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Schools Where Everyone Belongs: Practical Strategies for Reducing Bullying. Ms. Patrice Davis Intervention Supervisor. Why Focus on Bullying? Troubling Answers From Research. Increased acts of school violence are linked to bullying (Sullivan, 2004).
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Schools Where Everyone Belongs: Practical Strategies for Reducing Bullying Ms. Patrice Davis Intervention Supervisor
Why Focus on Bullying? Troubling Answers From Research • Increased acts of school violence are linked to bullying (Sullivan, 2004). • A class and a school with a bullying culture will make significantly less academic progress than a comparable bully-free group (Cleary, 2001). • Addressing bullying actually increases student achievement by reducing fear in students (Feinstein, 2004). • Pepler (1998) found that two-thirds of students in schools believe that schools respond poorly, infrequently, or ineffectively to bullying incidents. • Bullies are more likely to participate in risky behaviors such as drinking, drug use, and smoking (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001).
Why Focus on Bullying?Troubling Answers from Research • Girls report that emotional bullying is as damaging psychologically as physical bullying (Galen, 1997). • Students are less likely to intervene in bullying situations in schools that tolerate bullying (Jeffry, 2001). • In an extensive study of middle and high school students who identified the three worst things to ever happen to them in their life, the death of a parent was first followed by bullying (Lind, 1996). • Strong links exist between school bullying and future domestic abuse (Cullingford, 1997).
Why Focus on Bullying?Troubling Answers from Research • A 2001 survey by the Center for the Prevention of School Violence found that 39% of parents feared for their child’s safety at school. • A survey of middle school students conducted by i-Safe America found that: • 35% had been threatened online • 42% had been bullied online • 58% had not told a parent or an adult about being bullied online
Why Focus on Bullying?Troubling Answers from Research • Research reveals the location that bullying takes place varies widely (Harris, 2000) • Classroom 83% Lunchroom 75% • Going to school 30% Coming home 39% • Extra-curricular 64% Initiation into 50% events clubs/teams • Research reveals various forms of bullying behavior (Harris, 2000) • Name calling 75% Hit/Kicked 46% • Teasing 62% Being left out 67% • Threatened 42% of activities
The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention • Bullying is a pervasive school problem that can have serious consequences for students. • Fortunately, it’s a problem that schools can do something about.
#1 Focus on the Environment • What is required to reduce bullying in schools is a change in the school climate and in the norms for behavior. • This requires a comprehensive, school-wide effort involving the entire school community.
#2 Assess Bullying at Your School • Administer an anonymous survey to students • Benefits of a survey: • Findings may help to motivate staff and/or parents to address the issue • Findings will help to target specific interventions • Findings will provide important baseline data from which to measure improvement
#3 Seek Out Support for Bullying Prevention • Early and enthusiastic support from the principal is critical. • Commitment from a majority of classroom teachers is important. • Teachers who are committed to bullying prevention are more likely to fully implement programs.
#4 Form a Group to Coordinate Efforts • Should be representative of the school community: • Administrator • Teacher from each grade • Counselor • Non-teaching staff (e.g. bus driver) • School-based health professional • Parent • Community member
#5 Train All Staff • Administrators • All teachers • Health & mental health professionals • Support staff • Custodians • Bus drivers • Lunchroom supervisors • Playground aides
#6 Establish & Enforce School Rules and Policies • Many schools do not have explicit rules against bullying. • Rules should guide the behavior of children who bully AND children who witness bullying. • Follow up with positive and negative consequences.
#7 Increase Adult Supervision • Focus on “hot spots” for bullying that are identified by students. • All adults in a school community should be vigilant to bullying.
#8 Intervene Consistently and Appropriately • Are all adults prepared to intervene appropriately on-the-spot, whenever they observe bullying? • Do we have a plan for follow-up interventions with children who bully, for those who are victims of bullying, or for the parents?
#9 Focus Classroom Time on Bullying Prevention • Set aside a small amount of time each week. • Discuss bullying and peer relations. • Use videos, story books, role-playing, artistic expression. • Integrate bullying prevention throughout the curriculum.
How Can Schools Promote an Anti-Bullying Message • School web sites can offer accurate and appropriate information regarding bullying for students, staff, and parents. They can be used to set forth expectations for how bullying will be addressed at school. • Student newspapers can be used to deliver a series of anti-bullying articles that can help educate students and help keep the anti-bullying message alive. • Leadership classes can integrate bullying information to help promote the power of peers to establish an anti-bullying expectation.
How Can Schools Promote an Anti-Bullying Message • Suggestion boxes are an anonymous way to report incidents of bullying at school. • Adult mentors can be trained as “safe contacts.” Students can report bullying problems or ask for help and advice for themselves or others from these mentors. • Student handbooks, planners, or calendars can be designed to promote an anti-bullying message and offer tips for asking for help for self or others.
How Can Schools Promote an Anti-Bullying Message • Marques or message boards can be used to promote anti-bullying messages and a call to action. • School mascots and mottos can be used to promote messages and expectations for the respect, value, and safety of all students.
Available Programs to Address Bullying • ALCAP (Alabama Citizens ActionProgram)—Offers four violence prevention modules • Anger Management • Conflict Resolution • Violence Prevention in School • Prevention of Bullying at School • The Lighthouse • PreK & K The Second Step Program • K-2nd grade The Wise Owl Bully Stopper Kit • 3rd-6th grade The Bully Proof Kit • 6th-12th grade Safe Dates
Available Programs to Address Bullying • Get Real AboutViolence—lessons in this program are designed to: • Address a wide range of violence—from bullying, teasing, and rumors at early ages to threats and assaults that can occur in later years • Teach social skills to resist pressures, and manage anger and cope with stress • Focus on bonding to school, community, peers, and family • Build core elements of character • Target the attitudes and behaviors that underline violence
Available Programs to Address Bullying • Too Good for Violence • Teaches students positive attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. It promotes a caring approach to violence prevention by teaching conflict resolution, anger management, respect for self and others, and effective communication. • Connect With Kids (DVD’s) • Invisible Weapons • Silent Witness • Sticks and Stones
Available Programs to Address Bullying • Trevor Romain DVD series • Bullies are a Pain in the Brain • Net Smartz • An interactive, educational safety resource from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Boys and Girls Clubs of America for children aged 5-17. • It uses age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach children how to stay safe on the Internet.
Available Programs to Address Bullying • Peer Helpers/Peer Mentors/Conflict Managers • BCHS • DPH • FLYH • GFSH • RBDE • RBDH • SPFH • SMD • WJC • FLYM • Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office • Deputy Jeff Spaller, School Resource Officer
Counselor In-services • Winter Counselors’ In-service (January 2009) • Mr. Bill Parsons, Asst. Superintendent for Operations, Troup County School System (La Grange, GA) • “Proven Research Based Strategies to Bully-Proof Your Kids and Your School” • Fall Counselors’ In-service (October 2009) • Mr. Brent Cosby, Laurel Oaks Behavioral Health Center • “Anti-Bullying Program” • Winter Counselors’ In-service (January 2010) • Deputy Jeff Spaller, School Resource Officer, Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office • “Classroom Ideas to Slow Down the Bully”
Website • Go to www.bcbe.org • Click on Instructional Support • Click on School Counseling/Intervention • Click on Bullying
Remember… • Effective bullying prevention programs should have no “end date.” • Instead, bullying prevention activities should be woven into the entire school environment. They should become a part of the life of your school. • Therefore, ongoing staff development is important to sustain bullying prevention programs.
Together, students, staff, and parents…. Taking a stand against bullying to promote safe, respectful, nurturing learning communities.