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Bully Prevention in PBS. Bruce Stiller; Rhonda Torki. Session Goals. Review Bully Prevention in Positive Behavior Support (Stop/Walk/Talk) -- What we have learned after 3 years of implementation

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bully prevention in pbs

Bully Prevention in PBS

Bruce Stiller; Rhonda Torki

session goals
Session Goals
  • Review Bully Prevention in Positive Behavior Support (Stop/Walk/Talk) -- What we have learned after 3 years of implementation
  • Present feedback from middle school students and staff regarding how to make Bully Prevention in PBS developmentally appropriate for secondary students
  • Review results of School Climate Survey
  • Present Expect Respect -- a program in development for Bully and Harassment Prevention at the secondary level
bullying harassment
Bullying & Harassment

Bullying and harassment are serious issues in schools that can influence a student’s ability to complete school and advance to higher education.

30% of youth in the United States (or over 5.7 million)1 are estimated to be involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both.

1Nansel et al. (2001). Bullying Behaviors Among U.S. Youth. JAMA.

literature review of existing bully prevention programs
Literature Review of Existing Bully Prevention Programs

Outcomes less than ideal (efficacy data is sparse -- many have evidence only that student knowledge of what to do improves, not that actual behavior changes)

Efficiency a major issue

Most do not target behavior of bystanders

core features of bully and harassment prevention in positive behavior support
Core Features of Bully and Harassment Prevention in Positive Behavior Support

Define, teach and reinforce school-wide behavior expectations.

Teach all students to identify and label disrespectful behavior.

Teach students a universal Stop Signal to use when they experience disrespectful behavior.

What to do as recipient

What to do as perpetrator

What to do as bystander

stop walk talk program
Stop/Walk/Talk Program

One Primary Lesson -- 50 minutes -- delivered to all students the same day

Class discussion of disrespectful behavior

Introduction of Stop Signal

Role Playing

Follow Up Lessons as needed

Gossip; Rumor Spreading



Coaching from supervisory personnel is ongoing and critical

lesson delivery teach students the stop signal
Lesson Delivery: Teach Students the “Stop Signal”

If someone is bothering you, or someone else, deliver the “Stop Signal”.

Bystanders are asked to help by using the “Stop Signal” or by taking the victim away from the situation if they see someone else being harassed, teased, or treated disrespectfully.

If disrespectful behavior continues after the stop signal is delivered, walk away and/or report to an adult

coaching students accepting reports
Coaching Students: Accepting Reports

When problem behavior is reported, adults follow a specific response:

Reinforce the student for reporting the problem behavior (i.e. "I'm glad you told me.")

Ask who, what, when and where.

Ensure the student’s safety.

Is the problem still happening?

Assess severity of the incident

Assess likelihood of retaliation

Devise Safety Plan if needed

Ask the Student if he/she Used the Stop Signal -- Coach as needed

coaching perpetrators
Coaching Perpetrators

If the problem behavior included harassment or physical assault, complete an Office Discipline Referral and turn in to office

For chronic offenders, implement a reminder, warning, consequencecorrection sequence (timeout on the bench or an office referral, depending severity/frequency) in addition to the previously described coaching steps

checking in continued follow up
Checking In -- Continued Follow-Up

For chronic victims of bullying or harassment

On a regular basis, an adult should check in with students to determine if the problem behaviors have ceased.

Continue to reinforce students for confiding and seeking assistance

problem behavior during recess
Problem Behavior During Recess



Incidents of Problem Behavior at Recess


Composite Peer


key findings first 3 years of implementation of bp pbs
Key Findings: First 3 years of Implementation of BP-PBS

Contextual fit -- get student input on which hand signal students like best

Re-teach/prompt on a regular basis -- students needs lots of reminder to use the Stop Signal, especially in context

Cumulative effect is likely if the program is implemented over a period of several years and becomes more of a standard feature of the school culture

fidelity study spring 2009
Fidelity Study - Spring 2009
  • Fidelity Study Spring 2009 included playground observations; interviews with students and staff; and student focus groups
  • Fidelity Study completed in a 4J elementary school -- one of the schools most invested in Stop/Walk/Talk
  • Results:
    • Students had learned the expected behaviors and could tell researchers what they were supposed to do
    • Adults couldn’t remember all of the coaching steps
    • Students complained that the adults weren’t listening to them
4j climate survey pilot overview
4J Climate Survey (Pilot): Overview

Pilot study designed by 4J School District to assess harassment and bullying in schools

24 questions about different types of harassment; where & when bullying occur; available resources and problem-solving strategies

1581 students assessed from 4 schools in spring 2009

1 high school (Churchill); 3 middle schools (Spencer Butte, Kelly, Roosevelt)


Harassment Observed on the Bases of…*

*Data reported by percent of responses.

significant findings gender
Significant Findings: Gender

Girls reported:

  • observing more gender-related harassment
  • feeling less safe from teasing
  • that offensive language is a problem

Boys reported:

  • fighting back is more likely to solve a problem
  • using more computers and other devices to intimidate other students
  • being less likely to talk to an adult for help
stop walk talk for middle school
Stop/Walk/Talk for Middle School?

Pilot implementation at 4J Middle School

Student input: “This will be lame if we let the adults do it”

Student taught lessons with adult facilitation

End of year Focus Group

Steps for recipients need to be different for middle school students because reporting is plain old not going to happen

Interrupting behaviors have to be more elegant and age appropriate (e.g. “I expect respect” v. “Stop”) Students choose the interrupting behavior

Need for ongoing dialogue

Only when there is danger of someone being hurt is it appropriate (from their point of view) to report

stop walk talk for middle school expect respect
Stop/Walk/Talk for Middle School = Expect Respect
  • Critical Features of Expect Respect
    • Student Driven (it won’t happen if it’s not)
    • Removal of Social Reinforcers
    • Interrupting Behavior (tools to interrupt bullying): catch phrase, stop signal, etc.
    • Lessons: Combination of 4 adult lead lessons and 4 student forums (on alternating months)
    • Expect Respect on staff meeting agendas: School-wide initiative and staff buy-in necessary
differences stop walk talk v expect respect

Hand signal paired with verbal

Role plays more directed; specific

Adult driven strategies for interrupting disrespect and for resolving conflicts

One primary lesson

Most incidents resolved with one or two adult contacts

Expect Respect

Interruption behaviors more developmentally advanced with multiple options

More sophisticated role plays

Strategies for interrupting disrespect are student driven

8 primary lessons including student forums

More emphasis on continuing dialogue and follow through

Differences -- Stop/Walk/Talk v. Expect Respect
expect respect creating the curriculum
Expect Respect: Creating the Curriculum

8 contacts with students throughout the year

4 Adult-lead Lessons: Mix of discussion and experiential lessons (“Getting on the Bus; You-Tube vignettes)

4 Student forums: All students invited, open forum with a lesson or topic for discussion, “take-away” point to share with classes

plan for next year
Plan for Next Year
  • Expect Respect will be piloted in 2 middle schools that want to implement the program
  • Participation in the pilot will involve:
    • Key people at each school willing to coordinate implementation of the curriculum
    • Teacher and staff participation
    • Completion of pre and post surveys and questionnaires
    • Updates at staff meeting and research team meetings