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Creating School Cultures of Health, Safety and Respect. A presentation for Staff & Faculty September 2009. Department’s Student Priority: Safety & Well-being. 1o f 3 student priorities Our mission:

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Creating School Cultures of Health, Safety and Respect

A presentation for Staff & Faculty

September 2009

Department’s Student Priority:Safety & Well-being

  • 1o f 3 student priorities

  • Our mission:

    • Ensure we exemplify the healthy, safe, and respectful teaching and learning environments where all student diversities are honored and valued.

  • Safety & well-being prerequisite to student academic and social success

    • Establish compassionate and rigorous learning environments

  • Students need to feel safe & secure to maximize their growth potentials in risk-free environments

Our School’s Investment in Prevention

  • Insert copy of your school’s behavioral expectations matrix or core ethical values

  • Appropriate student behaviors are modeled by adults on campus and

  • Acknowledged by adults and students

  • Our goal is to provide 6 positives to 1 negative in recognizing appropriate behaviors

Increased Attention to BullyingNational Data

  • 15, 686 students 6th-10th graders (Nansel, 2003)

    • 19% had engaged in bullying behaviors

    • 17% had been victims

    • 6% had been both victims & bullier

      • Increasing number reporting being both

    • Occurs most frequently from grade 6 to 8

  • Males more than females are bullies & victims

    • Males more physically bullied

    • Females more verbally or psychologically bullied

National DataSecret Service & US DOE Research

  • Report on 37 shootings including Columbine

    • ¾ of student shooters felt bullied, threatened, attacked or injured by others

    • Columbine shooters bullied others

    • Several shooters reported experienced long-term & severe bullying and harassment from peers

Is bullying a problem in Hawaii schools?

2007 Youth Behavioral Risk Survey

  • 2 in 3 middle school students in Hawaii say bullying is a problem

  • 1 in 2 high school students in Hawaii say bullying is a problem

Is bullying & harassment a problem?

When Bullying Happens . . .


All in the triangle are impacted.

Any bullying prevention/intervention program must

address all three groups.



Sometimes Hard To Detect

  • Teasing, hitting, pushing can be playful or bullying

  • Takes place in areas not well supervised by adults

    • e.g., schools, homes, or communities

  • Maybe subtle such as: social exclusion, note-passing, threatening looks

  • Many students don't report, fear:

    • Retaliation by student doing the bullying

    • Adults won't take concerns seriously or will act inappropriate in dealing with incident

Myth #1 About Bullying

  • Bullying is same thing as conflict.

    • Bullying =

      • Aggressive behavior, imbalance of power, often repeated over time

      • Student has hard time defending him/herself

    • Conflict =

      • Antagonism among 2 or more people

    • Conflict resolution or mediation sometimes misused to solve bullying

      • Inappropriate message – both are partly right and partly wrong

    • Appropriate message for child who is bullied:

      • “Bullying is wrong and no one deserves to be bullied. We are going to do everything we can to stop it.”

Myth #2 About Bullying

  • Most bullying is physical, i.e., hitting, shoving, kicking.

    • Most common bullying = Verbal bullying

      • Name calling, rumor spreading, etc.

    • Also common = Bully via Social Isolation

      • Shunning, leaving one out on purpose

Myth #3 About Bullying

  • Bullying isn’t serious. It’s just a matter of “kids being kids.”

    • Bullying extremely serious

    • Affects mental well being, academic work & physical health of those targeted

    • Victims

      • Lower self-esteem, higher rates of depression, loneliness, anxiety, & suicidal thoughts

      • More likely avoid school, have higher absenteeism

    • Students who bully

      • More likely engage in other antisocial, violent or troubling behaviors

    • Bystanders

      • Observing incident also be impacted negatively

Myth #4 About Bullying

  • Bullied kids need to learn how to deal with bullying on their own.

    • Many do not have confidence & skills to stop bullying when it happens

    • Should not expect students to deal with bullying on their own

    • Adults play critical roles in helping to stop bullying

Chapter 19 2009 Definition

  • “Bullying” means any written, verbal, graphic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward other particular student(s) and the behavior causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s); and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s).

Impact of Bullying & Harassment

  • Harmful effects well documented in research literature

    • Ranges from feelings of:

      • Shame, fear, loneliness, anger, low self-esteem to decline in academic performance, avoidance of certain places, ostracized by peers, to escalation of overt violence on campus

“Two minutes of bullying can last a lifetime.”

