your school

  • Strategies with Bullies

  • Use no nonsense style

  • Utilize prosocial consequences

  • Give concise descriptions of unacceptable behavior & consequences

  • Do not have a long discussion of the situation

  • Correct the bully's thinking errors

  • Identify the victim's emotions

  • Build empathy for the victim

  • Re-channel power - do not try to suppress

  • Establish the school culture through the efforts of a caring community

Bully proofing your school

Types of Victims

Passive victim

Provocative victim

Vicarious victim


Bully proofing your school


repeated bullying

lowered self esteem

more ineffective responses

more bullying

increased disapproval/avoidance by peers

self-blaming, “I deserve it”


more bullying

Bully proofing your school

  • Strategies with Victims

  • Use a supportive, fear reducing style

  • Reduce self-blame by clear identification of cruel behavior

  • Demonstrate compassion and empathy

  • Focus on assertiveness training and social skill building

  • Practice and reinforce HA HA SO strategies

  • Connect victim to helpful peers

  • Mobilize caring community in the classroom

Bully proofing your school



harmlessvs.harmful or dangerous physically or psychologically

can handle by selfvs.need help from an adult to solve

purpose is to get vs.purpose is to keep people safe

someone in trouble

behavior is accidentalvs.behavior is purposeful

Bully proofing your school


  • Most ignored and underused resource in our schools

  • Approx. 85% of a school population – the “silent majority”

  • Become desensitized over time – diminished empathy


  • Fear of retaliation

  • Don’t know what to do

  • Afraid they’ll make things worse

  • Worry about losing social status

  • Don’t believe that adults will help

  • Don’t believe it is their responsibility

Silent Majority

Caring Majority


Bully proofing your school

Strategies for Bystanders

  • Normalize fears and worries

  • Emphasize strength in numbers

  • Communicate the expectation to take action

  • Teach skills and strategies to take a stand

  • Acknowledge and reward caring behaviors

Bully proofing your school


“TAKING A STAND: Any positive behavior that supports

the caring majority or caring community.”





Bully proofing your school

Faulty Assumptions

  • This program has to work for everyone.

  • All will be well once this program is in place.

  • This program has to work immediately.

  • This will work for the most difficult children.

  • If a child is not bleeding or dying, all must be fine.

  • If only such and such (parents would get involved, principal would punish, etc.) would happen, then all would be fine.

  • Kids will just treat each other meanly.

Session 3

Session 3

  • Lessons

  • Wrap-up

  • Questions

Cyber bullying

Cyber Bullying

  • 42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once.

  • 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.

  • 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.

  • 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out of 10 say it has happened more than once.

  • 53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. More than 1 in 3 have done it more than once.

  • 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.

    Based on 2004 i-SAFE survey of 1,500 students grades 4-8

Bully proofing your school





  • Clearly Define Caring Community Behaviors

  • Recognize and Reinforce Caring Community Behaviors

  • Conduct Weekly Classroom Meetings

  • Capitalize on Teachable Moments

  • Utilize Curriculum Infusion Activities

  • Login