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Stop Bullying

Bullying can have immediate, delayed and/or long term effects...don't believe it? Watch this short film "Candy and Tea"...inspired by the Martin/Zimmerman incident.

"There is so much information on Bully Prevention out there, convincing me even further that bullying is a problem at all schools. Therefore, an active year-round Anti-Bullying program is necessary. Although this is a tough task, most schools have taken proactive and effective approaches to decrease bullying. Below is some of the information I found regarding these programs".

Bullying damages the TARGET Students who are the targets of repeated bullying behavior can, and often do, experience extreme fear and stress: Fear of going to school, Fear of using the school bathroom, Fear of the bus ride to and from school, Physical symptoms of illness, Diminished ability to learn.

Bullying damages the PERPETRATOR If bullying behaviors are allowed to continue, they can escalate into even more serious behavior, such as sexual harassment, or criminal activity in higher grades and in adulthood: Boys identified as bullies in grades six to nine had one criminal conviction by age twenty-four, according to one study, Forty percent of those identified had three or more arrests by age thirty, Bullies, one study shows, are at even greater risk of suicide than their targets, Bullies often grow up to perpetuate family violence.

Bullying damages the BYSTANDER Bystanders can be deeply affected: Feeling anger and helplessness for not knowing what to do, Nightmare about being next target, Guilt for not taking action, Fear of certain areas in school.

What Schools Can Do… The school, or preferably the school district, can initiate a whole school campaign. This involves strong commitment and a willingness to work together on the part of everyone involved. It must involve all school personnel, other professionals as needed, students and parents. These elements are important to a successful campaign: • A code of conduct, effectively communicated to all students, is an essential part of a whole school campaign. • Making the school become a telling school. Any child who is bullied by another child or adult, or who sees another child being bullied, is urged to report the incident to designated school personnel. • Coaching on what to do when being bullied and how to describe the incidents to adults needs to be available to children in the early stages of the implementation of this program. • Experts from outside the school for staff training and planning can help determine the success of the program. There are a number of good programs that can be brought into the school district to assist in whole school campaigns. The National Education Association has a national cadre of trainers who can train local staff members and assist the district in developing a Whole School Bullying Prevention /Intervention Program at no cost to the school district. • Social skills instruction should be incorporated into class room activities and school events. Wise selection of materials can increase students' awareness of when they are being bullied and how to respond. • Students exhibiting bullying behavior need to be shown other ways to use their energy. (Note from Nana: “How Does Your Engine Run”) • A common vocabulary related to bullying, harassment and positive interpersonal relations is essential to the success of the program. When the language used in bullying awareness activities becomes the language of the school, the incidents of bullying will diminish. For information on how your organization, school, school district, community or parent group can join with the National Education Association in this National Bullying Awareness Campaign, contact Gaye Barker, e-mail Gbarker@nea.org

Source: www.nea.org/schoolsafety/bullying.html

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www.stopbullying.com is an awesome site for both parents and providers.

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Many psychologists agree that to design effective bullying-prevention and intervention programs, they need to understand that a child's tendency toward bullying is influenced by individual, familial and environmental factors… Survey and continue to study students as well as teachers, parents and administrators--on issues including the prevalence and incidence of bullying, teasing, locations of bullying, school climate and respect for diversity. After survey data are entered and analyzed...design prevention and intervention programs. The most effective strategies to stop bullying is to involve the entire school as a community to change the climate of the school and the norms of behavior. Promote the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, developed by Norwegian psychologist Dan Olweus, PhD--considered by many to be the "father" of bullying research. In this intervention, school staff introduce and implement the program, which seeks to improve peer relations and make the school a safe and pleasant environment. The National Bullying Prevention Campaign is a multiyear public awareness and prevention effort by the Health Resources and Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The research-based campaign includes input from educators, parents, students, health and mental health professionals and the community. The campaign's goals are to raise public awareness about bullying, prevent and reduce bullying behaviors, identify and provide appropriate interventions for "tweens"--9- to 13-year-olds--and other targeted audiences, and foster links between public health and other partners. To avoid "reinventing the wheel," the campaign plans to disseminate information about successful programs such as Olweus's, which was named a "blueprint" program by the University of Colorado's Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence. Professional consultants mentioned in this article are: Dorothy Espelage, PhD and Susan Limber, PhD.

