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Bullying and Restorative Justice

Bullying and Restorative Justice. Presented by Carla Mitchell, M.A., M.Ed. Site-Based Behavior Intervention Specialists Caddo Public Schools June 2013. Bullying.

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Bullying and Restorative Justice

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  1. Bullying and Restorative Justice Presented by Carla Mitchell, M.A., M.Ed. Site-Based Behavior Intervention Specialists Caddo Public Schools June 2013

  2. Bullying • Bullying: “physical and verbal attacks and harassment directed at a victim by one student or a group of students over an extensive period of time” (Moon, Hwang, McCluskey, 2008) • 1 out of 4 children will be bullied during adolescence

  3. Myths about Bullying(American Psychological Association)

  4. The Landscape is Changing • Students are faced with more challenging issues at greater frequency • Computers and the internet increase opportunities for social interaction, both good and bad, including cyber-bullying • There are now multiple measures of school success; including school climate

  5. Types of BullyingMilsom and Gallow(2006) • Physical • Verbal • Relational • Reactive

  6. Four Main Types of Bullying (Milsom and Gallo, 2006) • Physical • Hitting • Kicking • Pushing • Shoving • Tripping • Choking • Verbal • Threats • Name-calling or teasing • Insults • Racist comments • Making faces or gestures • Taunting, spreading rumors

  7. Reactive • Individuals who are both victims and bullies • They are usually a victim first • They respond to victimization with bullying behaviors • Relational • Exclusion • Spreading Rumors • Name-calling, labeling

  8. The Landscape is Changing • Students are faced with more challenging issues at greater frequency • Computers and the internet increase opportunities for social interaction, both good and bad, including cyber-bullying • There are now multiple measures of school success; including school climate


  10. Bully-cide • Is a term used when a person commits suicide as a result of being bullied. • This may happen to a student that is bullied on a consistent basis and they may feel that suicide is the only way to escape the pain and fear. • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it. • Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide thannon-victims, according to studies by Yale University

  11. Understanding the Scope of Bullying • Bullying has been studied extensively in the US for 30+ years • In a study by the American Psychological Association • 70 % of middle and high school students have experienced bullying at some point • 8 to 15 year olds rank bullying as more a part of their lives than violence • Victims sometimes blame their being a target of bullying on their short comings

  12. Understanding the Scope of Bullying continued….. • Bullying tends to peak in late childhood/early adolescence • Boys are more likely to engage in physical and verbal bullying • Girls are more prone to relational bullying

  13. Consequences of Bullying continued… • For Victims • There is an increase in the use of alcohol • They often have difficulty making friends • Consequences are correlated highly with fighting (Nansel and associates, 2001) • Without emotional support these students may have high rates of absenteeism, experience loneliness, and the loss of friends through social isolation(Milsom and Gallo, 2006) • For Bullies • Poor academic achievement • Poorer perceived school client

  14. School Climate • Negatively impacts school climate • School climate as a measure of school success • Fullan 2007 • Parker, Greenville, Flessa (2011)

  15. Impact on Districts • Louisiana Legislature has mandated that teachers participate in 4 hours of bullying-prevention in-services • Federal “Internet Safety Act”: schools had to play videos, including cyberbullying prevention clips to all students • School districts are not generally held responsible for actions of bullies, but how they respond to the acts of bullies. • Gebser vs. Lago Vista School District (1998) – schools libel when they act INDIFFERENT • In many court cases, schools have suffered major financial costs from lawsuits…up to 6 million for one case.

  16. Bullying Doesn’t Pay Bully Lawsuit Settled for $4.2 Million • The Ramsey School District in New Jersey has settled a lawsuit brought by a former student who was paralyzed by a bully at Eric Smith Middle School. The district will pay $4.2 million to the family of Sawyer Rosenstein, who was paralyzed from the waist down after the last in a series of attacks by a bully.

  17. LawsuitsIn many court cases, schools have suffered major financial costs from lawsuits…up to 6 million for one case. • Scranton school district pays $97,500 (2012) • Anchorage School District and its insurance company pay 4.5 million (2012) • Washington State Public Schools ordered to pay $300,000 (2012) • Ramsey School District (NJ) pays 4.2 million (2006) • Pending Dallas Tx: $20 million lawsuit after 13 year old son’s suicide • For more: http://www.ravendays.org/court.html

  18. Bullying and Adolescent Girls: Qualitative Look at the Interactions of High School Girls Qualitative Research Project February 2012

  19. Purpose of the Study • The purpose of this study is to explore the interactions of adolescent girls and gain insight into the perceptions of the students involved in bullying (the aggressor, the victim and the bystanders). • To identify interventions students feel will help to alleviate bullying

  20. Research Questions • What is the nature of bullying among female high school students • What is the student perspective of bullying? • What role does social networking play in negative interactions between girls?

