Erin Reiney: Welcome to the Bullying Prevention
and Response Training and Continuing Education Online Program brought to you by StopBullying.gov I’m Erin Reiney, Director of Injury & Violence
Prevention Programs at the Maternal
and Child Health Bureau within the Health Resources and Services Administration and I am joined today by Dr. Sue Limber, Professor at the Institute
on Family & Neighborhood Life at Clemson University. We will be delivering this training.
Erin Reiney: Thank you so much for joining us today. I wanted to give you a quick welcome
on behalf of HRSA. This is a federal agency located within the Department of Health and
Human Services. In the Maternal and Child Health Bureau where I work, we have a mission
to improve the health, safety, and well-being of infants, mothers, children, youth, and
their families. It’s a very large mission and since the early 2000s, we have seen bullying
as a priority issue to help us meet our mission. In the early 2000s, we did a lot of work around
raising awareness and helping people understand that bullying is a serious problem. The great
news is awareness is very high, and now folks say, “I’m aware. I agree this is a problem.
And now, what are we going to do about it?” And so during today’s training you will
learn how to take a public health approach to preventing bullying. You will also learn
how to engage a variety of community stakeholders to address bullying. Erin Reiney: Please note, that this course
is focused on long-term bullying prevention strategies. When it comes to stopping bullying
for good, we know that a one size fits all approach won’t work. That is why this course
is not intended to provide prescriptive step-by-step interventions. Research-based do’s and dont’s,
for addressing bullying on the spot, as well as common strategies to avoid bullying will
be discussed, but it is important to remember that the overarching goal of this course is
to empower you to understand bullying and how to take research on best practices and
implement comprehensive, long-term prevention strategies. Erin Reiney: Now I will set the stage for
what we’ll be doing together. Here are the goals for today’s training.
First, we’ll outline the learning objectives next we’re going to discuss
how to talk about the issue of bullying, what the research tell us about bullying, and then
we will go into some misdirections, or ideas that seem like they might work but may actually
be harmful. We will complete the training with information about best practices in preventing
bullying and responding to it. Throughout the training, you will learn about tools and
resources available to help you lead effective community-wide bullying prevention strategies. Erin Reiney: Our goal is to successfully communicate
the following, so that after completing the training, participants will be able to:
Define bullying and describe its various forms,
Describe the basic research on the prevalence of, risk factors for, and impact on youth
involved in bullying, Describe the best practices in bullying
prevention and response, Identify that bullying is a public health
problem and requires a coordinated community response Describe the potentially harmful bullying
prevention strategies and the rationale for avoiding them, Identify key stakeholders for a community-level bullying prevention initiative, identify specific pathways for translating bullying prevention best practices into policy
and practice Organize a community event to catalyze
bullying prevention action planning at the local level
and access free resources to support community bullying prevention efforts. Please note that this course focuses on prevention more than intervention. So we wont spend a lot of time on what exactly to do when bullying occurs in the moment or on case studies. Now I’ll pass it on to Dr. Sue Limber to talk about the definition of bullying Dr. Sue Limber: Thank you so much Erin It’s great to be with everyone.
I’d like to begin by taking just a few minutes to talk about what it is we mean by the term
bullying as it may mean somewhat different things to different people. According to the uniform definition of bullying published by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention,
bullying is defined as unwanted aggressive behavior among one or more youth that involves an observed
or perceived imbalance of power. The definition also recognizes that bullying is typically repeated over time or at least is highly likely to be repeated Dr. Sue Limber: Researchers, practitioners,
and policymakers face a number of challenges in defining bullying and knowing how to identify
it. Let’s talk about a few of these. A first challenge has to do with identifying often on the spot if a behavior that occurs in
a school’s hallways, cafeteria, or on a playground is bullying or if it is mutual
rough play or teasing. As mentioned earlier, an important step in
defining bullying is that it must be unwanted, aggressive behavior, meaning the targeted
youth wants the aggressive behavior to stop. How can we tell if behavior is unwanted aggression
or if it’s just playing around? We can’t always rely on children to tell
us what’s really going on, since children who bully may often explain their behavior
as just messing around or all in fun. Rather, we have to look for cues to
help us better understand the behavior and how the children involved relate to each other.
