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A Conversation about Anti-Harassment , Intimidation, and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs January 30, 2010. Overview of todays conversation . The bullying problem and how Ohio is responding. The effects of HIB in Out of School time programs.

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A Conversation about Anti-Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs January 30, 2010

overview of todays conversation
Overview of todays conversation
  • The bullying problem and how Ohio is responding.
  • The effects of HIB in Out of School time programs.
  • Why should Out of School time programs be aware of these behaviors?
  • Roll out the Red Carpet
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

  • The Bullying Problem
  • Bullying is commonly defined as hostile behavior involving an imbalance of power between victim and aggressor.
  • Students who are undergoing physical, social and emotional changes are particularly vulnerable to teasing and intimidation,
  • Many of these incidents occur when children are outside of the supervision control of teachers and school administrators.
  • Schools are working to reduce bullying incidents, but they need help to address this all-important issue.
  • As a result, school and out of school time are crucial to promoting healthy youth development.
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Effects of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying

  • Each year millions of children and youth experience the humiliation and devastating effects of bullying.
  • Bullying damages the physical, social, and emotional well-being of its victims.
  • It also hurts the children who bully, as well as those who watch it happen.
  • As bullies go through adolescence and adulthood, they are more likely to suffer problems such as delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, and dropping out of school.
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

The Effects of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying

  • Children and youth who are bullied are more likely to be depressed, lonely, anxious, have low self-esteem and think about suicide.
  • Sixty percent of boys who bullied others in middle school had a criminal conviction by age 24.
  • Bullying creates a climate of fear, callousness, and disrespect for everyone involved.
  • Bullying begins in the preschool years and peaks in adolescence.
  • But bullying does NOT have to be a part of growing up.
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Ohio’s Response to Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying

  • HB 276 was passed during the 2006 legislative session.
  • The Anti-Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Model Policy was developed for schools districts
  • This legislation requires school districts to adopt or amend a current policy to prevent HIB prior to December 31, 2007.
  • The Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Initiative for professional development, training and resources.
a conversation about anti harassment intimidation and bullying in out of school time programs
A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Characteristics of the Bully

  • Bullying involves multiple players.
  • Bullies select and systematically train their victims to comply to their demands.
  • The bully seeks active encouragement, passive acceptance, or silence from bystanders.
  • Bullies can also learn how to make friends and get what they want by helping, rather than hurting, others.  
  • Bullies, victims, and bystanders all play important roles in contributing to bullying—and each can help make bullying stop.
  • Since bullying is primarily learned, it can also be “unlearned”—or conditions can be changed so that it is not learned in the first place.
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Characteristics of the Victim

  • Victims reward the bully by yielding control and showing signs of intimidation.
  • They often fail to gain support from bystanders and avoid reporting the bullying.
  • Victims can learn to defeat the bully by responding assertively, rallying support from bystanders, or reporting the bullying to adults. 
  • Bullies can be stopped when victims and bystanders learn and apply new ways to stand up against bullying.
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Characteristics of the Bystanders

  • Bystanders play an important and pivotal role in promoting or preventing bullying.
  • Often without realizing it, they may exacerbate a situation by providing an audience, maintaining silence, actively encouraging, or joining in.
  • Bystanders can neutralize or stop the bullying by aiding the victim, drawing support from other bystanders, or obtaining help from adults.
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs – How does it Happen?

  • A culture of silence often surrounds bullying. Many children who are bullied never tell anyone. 
  • Most bullying is not reported because children . . .
  • Don’t recognize it as bullying
  • Are embarrassed
  • Don’t want to appear weak
  • Believe they deserve it
  • Want to belong
  • Fear retaliation
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs – How does it happen?