  • 11 year old male, 5th grade student

    • I get called “gay” everyday in the classroom

    • “I want to kill myself. I can’t take it anymore.”

    • Student is outcast & his peers will not touch anything he has prior contact with.

    • Has reported to teacher, counselor, and vice principal, but met with ambivalence.

    • Teachers describe student as “enigma” implying there is little school can do about his inherently provocative personality.

“Two minutes of bullying can last a lifetime.”

  • 16 year old girl moved from foreign country to Hawaii

    • Small group of boys would mock her and mimic her accent every time she stood in front of the class to recite or give a report

    • Over time, she decided never to say another word in class

    • As result, began to fail in class

    • She noted sadly that teacher never intervened even once to stop the harassment & sometimes smiled when the boys made fun of her

“Two minutes of bullying can last a lifetime.”

  • 25-year old tearfully recalls anguish felt as overweight child in elementary school

    • Kids called her “the Whale”

    • She tried very hard to get to stop by bringing students presents

      • But they continued to tease her

    • Eventually became very isolated & ate lunch in the bathroom

    • Became anorexic over the summer

    • At school they called her “anorexic bitch”

      • Yet, no teacher intervened and tried to help her

    • Today she remains severely eating disordered

Types of Bullying

  • Physical

  • Verbal

  • Relational

  • Social isolation

  • Sexual (harassment)

  • Cyberbullying

    Horne and Orpinas, 2007

What Rewards Bullying Behavior?

  • Most common

    • Attention from bystanders

    • Attention and reaction of victim

    • Access to resources (materials, activities)

    • Self –delivered reward

Creating Programs That Work

  • Most effective strategy:

    “The entire school as a community to change the climate of the school and the norms of behavior.”

Effective Bullying Prevention Program: Establish . . .

  • CLEAR school-wide message that bullying is unacceptable

  • Positive school climate and implement school-wide rules against bullying

  • Incorporate BOE 2109 Character Policy into grade curricula

  • Commitment from all students, parents, and staff that they are part of the anti-bullying solution.

    • Train all school personnel how to prevent and intervene when they witness bullying

Because We Care About You . . .

Teach All Students . . .3 STEP ProcessHow To STOP Something You Don’t Like

  • “Stop”

    • Teach students the schoolwide “stop signal”

    • Model when experience problem behavior

    • Practice often with student volunteers

  • Walk away

    • Sometimes even when indicate “stop”, problem behavior will continue

    • If this happens, students are to “walk away” from problem

    • Practice “walking away” with student volunteers in class

  • Talk: Report problems to an adult

    • If “stop” & “walk away” does not work, students should “talk” to an adult

    • Model and practice the “talk” technique

However, if in DANGER . . .

  • If any student is in danger, “stop” and “walk” steps should be skipped, and the incident should be reported immediately.

Where Is The Line Between Tattling And Reporting?

  • "Talking"is when you have tried to solve the problem yourself, and have used the "stop" and “walk" steps first

  • “Tattling”is when you do not use the "stop" and "walk away" steps before "talking" to an adult

    • Tattling is when your goal is to get the other person in trouble

Practice Strategies with Students

  • Students who often are verbally, physically aggressive:

    • Pre-correction

    • On-site practice

  • Students who often are Victims:

    • Extra teaching about what might be reinforcing

    • Pre-correction

    • On-site practice

  • Bystanders

    • Teach 3 step process

    • Teach not to reinforce problem behavior

      • Otherwise bulliers will gain peer attention/objects for inappropriate behavior

Other Prevention Strategies

  • Be visible and vigilant (in hallways, cafeterias, playground…). Increase/improve supervision in areas where bullying tends to occur

  • Weave bullying awareness into the curriculum

  • Be aware of seating arrangements

Other Prevention Strategies

  • Meet the needs of individual students

  • Create an “open-door policy” for students

  • Inform parents about bullying prevention efforts

    • Articles about bullying prevention in school newsletter

Reflection . . .

  • Think about a time when you were truly respected.

  • How can we create those feelings of being respected in our classrooms and school?

    • Share 3-5 specific ways

Thank you for being




Table Talk

  • What are possible actions we should continue or initiate as a whole school regarding prevention of bullying and harassment?

    • As classroom teachers and staff?

  • What activities should we initiate/maintain with our school community regarding bullying and harassment?

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