Source: www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/bullying.html 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Olweus

Bullying Prevention Program website www.clemson.edu/olweus 

Additional Sources: http://modelprograms.samhsa.gov/worddocs/FactSheets/Olweus Bully.doc 

To request an information packet on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program call 260-436-8753 or visit : http://stopbullyingnow.net/olweus_program.htm and scroll down to the end of the webpage

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A Canadian Regional Police and Health Services department is leading the anti-bullying pilot project in schools. Each of the schools volunteered to take part in this project, not because of the degree of bullying or violence in their schools, but because of their desire to be part of this innovative and proactive project. The Together We Can Stop Bullying project consists of a pre and post survey to students, teachers and administrators. The survey asks students to report on the extent to which they have experienced being bullied and/or bullying their peers. Students are also asked to rate their experiences with different forms of bullying, including social exclusion, physical and social forms of aggression. In addition, teachers and administrators are asked to comment on their perceptions of bullying in the school. Survey information is used to identify areas of concern. Based on the survey results, the anti-bullying program elements are unique to each school community, however all the pilot schools have these elements in place: • The formation of an anti-bullying committee to address school specific issues • Implementation of the CAYRE (Community Alliance for York Region Education) anti- bullying curriculum developed in conjunction with both Boards of Education and the Health Services Department • Roots of Empathy or like program targeted at Kindergarten or Grade 1 students • Student conference day • Parents evening • Newsletters and promotional materials For more information on the York Region Together We Can Stop Bullying Program contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653. Source:www.region.york.on.ca/Publications/News/May+23,+2003+Together+We+Can+Stop+Bullying+program+launched+today+.htm 

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Our brand new and highly anticipated Get Connected™ program uses cognitive-behavioral methods to decrease acts of peer abuse, increase acts of kindness and foster appropriate interpersonal behaviors in students grade K-8. This program has been developed using many of the principles of our Kindness is Contagious...Catch It and On Target to Stop Bullying programs. The program includes updated and age-specific material that targets bullying behavior and promotes positive pro-social communication skills. Source: www.stop-violence.org/page.asp?pageID=2&NavID=1 

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This program is a school-based social & emotional learning program designed to bring new awareness to the problem, develop understanding about the issue, implement new skills to empower, to decrease bullying and help you (the student) build more respectful, caring peer relationships.

Source: http://www.keystosaferschools.com/BullyingStopswhenRespectBegins.htm 

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In the United States, up to 20% of students report having been bullied (Whitney & Smith). Victims report feelings of vengefulness, anger, and self-pity after a bullying incident (Borg). Left untreated, such reactions can evolve into depression, physical illness, and even suicide. In addition, students who engage in aggressive and bullying behaviors during their school years may take part in criminal and aggressive behavior after adolescence (Olweus). In classrooms exhibiting high numbers of bullying problems, students tend to feel less safe and are less satisfied with school life in general (Olweus & Limber).

Despite these effects, bullying is often tolerated and ignored. Teachers rarely detect bullying and intervene in only 4% of all incidents (Craig & Pepler). In addition, students' attitudes regarding bullying indicate the belief that bullied students are at least partly to blame for their victimization, that bullying makes the victims tougher, and that teasing is simply done "in fun" (Oliver, Hoover, & Hazler).

While some individual interventions for bullying have been successful in addressing bullying, the most effective bullying prevention programs are comprehensive in scope. Olweus argues that effective bullying prevention requires simultaneous efforts at the school (e.g., reshaping policy, holding a schoolwide convocation), classroom (e.g., class discussion, enforcing classroom rules against bullying), and individual (e.g., counseling) levels. Other promising interventions include assertiveness training for the victims (Sharp), family counseling for the bully's family (Oliver et al.), and the Shared Concern method, in which the bully and victim are brought together to resolve the problem (Duncan).

Through improved supervision, classroom rules against bullying, positive and negative consequences for following and violating rules, and serious talks with bullies and victims, bullying prevention plans strive to develop a school environment characterized by warmth and positive adult involvement. At the elementary level worksheets, role plays, and relevant literature may be incorporated into existing curricula. Such measures send the message that "bullying is not accepted in our school, and we will see to it that it comes to an end."

Since effective bullying prevention is a comprehensive effort, all bullying prevention programs recommend a bullying prevention committee at the school level and a coordinator of bullying prevention activities and curricula. A schoolwide bullying survey can be useful to identify the extent of the problem and to discover important issues that need to be addressed (Olweus; Whitney & Smith). Creating awareness of the problem may also require staff training: most bullying prevention programs recommend a half- or whole-day training session, educating staff about the program, about changes in policy, and about their responsibilities. Finally, many effective bullying prevention programs use buttons, posters, and mailings to maintain awareness and student interest in the program.

Source: www.pdkintl.org/whatis/ff12bully.htm 

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Additional links:

www.colorado.edu/cspv/blueprints/model/programs/BPP.html 

 

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