  • Don’t know how to talk about it
  • Don’t have a trusted adult to confide in
  • Think adults won’t understand
  • Think nothing can be done about it 
  • Why don’t adults intervene more often? because we don’t see it happen; we’re not sure what to look for. But often, it’s because we don’t know what to do or we’re afraid that our actions will somehow make matters worse.
  • If you don’t intervene, bullies, victims, and bystanders will continue to believe in the power of bullying, rather than the power of prevention. They will continue to let bullying happen.
  • Just because you don’t see it, and children don’t talk about it, doesn’t mean bullying isn’t happening. Even when children fail to report bullying, they often show warning signs.
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Warning signs of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying

  • Unexplained damage or loss of clothing and other personal items
  • Evidence of physical abuse, such as bruises and scratches
  • Loss of friends; changes in friends
  • Reluctance to participate in activities with peers
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Unusually sad, moody, anxious, lonely, or depressed
  • Problems with eating, sleeping, bed-wetting
  • Headaches, stomachaches, or other physical complaints
  • Decline in school achievement
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Some children may withdraw, while others may get angry and seek revenge.
  • Don’t assume the problem will go away on its own: Invite children to talk about what is bothering them. If you find out a child is being bullied, show support, help develop a response strategy, and follow up to make sure the bullying does not continue. 
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Why should Out of School time programs be aware of these behaviors

Bullying is a growing concern among afterschool programs committed to keeping children safe during the late-afternoon hours.

Sporadic attendance, program size, and understaffing can make it difficult for program staff to adequately supervise all the children in their care.

Drop-in programs make it especially difficult for staff to get to know the children well enough to distinguish between isolated incidents of rough play and ongoing bullying.

In addition, many afterschool program settings include break-out rooms, such as media centers or gymnasiums, where children may be unsupervised for periods of time.

In programs that serve a variety of ages, older children may prey on younger, or more vulnerable, peers.

Children may also continue bullying relationships that began in school, capitalizing on the relative independence and flexibility afforded by many afterschool programs.

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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

  • What Can We Do? Roll Out the Red Carpet
  • Afterschool programs can be a key part of the bullying solution in a school or community.
  • Afterschool programs offer a flexible space for one-on-one mentoring without the potential limitations imposed by school calendars or a stringent focus on academics.
  • Beyond mentoring, several innovative afterschool programs are proving the powerful effects that afterschool can have in promoting positive social interaction among students.
  • Afterschool programs help promote a sense of community among students.
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

What Can We Do?Roll Out the Red Carpet Tying together school and afterschool and offering an open venue for communication with like-minded students, programs help ensure that students develop a strong network of friends so that healthy relationships carry on throughout each portion of a student’s life. Provide opportunities for staff to work with children one on one or in small groups. The better that the staff know the children in their care, the easier it will be for them to detect harmful patterns of behavior. Also, the closer their relationship, the more likely it will be for children to confide their problems and/or ask for help.Keep track of the prevalence and content of any bullying going on, including the names of the children involved and where the incidents occur. This will allow you to detect trends and develop more effective prevention strategies. Consider asking children to look at a program floor plan and mark areas where they feel “safe” and “unsafe.” This can alert you to areas that may require additional supervision.

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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

What Can We Do? Roll Out the Red Carpet

  • Effective bullying prevention starts with changing the beliefs and behaviors of individuals, and learning effective bullying prevention strategies.
  • Lasting change requires the creation of an environment where everyone understands that bullying is unacceptable, harmful, and preventable—and where everyone takes responsibility for stopping it.
  • Strategies for intervening effectively—recognizing that effective intervention begins long before you detect a bullying incident, and continues long after you have spoken to the children involved.
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Creating a bully-free environment requires systematic and thoughtful planning. When developing a bullying prevention plan for your setting, consider these steps:

Lay the groundwork.

Use this toolkit to assess both staff and children’s beliefs about bullying. Identifying these beliefs will let you know where you need to target your efforts and help you create appropriate policies and procedures. It will also provide a good starting point for conversation and for engaging people in the change process.

Develop connections, a team approach, and a support system.

Bullying is less likely to occur in environments where people feel closely connected and responsible for one another. Children who feel isolated are less likely to report bullying and to seek help. Adults may not intervene if they feel they don’t have the support of their coworkers or supervisor. Make sure every child has a trusted adult to whom they can turn for help and advice. Consider a buddy system where older children look out for younger children or where several children provide support to a vulnerable child.

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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Build a shared vision.

Use this toolkit to develop a clear, shared definition of bullying and a strong, positive statement that describes your program’s bullying prevention philosophy and goals. Involve everyone—adults and children—in developing this statement. This will increase everyone’s commitment to and responsibility for creating an environment that discourages bullying behaviors and encourages positive, supportive actions.

