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Bullying in Schools

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  1. Bullying in Schools What It Is and What Works 2010/11 Credit to The California School/Law Enforcement Partnership Lynn Garric, Sonoma & Humboldt County Offices of Education Safe Schools Coordinator - Region 1

  2. Agenda • Introductions • What We Know - Defining Bullying in Our Schools • Technology, Cyberbullying & Cyberthreats • What We Do - Responding to Bullying • The School Environment • The Classroom Level • The Individual Level & Activity • Parents • Sustaining Efforts Over Time • Resources • Lunch • Curriculum Review & Jigsaw • Gender Issues • Skill Building and Strategies Activity

  3. Who Are We? • Teachers/Teacher Assistants • Administrators • Counselors • Campus/Playground Supervisors • Office, Maintenance, Cafeteria, Support • After-school Programs • Other? • Elementary Schools • Middle Schools • High Schools • Target, Perpetrator, Bystander

  4. What makes bullying a school safety issue? • Bullying creates a hostile school environment • Unchecked bullying can generate serious and costly consequences for a school community • Bullying violates the rights of students • Some acts of bullying break the law • Bullying is a gateway act of violence • Schools continue to underestimate the prevalence and consequences of bullying

  5. Bullying and Academic Achievement • “Students who must think about avoiding harm at school are diverting energy that should be expended on learning. Improving student safety at school will enable American youth to redirect their concerns to school work and student activities.” Student Strategies to Avoid Harm at School • “The three new Rs: rigor,relevance and relationships…” Superintendent Jack O’Connell • “The ultimate goal…creating an environment and culture that meets students’ needs.”Alan Blankstein, Failure is Not an Option

  6. Bullying Involves… • A desire/intention to hurt a person or group + hurtful action + an imbalance of power + (typically) repetition + an unjust use of power + satisfaction for the aggressor • And, a sense of being hurt on the part of the target • Dr. Ken Rigby, Researcher

  7. Student’s Definition of Bullying • Bullying is unfair and one-sided. It happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening or leaving someone out on purpose.

  8. Teasing vs. Bullying? • Teasing is when there is “give and take” - a two-way street where both parties are having fun • It may be unintentional • It will stop when there is the realization of the harm of the actions • Bullying is when one person does all the giving and the other person does all the taking - a one way street where one person is not having fun or is getting hurt.

  9. Conflict vs. Bullying? • Conflict occurs when two or more people on equal footing have a disagreement. • Bullying occurs when a more powerful person or group uses that power (usually repeatedly) to hurt or control another person. • Harassment refers to a specific type of ongoing bullying and is used as the legal term for sexual behavior.

  10. Conflict Resolution - Problem Solving Steps*(Requires Good Will on Both Sides) • What is the problem? • What are some solutions? • For each solution ask: • Is it safe? • How might people feel? • Is it fair? • Will it work? • Choose a solution and use it. • Is it working? If not, what can I do now? * From Second Step

  11. Tattling vs. Telling? • Tattling is done to get someone in trouble • Telling is done to get someone out of trouble STOP Violence Coalition

  12. Bullying Behavior is Categorized as… • Physical • Hitting, kicking, choking, pushing, tripping, poking, fighting, unwanted touching, threatening gestures or postures, destruction of property, written harassment including emails, text messaging and web postings, sexual harassment, gang or group initiation, and hazing • Psychological (indirect or social bullying) • Social ostracism, rumors, shunning, intimidation, extortion, manipulation, and character assassination • Verbal • Insults, taunting, degrading teasing, name calling, threats, slander, defaming and blackmail

  13. Bullying & Technology…High-speed Electronic Taunting • Photo & videophones • e-mail & instant messaging • Blogs (on-line journals or diaries) • Bulletin boards • Profiles • Web sites • Chat rooms • Electronic slam books • Text messages • Twitter

  14. Cyber Concerns • Unsafe disclosure of personal information • Cyberbullying • Cyberthreats • Risky Sexual Behavior • Dangerous Communities

  15. Cyberbullying Challenges • Cyberbullying can occur any time of the day or night. • Cyberbullying messages and images can be distributed quickly to a very wide audience. • Children and youth can be anonymous when cyberbullying, which makes it difficult (and sometimes impossible) to trace them. • Adults aren’t as familiar or comfortable with the medium

  16. CBCT - Prevention • Assess the nature and extent of the problem • Set clear school policies, guidelines and consequences for Internet & cell phone use • Educate staff, families and students about cyberbullying, ethical and legal standards for online activities • Make reporting of cyberbullying and online hate incidents a requirement • Establish confidential reporting mechanisms • Devise supervision and monitoring practices of students Internet use • Provide internet access for administration • Promote empathy, ethical decision-making skills and respect among students