For example: Are they long-standing friends or do they
have a history of issues between them? What are their expressions and body language?
Does it look like both are having fun, or is one showing obvious or subtle signs of
distress? When in doubt, it is important to follow up especially
if you don’t know the children well. And of course, even if a behavior you observe
isn’t bullying, it still may not be acceptable in a school or other setting. A second challenge has to do with a question of repeated behavior. Bullied children typically experience multiple
incidents or a pattern of aggression against them.
But according to the CDC’s Uniform Definition, bullying also may exist if there is a high
likelihood that the behavior will be repeated. In other words, just because bullying typically
is repeated over time doesn’t mean that a one-time instance isn’t bullying or that
adults should wait for a pattern to emerge before responding. A third challenge has to do with what constitutes a power imbalance. Power imbalances can be characterized by physical
differences between children, such as age, size, and strength. But they need not be physical.
Power can also be characterized by: Popularity, background/demographic characteristics (such as whether or not a child is a member
of a majority racial or ethnic group, whether he or she has a high socio-economic status,
etc.) By social, academic, physical or other
skills or abilities Or by access to money, resources, or information such
as being able to reach an entire student body with a single e-mail button One also can exert power over others by outnumbering
them (for example, having a group of friends join in the bullying of a single child) or
by having a weapon. So we’re going to pause just a moment to do a chapter check in. Which of the following is not a key component of the uniform definition of bullying published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? A. Unwanted aggressive behavior, B. Physical or verbal actions, C. Observed or perceived power imbalance or D. Behavior is repeated or highly likely to be repeated The correct answer is B. Physical or verbal actions Dr. Sue Limber: Alright, we’re going to move on to chapter three in which we’re going to discuss the many different kinds of forms that bullying can take. What does bullying look like?
The CDC’s uniform definition document recognized that there are two distinct modes of bullying:
Direct bullying, which occurs in the presence of a targeted youth, and
Indirect bullying, such as rumor spreading or encouraging others to exclude a peer which
are not directly communicated but reach the target indirectly. Dr. Sue Limber: The uniform definition document
also recognized that within these different modes, there are also distinct types of bullying:
Physical bullying, Verbal bullying,
Relational bullying, which is designed to harm the reputation and relationships of
a peer Dr. Sue Limber: for example, social isolation, rumor spreading or posting embarrassing images or messages So let’s do another quick chapter check in. Which of the following is true? Indirect modes of bullying: A. Involve aggressive behavior(s) that are not directly communicated to the youth, B. May involve spreading rumors, C. May include encouraging others to exclude someone, D. All of the above And the answer is D. All of the above Well with this common understanding of bullying, what it is and what it looks like we’d like to share now 10 key findings about bullying from the research in chapter 4 The first finding is that many children are involved in bullying Let’s take a look at what we know about the prevalence
of bullying. Dr. Sue Limber: National estimates of bullying
vary and depend on such variables as the definition used, the age of the study’s participants,
and the time frame examined. However, studies are consistent in showing that substantial
percentages of children are involved: as those who bully others, those who are bullied, or
both. For example, the School Crime Supplement to
the National Crime Victimization Survey reported that 22% of students ages 12-18 had been bullied
at school during the 2012-2013 school year. Another national survey, the Youth Risk Behavior
Survey, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that 20% of
high school students (grades 9-12) had been bullied on school property at least once in
the previous 12 months. Dr. Sue Limber: This National Crime Victimization
Survey of 12-18-year-olds examined different types of bullying that students had experienced.
The most common forms of bullying were verbal bullying and rumor-spreading.14% of 12-18-year-olds
said they had been made fun, called names, or insulted, and 13% had been the subject
of rumors. 6% had been pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit
on; 5% had been excluded from activities; 4% had been threatened with harm; 2% had been
forced to do things they didn’t want to do; and 2% had property destroyed.