  21. Methodology • Setting: Booker T. Washington New Technology High School • Participants: Four female students • Represent each grade level (9-12) • 3 students participate in METALS • Diverse discipline history (no referrals to two major referrals this school year) • Data Collection • Observations • Interviews • Review of documents (such as referrals, suspensions • Analysis: Coding (Multi) and Peer Debriefer • Soundness: Credibility (direct quotes), Confirmability • Direct quotes • Thick, rich description • Peer Debriefer

  22. Findings: Emerging Themes • The face of bullying changes • 9th and 10th graders describe different acts of bullying (more overt) • 11th and 12th describe alienation, relational • Cyberbullying • Perspective of key players: Aggressor, Victim and Bystander • The statistical significance will be determined

  23. Implications • No cookie-cutter approach to eradicating bullying: schools need to survey their students to see how it looks, when its happening, who is perpetuating it and who are the victims • Many negative interactions are initiated on social networking sites and spill into school arena. Students need to be taught appropriate interactions on social networking sites • Interventions for schools: • Observations • Interviews • Review of documents (such as referrals, suspensions • Limitations • Inner-city, single-race, low SES setting: may limit transferability • Small sample size: may limit dependability and replicability

  24. If schools do not address disciplinary violations in ways that promote positive norms within the school community, they are not meeting the needs of the school environment (Cara Suvall, 2009)

  25. Restorative Justice

  26. GOALS(Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority) • Based on a theory of justice that involves repairing the harm caused by an incident through a cooperative process • Grounded in conflict resolution • Three groups involved: • Offender • Victim • Community (Bystanders, teachers/staff, administration, etc) • 3 main goals: • Accountability • Community Safety • Competency Development

  27. IN SCHOOLS • Restorative Justice can include violations of law, school policy, and behaviors that negative impact relationships within the school • May involve administrators, faculty/staff, bystanders, other students, parents, and others throughout school community • Can be implemented from a single program to school philosophy • Example: TRUANCY, BULLYING

  28. Why Should Schools Use Restorative Justice (ICJIA, p. 7) • Provides ways to effectively address behavior and other complex school issues • Offers a supportive environment that can improve learning • Improves safety by preventing future harm • Offers alternatives to suspension and expulsion

  29. Implementing Restorative Justice: A Guide for Schools (ICJIA 10/2009)

  30. Past Interventions • Zero Tolerance: leads to “more suspensions, school dropouts, and deviant behavior” (ICJIA, p. 9) • Punitive School Discipline Responses • School Safety • Criminalization of School Misconduct • School to Prison Pipeline

  31. Shortcomings of Current Discipline Approaches • Fails to address needs of the victim • Impedes healthy school relationships • Ignores systemic problems leading to misconduct

  32. James Conner and Alvin Poussaint, regarding a punitive consequence: “either destroys a child’s spirit, has no effect at all, worsens the problem, or makes it more difficult for you to work with the child in school – he or she no longer trusts you” (Opportunities Suspended, 2000)

  33. The Jena Six 2006 CASE STUDY: JENA HIGH SCHOOL

  34. Restorative Justice ModelsKey Components • Involve offender and victim • Voluntary • Reintegrative shaming • Does not involve incidents of violent offences or infractions • Non-hierarchial

  35. Other Components • Peacemaking circles • Family Group Conferencing • Victim-Focused interventions • Conflict resolution • Peer Reparative Board • Victim Impact Panel

  36. Peace Circles • Safe and open communication • Resolve conflict • Strengthen relationships • Emphasize respect and understanding • Empowerment

  37. Peace Circles (continued) • Circle Facilitators/Circle Keeper • Share information, points of view, and personal feelings • Parents MAY be invited

  38. Mediation and Conferencing • Meditation and Conferencing (Australian schools) • Offer mediation between students involved • Conferencing opens it up to other students, staff, and teachers • Can be student-led (Illinois) • Use a trained mediator • Peer mediation (Canadian Schools) • Peer jury (Illinois, VYJ-Shreveport)

  39. Challenges to Implementation

  40. Benefits of Restorative Justice • Understanding of Harm • Opportunity to address needs of victims, empowerment • Offender development • Analysis of context of offense • Building sense of community within school • Serve as a learning experience • Develop positive social norms

  41. Studies(Evidence-Based) • United Kingdom • Pennsylvania • St. Paul School District (Minnesota) • Peoria, Illinois

  42. Don’t Give Up

  43. ReferencesBatsche, G.M., & Knoff, H.M. (1994). Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem in the schools. School Psychology Review, 22, 165-174.Casey-Cannon, S., Haward, C., & Gowen, K. (2001). Middle-school girls’ reports of peer victimization: Concerns, consequences, and implications. Professional School Counseling, 5, 138-147. LRP’s 30th National Institute: April 27, 2009; Darcy L. KrihaMilsom, A. & Gallo, L. (2006). Bullying in Middle School Prevention and Intervention. Middle School Journal. 12-19.Nansel, T. R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R. S., Ruan, W. J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying behaviors among U.S. youth: Prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 1094-2100.Oliver, R., Hoover, J. H., & Hazler, R. (1994). The perceived role of bullying in small town Midwestern schools. Journal of Counseling & Development, 72, 416-420.Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying in school: What we know and what we can do. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.Seals, D., & Young, J. (2003). Bullying and victimization: Prevalence and relationship to gender, grade level, ethnicity, self-esteem, and depression. Adolescence, 38, 735-747.Suvall, C. (2009). Restorative Justice in Schools: Learning from Jena High School. Harvard Law Review. 44(2), 547 - 569

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