Create an inclusive environment.

A bully-free environment is one in which all children and adults feel safe and included. Encourage all children and adults to appreciate diversity among their peers and to include, rather than exclude, children because of their differences.

Establish clear bully prevention policies and procedures.

Develop rules, responsibilities, and a code of conduct that includes a disciplinary policy with clearly stated rules and consequences for behavior. Involving children in the process of creating rules and identifying appropriate consequences ensures their understanding and commitment to them. It is important that policies and procedures address the roles of everyone involved: bullies, victims, and bystanders, as well as adults.

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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Communicate key concepts to everyone in the program.

Post rules in public places, such as common areas and dining halls. Review and discuss the rules and their consequences regularly, and incorporate them in the common language of your program. Use the toolkit activities to encourage adults and children to talk about their bullying issues and concerns, and to engage in bullying prevention strategies.

Supervise children responsibly.

Provide adequate supervision. Be prepared to take action to stop bullying and ensure children’s safety. Respond promptly, consistently, and appropriately. Pay special attention to situations where children may be at highest risk, such as during unstructured activities and when they are in isolated areas, such as bathrooms, empty classrooms, or cabins.

Encourage children and staff to speak out as soon as they witness or experience bullying.

Assure them that reporting bullying incidents is not tattling and that they will not get into trouble for telling. Create opportunities for children to speak privately with staff. Consider a “bully prevention box” where children can confidentially submit their concerns and suggestions, as well as their recommendations of children who deserve commendation for bullying prevention.

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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Provide ongoing education and training for all staff.

Provide education and training to make sure all program staff recognize and understand issues related to bullying, are prepared to prevent it, and can respond appropriately when it occurs. Lasting systemic change requires regular, ongoing opportunities for assessing and dealing with bullying prevention. Be sure to include personnel, such as playground monitors, bus drivers, and custodians, who staff areas where bullying is more likely to occur.

Involve parents.

The cooperation and support of parents is essential to creating a bully-free environment in your program, and extending it to families and communities. Regular communication with parents will help to support children’s developing beliefs and skills. Keep parents informed when a bullying incident occurs, and encourage them to contact program staff if they think a child is being bullied or is bullying. This sends the message that you take bullying seriously, and it elicits their cooperation and support. Share this toolkit and your program’s policies with parents, and invite them to participate in bullying prevention workshops.

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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Prevention Strategies for After School Time Programs1. Establish clear rules and expectations for appropriate behavior. 2. Discuss these rules frequently, so that children understand why they are important. 3. Write them up and send copies home for students and parents to sign. 4. Let parents, children, and staff know that you take bullying seriously.5. Enforce program rules consistently. 6. Ensure that staff model the expected behaviors by treating one another and children with care and respect.7. Establish a clear protocol for staff to follow when they encounter a bullying incident, and provide the training they need to intervene effectively.

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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

Prevention Messages for After School Time Programs

1. Bullying is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

2. If a bully bothers you, it’s O.K. to stand up for yourself, walk away, or ask a friend or adult for help.

3. Responding to bullying by fighting back doesn’t usually work—and may make matters worse. Violence encourages more violence and fails to solve problems.

4. It is important to report bullying when you see it and when you hear about it. Telling is not tattling.

5. Bullying does not have to happen. Working together with adults and peers, there are specific things you can do to prevent and stop bullying.

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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

  • What Can We Do? Roll Out the Red Carpet
  • Out of School Time programs offer children a more open environment in which to express their feelings regarding relationships with peers both inside and outside of school.
  • The research shows that afterschool programs keep kids safe, have a positive impact on self-concept and decision making, and help improve behavior in school:
  • It is integral that community partners come together to offer innovative anti-bullying programs in which children can take part before school, after school and during the summer so they have a chance to develop healthy behaviors and learn how to deal with bullies
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A Conversation about Anti Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying in Out of School Time Programs

connect with ode
Connect with ODE

ohio-department-of-education

OhioEdDept

Ohio Teachers’ Homeroom

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Thank you for your time.

Jill Jackson, Consultant

Ohio Department of Education

Office for Family and Community Support

jill.jackson@education.ohio.gov