The study also found 7% had been cyberbullied anywhere, in other words, not just on school
property in the previous 12 months. Dr. Sue Limber: The second key finding is
that there are both similarities and differences in boys’ and girls’ experiences with bullying. Dr. Sue Limber: Most studies find either small
differences or no differences in the likelihood that boys and girls are bullied. For example,
in the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 20% of
boys reported that they had been bullied at school during the 2012-2013 school year, and
24% of girls said they had been bullied. Important differences do emerge, however, in the frequency with which boys and girls bully others. Boys are, on average 1.7 times more likely to bully others, and 2.5 times more likely to both bully others and be bullied There also are some interesting similarities and differences in the types of bullying that
boys and girls experience. For example, the 2012-2013 NCVS found that girls aged 12-18
were more likely than boys to say that they had been bullied through rumor-spreading(17%
vs 10%), name-calling(15% vs. 13%), social exclusion (6% vs. 4%), and cyberbullying (9%
vs. 5%). Boys were more likely than girls to say they had been physically bullied (7%
vs. 5%). Dr. Sue Limber: The third finding is that
children’s experiences with bullying also vary with age. Dr. Sue Limber: Children and youth are most
likely to be bullied in elementary school. Anonymous self-report surveys of children
and youth indicate that the likelihood that they will be bullied decreases steadily through
middle school and high school. Here, you can see data from the National Crime
Victimization Survey, which assessed the frequency with which middle and high school youth were
bullied during the2012-2013 school year. Of course, somewhat different age trends emerge
for different forms of bullying. For example, although verbal bullying, and physical bullying
decrease steadily through middle and high school, youth are most likely to report being
cyberbullied in high school (10thand 11thgrade), according to the National Crime Victimization
Survey. Dr.Sue Limber: A fourth key finding from research
is that there is not one single cause of bullying. There are many different factors that place
children and youth at risk for being involved in bullying. There also are protective factors
that can reduce or eliminate these risks. Dr. Sue Limber: Another way of saying this
is that bullying results from a complex interaction between individuals and their broader social
environment, including families, peers, school and community. Dr. Sue Limber: Research has confirmed that
there are individual factors or variables that are related to a child or adolescent�s
involvement in bullying. For example, individual temperament may play
a role. Children and youth who bully are more likely to have an active, hot-headed
temperament, while children who are bullied are more likely to have a quiet, passive temperament.
The social competence of children and youth is also related to involvement in bullying.
Children who are bullied and particularly those who are bullied and who also bully others
are more likely than their peers to lack social skills.
As we’ll discuss in more detail in a few minutes, children and youth are at a higher
risk of being bullied if they are socially isolated, if they have a disability, or if
they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or if they are questioning their sexual identity.
Dr. Sue Limber: There also are important peer factors that make it more or less likely that
a child or adolescent will be involved in bullying. The peer group is a particularly
important influence during adolescence. Research has shown that exposure to aggressive,
violent, or delinquent peers may increase the likelihood that child or adolescent will
bully others. Of course, peers can also have positive or
protective influences. Children and youth who are bullied tend to be socially isolated.
Research has found that those who have at least one friend are less likely to be bullied.
Not only having a friend but feeling supported by peers is important. For example, children
and youth who feel supported by their peers are less likely to experience negative psychological
effects from bullying. Dr. Sue Limber: Many family variables are
related to children’s involvement in bullying. A number of examples are listed here.
Having disengaged parents increases the risk that a child will bully others, while having
warm, involved parents reduces this risk. Exposure to parental conflict, parental use
of drugs & alcohol, and domestic violence increases the likelihood that a child will
bully others and the likelihood that a child will be bullied.
Youth who have had a parent in jail or prison are more likely than peers to be involved
in bullying. Child abuse has been found to be related to
a greater likelihood of bullying others and also being bullied by peers. Dr. Sue Limber: Factors within the school
environment are also related to the likelihood of bullying.