  17. CBCT - Intervention • Take action immediately when cyberbullying takes place • Save the e-mail or other evidence • Report harmful online speech to the police • Address the responsibility of bystanders • Discuss the incident and consequences with the perpetrators families • Provide social skills education and counseling to perpetrators • Provide assistance to the targets and the targets families

  18. Influences on Bullying Behaviors • Family culture • Media • Peer norms • Emotional problems • Lack of role models • Lack of supervision • Lack of clear rules and expectations to report bullying • Lack of classroom instruction programs • Lack of support systems for target and perpetrators • Lack of stakeholder partnerships

  19. California Health Kids Survey Risk and Resiliency DATAA Snapshot of Local and State DataNot a Scientific Analysis(see final pages of these slides)

  20. Most Students… are not involved in bullying. They neither bully nor are targets. They know it’s wrong but unless they are asked to help or are made to feel they have a genuine responsibility to act, they will silently collude with the abuse.

  21. Research on Bullies • There are not more bullies at large schools or in large classes as compared with small or medium sized schools/classes • Bullies are not necessarily feeling unhappy or like failures at school • Bullies and targets come from all layers of society • Behaviors, attitudes and routines of school staff significantly effect the level of problems in a class/school

  22. Warning Signs which might indicate a child is becoming a target of bullying: • Changes in appearance: torn clothing, injuries • Loss of appetite, headaches, stomach aches, sleeping problems • Lost items or money • Weapons carried to school for protection • Clues from writings or drawings • Fear of attending school or going on playground • Distress upon return from school • Insecurity, sudden mood shifts, withdrawal, depression • Difficulty making friends, loneliness • Poor school performance, dropping grades

  23. Warning Signs - Child who Bullies • Maliciously Teases, Threatens, or Strikes Out • Hot-tempered • Impulsive • Hard Time Following Rules • Aggressive Toward Adults • Tough/Mean Spirited • Lack of Empathy for Others • Positive View of Self - possibly • Involved in Other Anti-social Behaviors • Dislikes school, poor attendance • Strong need to dominate

  24. Provocative Targets • A small population of targets • May seek attention or stimulation by provoking bullies • Often need assertiveness and social skills • Should be supported and not blamed

  25. Why is it so hard to tell?(per 100 bullied children) • Fear of retaliation (42) • Don’t want to be a tattletale (41) • Don’t want to worry parents (34) • Shame of not being able to stick up for self (31) • Fear of losing friends (29) • Hard to prove (29)

  26. Why is it so hard to tell?(per 100 bullied children) • No confidence in adults keeping confidentiality (25) • Fear of what parents would say (25) • Confused about what is happening (25) • Something that can’t be changed (24) • Unable to put feelings into words (23) • Self-blame (15) • “I deserve it” (7) • 36% of younger children will tell, only 5% of older students tell

  27. Educators’ Duty to Minimize Risk • The Duty to Train • The Duty to Remedy • The Duty to Monitor • The Duty to Investigate

  28. Bullying & Litigation Successful Judgments typically based on: • Reckless indifference • Failure to supervise • Failure to anticipate third-party harm between students and/or staff

  29. It’s A Continuum - Intervene Early

  30. Extortion Assault Hazing Murder Rape Sexual harassment Theft Battery Arson Possession of weapons Violation of civil rights Hate crimes Bullying Breaks the Law When It Becomes...

  31. What Unchecked Bullying Teaches Other Kids Who See It Happening • Being aggressive is desirable; it gets you attention and status • A person who has power can make, break or change the rules • Kids who are different, or don’t try to fit in, ask for what they get • Aggression is a legitimate means to an end • A person can be mean and get away with it. There is no justice • One way to survive around bullies is to play along or blame the "target"

  32. Every Day in America... 160,000 children miss school for fear of being bullied National Association of School Psychologists - 2001

  33. DON’T LAUGH AT MEBreakPeer Influence Programs video clips

  34. Preventing Bullying: A Comprehensive/Total School/Organizational Approach • School-wide policies & intervention • Classroom interventions • Student interventions • Parent involvement • Community support

  35. Focus on the School Level • Adults must assume the main responsibility • Assess the problem, disseminate the information (CHKS Staff Climate Survey and other surveys) • Establish a committee (school site council, safety committee, include a diverse group of students) • Link to Safe School Plan • Establish a definition of bullying, policies & clear rules, communicate to parents and students • Establish good prevention programs that teach and re-teach empathy, communication skills, social interaction and cooperation • Build Assets and reward good behavior • In grades K-6 focus on prevention; In grades 7-12 do intervention • Decrease student hierarchy, increase appreciation of diversity

  36. Focus on the School Level • Firm limits for unacceptable behavior • Warm, positive interest and involvement on the part of school adults • Establish systems for reporting bullying, including confidential reporting. Take all complaints seriously. • Garner staff support and participation • Role model respectful behavior • Increase supervision and monitoring • Communicate concerns school-wide • Intervene immediately and consistently • Keep bullying prevention on the agenda