Variables related to school climate have been found to be important. For example, having
a sense of belonging to one’s school is associated with less involvement in bullying
(bullying others and being bullied). The degree to which staff actively supervise
behavior, are aware of bullying issues, and are responsive to bullying problems is also
critical. Dr. Sue Limber: Finally, factors within the
larger community are also related to the likelihood of bullying.
For example, research has found that children and youth are more likely to be bullied if
they perceived that their neighborhood is less safe and if they felt they were not known
by neighbors. Dr. Sue Limber: Protective factors can reduce
the likelihood that a child will be involved in bullying. Here are examples of characteristics
of individuals, families, peer interactions and school environments that have been found
to protect children and youth from involvement in bullying.
Individuals who are secure, caring and self-confident children are less likely to be bullied. Protective
factors within the family include: supportive parenting and modeling of positive relationships
and consistent and affectionate parent-child interactions.
Having close positive friendships with peers can reduce the likelihood that a child is
bullied and the support of peers–even one good friend–can also lessen the negative
psychological effects from bullying. Positive school climates, where teachers and
staff closely supervise behaviors and are aware of and responsive to behavior issues
reduces the likelihood of bullying. Dr. Sue Limber: Children and youth need to
feel safe and cared for by adults everywhere. Collective attitudes and social norms within
neighborhoods and communities also influence risk and protective factors for bullying.
Bullying is less likely in communities where cultural norms and beliefs are pro-social
and non-violent, where there are positive adult-child connections, and where neighborhoods
are safe. Health professionals from medicine, nursing
and public health issued a Call-to-Action in 2000 that instructs communities to adopt
a coordinated public health approach to preventing bullying and other forms of youth violence.
They advocate for reforms in policies and practices that:
�Give parents and caregivers the education and support needed to nurture and discipline
children in ways that are supportive, developmentally appropriate, and non-physical (corporal punishment);
Incorporate social skills training and social-emotional lessons in classrooms and
youth programs; Coordinate intervention strategies across
disciplines and institutions; Reduce risks within communities related
to the ease of access by children and youth to alcohol and drugs, media violence, and
firearms; And, most importantly, realize that violence
is learned behavior: In other words, what adults do to children and each other, children
will also do Dr. Sue Limber: A fifth key finding is that
any child or youth may be bullied by peers, but some groups of children and youth are
at a particularly high risk of being bullied. Dr. Sue Limber: No single factor puts a child
at risk of being bullied or bullying others. Bullying can happen anywhere. cities, suburbs,
or rural towns. Depending on the environment, some groups may be at an increased risk of
being bullied. Children and youth with learning disabilities
are at greater risk of being teased and physically bullied, compared with other children;
Those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely to be bullied (and
also to bully their peers); Those with autism spectrum disorder are
more likely to be ostracized; Children and youth with special health
care needs or chronic diseases (diabetes, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, atopic eczema)
are more frequently bullied; Overweight and obese youth, and those who
are underweight may be more likely to be bullied; Youth who identify themselves as lesbian,
gay, bisexual or transgender, youth who may be questioning their sexual orientation, and
those who do not conform to gender stereotypes frequently face bullying by their peers.
And finally, students who speak another language at home are more likely to be frequently
bullied because of their religion or race than those who speak English. Dr. Sue Limber: The sixth finding relates
to the known effects of bullying on the health, mental health, and academic well-being of
children and youth who are bullied. Dr. Sue Limber: Over the last decade, a number
of longitudinal studies have looked at whether being bullied is related to the development
of problems for the health and well-being of bullied children.
Research has confirmed that individuals who are bullied are more likely than peers to
develop a variety of internalizing problems, including depression, anxiety, panic disorder,
self-harm, suicidal thoughts and attempts. Researchers have found that not only does
bullying lead to internalizing problems, but having internalizing problems also leads to
further bullying by peers. So, often, children and youth may become caught in a vicious cycle
of bullying by peers that is difficult to escape.
Bullied children are also more likely than their peers to develop later psychosomatic
problems, such as headaches, stomach pain, sleeping problems, and poor appetite.
Not only may bullying affect the emotional and physical well-being of children, but it
may also affect their academic work. Children and youth who are bullied are more likely
than non-bullied peers to feel as if they don’t belong in school and want to avoid
going to school. They also are more likely to have somewhat lower academic achievement,
whether measured through grades or standardized test scores. In addition, several longitudinal
studies which measure children’s experiences of bullying over time suggest a causal relationship
between bullying and academic achievement. For example, in a recent study of students
in the U.S., middle schoolers’ grade point averages and levels of academic engagement
were predicted by whether or not they had been bullied. The researchers concluded that
the effect of bullying could account for up to a 1.5 letter grade decrease in an academic
subject over the 3 years of middle school Dr. Sue Limber: How does being bullied lead to health, mental health, and academic problems?
Researchers have identified some biological mechanisms that show that bullying can get
under the skin. Genetics research, neuroimaging studies, and
studies of the stress response system reveal harmful biological changes associated with
being bullied. For example, studies suggest that being bullied
affects the body’s stress response system, which can affect their memory (and ultimately
their academic outcomes). However, far more research is needed to understand
the complex relationship between bullying, health outcomes, and neurobiology. For example,
a better understanding of the neurobiology of peer victimization could help explain why
some children and youth become ill as a consequence of bullying, while others do not.
Recognizing the invisible scars bullying can leave is an important step in promoting
positive well-being for youth through adolescence and into adulthood.
Dr. Sue Limber: Not only is there reason to be concerned about children who are bullied,
but there also is reason to worry about children who bully others. A seventh key finding is
that children who bully are more likely than other children to be involved in antisocial
and troubling behaviors. Dr. Sue Limber: Children who bully are more
likely than their peers to: Exhibit delinquent behaviors (such as fighting,
stealing, vandalism) Dislike school and drop out of school
Drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes Carry a weapon
Think about and attempt suicide Longitudinal research also has found that
bullying others is related to: An increased likelihood of criminal and
antisocial behavior in adolescence and adulthood as well as later sexual harassment of peers in middle
school Dr. Sue Limber: An eighth research finding
involves the likelihood that children and youth will report bullying to adults if they
experience it. Dr. Sue Limber: Unfortunately, most studies suggest that the majority of children and
youth who have been bullied (50-75% in most studies) have not told an adult at school.
Somewhat more indicate they have told a parent, but many are silent.
The likelihood that a child will tell someone about their bullying experiences varies by
age and gender. Older youth and boys are less likely than younger children and girls to
report that they have been bullied. There likely are numerous reasons why children
and youth are reluctant to report being bullied. Particularly for older children and youth,
they may fear being labeled tattlers or snitches by their peers. Likely,
many are concerned about possible retaliation by their aggressors if they report them.
Boys may feel pressure to try to deal with bullying on their own so as not to appear
weak or vulnerable. Some may lack confidence in adults abilities to stop the bullying.
Research suggests that with age, students are less and less likely to perceive that
adults are helpful in stopping bullying. As a result, it is critical that adults respond
quickly, effectively, and sensitively when bullying is reported to them and that they
are vigilant to stop bullying that is NOT reported Dr. Sue Limber: Our ninth finding includes some good news to share, which is that many
children and youth are concerned about bullying. Dr. Sue Limber: Research confirms what many
parents and educators believe, which is that most children and youth don’t like bullying
and feel sorry for their peers who are bullied. In one study (Luxenberg et al., 2014), researchers
found that 90% of third-fifth graders said they felt sorry for students who are bullied.
With age (in to middle and high school grades), fewer and fewer students expressed sympathy
for bullied students, and girls were more likely than boys to say they felt sorry for
bullied peers. Unfortunately, this sympathy often does not
result in positive action to help stop the bullying. In one study, researchers found
that even though the vast majority of elementary school children felt sorry for bullied students,
fewer than half said they would try to help if they saw or knew that a student was being
bullied. However, when witnesses do try to help a bullied
student, they are often effective in stopping the bullying in the moment. One study found
that in the majority of these cases, the bullying stopped within 10 seconds.