  37. Specific School Level Efforts • School safety survey, CHKS and Staff Climate Survey • Focus groups to understand the CHKS • Curricula such as Caring School Communities or Second Step • BEST - Building Effective Schools Together (U. of OR) • Mediation and intervention programs such as Safe School Ambassadors, Girl’s Circle, The Council • Pledges • Training for bus drivers, cafeteria workers and playground monitors as well as teachers; training for parents • Recruitment & training of volunteer campus monitors/visitors • Academic, Arts and Vocational Awards in addition to Sports and Special Events - Day of Dialog; International Market Day, Mix It Up at Lunch • Organize the play area(s) to minimize bullying • Confidential hot-line

  38. School Level - Mistakes • Zero-tolerance policies, suspension and expulsion remove students from learning opportunities and may discourage children and adults from reporting bullying • Advising students to “stick-up” for themselves or solve their own problems • Conflict resolution is not appropriate for a victimizing situation • Group counseling for bullies often reinforces antisocial behavior • One-shot assemblies or lessons are not effective. Sustained environmental changes are needed

  39. Classroom Level Efforts • Reinforce Friendship Skills and Empathy • Build Assets through caring relationships, high expectations and meaningful student participation • Establish clear rules, reinforcement for positive behavior and consequences for inappropriate behavior • Articulate rights and responsibilities of all, including responsibility of bystanders, telling isn’t tattling

  40. Classroom Level Efforts • Implement a good classroom curriculum • Carefully review all materials • Teach students to identify, understand causes and effects, oppose and report bullying behavior • Allow classroom time for discussion and creating solutions • Use multiple teaching strategies, reading, embed across the curriculum and use cooperative learning

  41. Characteristics of Good Classroom Management • Positive Relationships and Expectations • Cooperation • Development of a “we-feeling” • Genuine Authoritative Leadership • Clear Rules - Consistently Enforce • Organization of teaching and activities • Teacher moves around the classroom • Transition times are well prepared • Academic progress • Cooperative partnership with parents

  42. Four Class Rules • We will not bully others. • We will try to help students who are bullied. • We will make it a point to include students who are left out. • If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell a teacher and an adult at home. • Olweus Program Against Bullying and Antisocial Behavior

  43. Class Meetings • A set time, once a week 30-40 minutes • Teacher led, following rules for discussion • Elicit viewpoints of shy or withdrawn students • Teach assertiveness, body language, and communication skills and “I” statements for general communication* • Can use a variety of forms • Teacher uses summation

  44. Students Responsibility The 3Rs of Responding to Bullying • Recognize the bullying behavior • Refuse/Reject the behavior • Report the behavior

  45. Systematic Use of Role Playing • Shown by research to be effective • Focus on emotional understanding • Don’t have students role play the bully • Try to limit bullies and victims to the by-stander roles • Have students portray the character’s feelings - as differentiated from their own • Keep it short • Debrief the target, the bully and then the bystanders • Ask, “is the solution safe, fair, realistic, effective”

  46. Examples for Classroom Level • Core Curriculum • Second Step (K-6) • Caring School Communities (K-6) • Programs (especially for transition years) • Buddy programs • Safe School Ambassadors (4-12) • Resource Materials • Don’t Laugh at Me (K-6) • Let’s Get Real (grades 7-9) • Teaching Tolerance

  47. Examples from Literature: K-3: Secret of the Peaceful Warrior; King of the Playground, Is He a Girl, The Flying Birthday Cake Grades 2-5: The Hundred Dresses; Crow Boy Grades 3-6: Stick Boy; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, The Watson’s go to Birmingham

  48. Immediately stop the bullying Block eye contact between bully and target Name the behavior and the rule Be brief and clear Don’t put “target” on the spot Give guidance to the bystanders: “Next time please …” Apply logical consequences (not required apologies) Be firm but not overly emotional Increase supervision Don’t force meeting to work things out Communicate with staff (Gather more information) Provide 1:1 follow-up & intervention for both bully and “target” Teach avoidance for the short-term, “safety in numbers” and “telling” Individual Level -If You See or Hear Bullying

  49. Staff’s Responsibility if A Student Reports Bullying* The 4-A Response • Affirm students who take responsibility to report. • Ask questions. Who is involved? What happened? When it happened? Where it happened? • Assess the reporting student’s safety. Is the bullying still happening? Is the reporting student at risk? Fear of revenge? What does the student need to be safe? What is the severity of the situation? • Act. Report incident to other staff. Teacher coaches both bully and “target”, develop and implement a plan *From Steps to Respect

  50. Triad Activity • Demo with Volunteer • Role-play: one person is adult, one person is student, one person is observer (of the dyad) - 5 minutes per scenario • Respond with the Four-A’s • Affirm • Ask • Assess • Act • You don’t have to resolve the situation • What did you do well? What did you find challenging?