Dr. Sue Limber: A final finding to share is that there are a variety of state and federal
laws in the United States related to bullying. Dr. Sue Limber: Schools that receive federal
funding (including colleges and universities), are required by federal law to address discrimination
based on a number of different personal characteristics. For example:
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (referred to as Title VI) prohibits discrimination
based on race, color, or national origin Title IX of the Education Amendments of
1972 (referred to as Title IX) prohibits discrimination based on sex
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the ADA (1990) prohibits
discrimination based on disability Dr. Sue Limber: School districts may violate
federal civil rights laws when: Peer harassment based on race, color, national
origin, sex, or disability is sufficiently serious that it creates a hostile environment,
and when The harassment is encouraged, tolerated,
not adequately addressed, or ignored by school employees. School personnel are also responsible for
addressing bullying behavior that meets this threshold if they know about the behavior
or if they reasonably should have known about the behavior.
All school personnel are encouraged to be familiar with information on this topic presented
to school personnel in several Dear Colleague Letters from the U.S. Department of Education
to educators in the field. Dr. Sue Limber: State and local lawmakers
have taken action to prevent bullying and protect children. Through laws (in their state
education codes and elsewhere) and model policies (that provide guidance to districts and schools),
each state addresses bullying differently. Bullying, cyberbullying, and related behaviors
may be addressed in a single law or may be addressed in multiple laws. In some cases,
bullying appears in the criminal code of a state that may apply to juveniles.
Dr. Sue Limber: Every state now has a law on the books which addresses bullying. You
can find out how your state refers to bullying in its laws and what they require on the part
of schools and districts by exploring this map, located on www.StopBullying.gov which
provides links to state laws and policies Alright, let’s pause for another chapter check in. The two most common forms of bullying that children experience, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey are: A. Being pushed, shoved, tripped or spit on and being the subject of rumors, B. Being threatened with harm; and being excluded from activities, C. Being the subject of rumors; and being made fun of, called names, or insulted or D. Being cyberbullied; and being verbally bullied The correct answer is C. Being the subject of rumors; and being made fun of, called names, or insulted Let’s do another check in. Which of the following are protected peer related factors of bullying? A. Close, positive friendships with peers, B. Consistent and affectionate parent-child interactions, C. Domestic violence or D. Peers who have high academic achievement And the answer is A. Close, positive friendships with peers In the next chapter, Chapter 5, we’d like to highlight some misdirection in bullying prevention and response. Unfortunately well meaning educators, mental health professionals and
advocates sometimes use bullying prevention and response strategies that are not supported
by research or our understanding of best practices. I’d like to highlight a few:
Some schools have adopted zero tolerance or 3 strikes policies towards bullying,
in which children who bully others are suspended or expelled from school. These policies (also
called student exclusion policies) raise a number of concerns:
First, they potentially affect a large number of students.
Second, threats of severe punishments such as suspension or expulsion, may actually discourage
children and adults from reporting. Third, bullying can be an early marker
of other problem behaviors. Children who bully are in need of positive, prosocial role models,
including adults and students in their school. School safety may occasionally demand that
a student be removed from a school environment but these situations should be rare and not be considered best practice in bullying prevention Dr. Sue Limber: A second misdirection involves
the use of conflict resolution or peer mediation to address bullying problems. Conflict resolution
and peer mediation are common strategies for dealing with conflicts among students, but
in most cases, they are not recommended to deal with bullying.
Why? First, bullying is a form of victimization,
not conflict. Second, mediating a bullying incident may
send inappropriate messages to the students who are involved. The message should NOT be:
You’re both partly right and partly wrong�we need to work out this conflict between you.
The appropriate message for a bullied child should be, No one deserves to be bullied,
and we are going to see that it stops. And, the appropriate message for students
who bully is, Your behavior is wrong and we’re going to work with you to ensure that
it stops. Third, mediation may further victimize
a child who has been bullied. Being bullied can be a traumatic event for a child, and
forcing a child to face his or her tormentor (or encouraging him or her to do so without
preparation or support may re-traumatize the child A trauma-informed approach should recognize
that children who have been bullied may have experienced trauma and need special care to
address the trauma and avoid practices that may re-traumatize them. In some cases, restorative practices may be
appropriate, but these typically require considerable time and training by professionals’ program
aspects that are not typical of most peer mediation programs in schools. Another strategy that some schools use to address bullying behavior involves
group therapeutic treatment for children who bully, including anger management, skill-building,
empathy-building and self-esteem enhancement. Although well-intentioned, these group interventions
are often counter-productive, as group members tend to serve as poor role models and reinforce
each others’ antisocial and bullying behavior. Dr. Sue Limber: A fourth misdirection involves
overstating or simplifying the relationship between bullying and suicide. Recent media
publicity around suicides by youth who were bullied by their peers has led many to assume
that bullying often leads directly to suicide. Although research clearlyindicates a connection
between involvement in bullying and suicide-related behaviors, it is important not to overstate
or misinterpret the extent of this connection. Discussing suicide as directly caused by bullying,
or implying that bullying is the only cause of suicide is not helpful and potentially
harmful because: One, it encourages sensationalized reporting.
Two, it fails to recognize that the causes of suicide are complex and many individual,
relational, community, and societal factors contribute to a risk of suicide. Common risk
factors include mental illnesses, coping with disease/disability, and family dysfunction.
Three, it perpetuates the false notion that suicide is a natural response to being
bullied, which has the dangerous potential to normalize the response and may even lead
to suicide contagion among youth. Dr. Sue Limber: A final misdirection involves
implementing simple short-term solutions to prevent and address bullying. Sometimes, school
administrators and their staff adopt a short-term piecemeal approach to bullying prevention. It may be the topic of a staff in-service training, a PTA meeting, a school-wide assembly, or lessons taught by individual teachers. Although each of these efforts may represent
important initial steps in adoption of a comprehensive, long-term strategy, they should not be ends
in and of themselves, as they are unlikely to significantly reduce bullying problems. Additional information about misdirections in bullying prevention and response is available on www.StopBullying.gov, including a video by Dr. Catherine Bradshaw. So let’s pause again for a quick chapter check in. Which of the following is not a common misdirection in bullying prevention and response? A. Overstating or simplifying the relationship between bullying and suicide B. Group therapeutic treatment for children who bully C. Using peer mediation to address bullying problems or D. The use of developmentally appropriate and proportional consequences for bullying others And the answer is D, The use of developmentally appropriate and proportional consequences for bullying others Let’s do one more chapter check in Why is it problematic to suggest that suicide is directly cased by bullying? A. It encourages sensationalized reporting. B. It fails to recognize that the causes of suicide are complex C. It perpetuates the false notion that suicide is a natural response to being bullied and may even lead to suicide contagion D. All of the above And the answer is D, all of the above So with that, I’m going to give it back to Erin to talk about best practices in bullying prevention and response Erin Reiney: Thanks so much Sue. We’re on now to Chapter 6, best practices. Now that you’ve heard some key research findings about bullying, and you’ve heard some of the misdirections in bullying prevention , lets discuss 10 best practices Erin Reiney: First, in order to reduce bullying
and create positive communities where youth feel safe, emotionally secure and connected,
it is important to focus on the social climate of the school, neighborhood center, recreation
league, or other settings where children and youth gather.
Research indicates that students feel more connected to schools where they know, care
about, and support one another, have common goals, and actively contribute. And where
students are more connected to their schools, there is less problem behavior.
By working together, members of a school or other community organization can change the
social norms so that it becomes uncool to bully; so that children, youth, and adults
notice if children are being left out, made fun of or bullied in other ways; and so that
it is expected that students step in to be a friend or to help out in other ways if someone
is bullied. Changing these norms takes commitment, time
and effort on everyone’s part: parents and guardians, teachers, counselors, coaches,
school resource officers, bus drivers, administrators, and of course youth themselves. But it can
have significant effects on behavior. Bullying also tends to thrive in locations
where adults are not present or are not intentionally looking out for it. All adults should be vigilant
for signs of bullying and investigate whenever bullying is suspected.
Local data collection can help to identify hot spots where bullying is most likely
to occur and can help focus supervision efforts. Erin Reiney: Adults are not always very good
at estimating the nature and prevalence of bullying. Research has found, for example,
that teachers and other staff are often surprised by students’ reports about how often they’re
bullied or how often they witness bullying, the forms it takes, and even the hotspots
where bullying may occur. This is why the second best practice is focused on conducting
community-wide assessments. These kinds of assessments can help leaders understand the
need for training and how to tailor training and bullying prevention strategies to the
needs of schools and programs. Also, doing the assessment process helps to provide a
baseline so that leaders can measure progress in reducing bullying over time.
There are various sources of information on the prevalence of bullying in schools and
of youth violence in communities, including state and regional data from the Youth Risk
Behavior Survey. The Landscape Assessment (listed here) and
available at StopBullying.gov, is a tool that can be used to identify relevant local data
and efforts currently underway to address bullying.
Also listed here are two online resources with information about surveys that may be
administered to assess bullying and school climate in schools and communities:
One is a compendium of assessment tools on bullying, published by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The second is the School Climate Survey
Compendium, a listing of valid and reliable surveys, assessments, and scales of school
climate, published by the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSL). Erin Reiney: Effective bullying prevention
requires the early and enthusiastic support from school leaders, but these efforts should
not be the responsibility of a single administrator, counselor, or case-manager at a school, after-school,
or recreation center. Effective bullying prevention requires buy-in from a majority of the staff
and from parents and guardians. Applying these same lessons to community prevention
efforts means reaching out and getting commitments from leaders and professionals throughout
the community. The Action Planning Matrix, which is part
of the Community Toolkit and is available in the Training Center section of www.StopBullying.gov
has a list of potential stakeholder groups, along with relevant user guides, blogs and
webinars, to help in reaching out and informing these leaders and professionals about roles
they can take in bullying prevention. Erin Reiney: Of course, many schools (and
other settings where children and youth gather) are working hard not only to address bullying,
but also to address and prevent other social and emotional problems. Coordinating when
and where appropriate, integrating prevention efforts has been shown to consistently re-enforce
messages and ensure that time, energy, and resources are being well spent.
A coordinating group or committee can help to combine, coordinate, or adopt prevention
strategies. For example: School-wide efforts to prevent bullying
and violence are more effective when coordinated by safety or planning groups that represent
the entire staff, parents, community volunteers and youth leaders.
A community coordinating team may include a variety of partners across many disciplines
and service sectors (e.g. health and mental health professionals, educators, law enforcement
and juvenile justice officers, etc.). Erin Reiney: Part of coordinating and integrating
these efforts is having a diverse group of stakeholders that represent the many corners
that bullying can touch. Your coordinating group should not be limited to parents and
school officials but also members of the community who may not have direct contact with bullying
or students but could have influence in your prevention efforts such as law enforcement
officials or elected officials. Erin Reiney: The Action Planning Matrix, on
www.StopBullying.gov includes the action steps that various individuals and organizations
can take to address bullying in their communities Action steps are divided into two categories:
Awareness Raising: Steps to raise awareness about the impact of bullying and best practices
Prevention and Response: Steps to take action through prevention and response methods
Examples of awareness raising activities include: Holding an anti-bullying day in schools
Creating a local fund for businesses to support bullying prevention
Creating a community newsletter Providing information on state/local bullying
laws Creating an interfaith alliance
Hosting a town hall or community event Submitting op-eds and letters to the editor
to local media Helping youth develop a media campaign
Holding a PSA contest Examples of prevention and response steps
include: Developing a taskforce to assess bullying
in schools Conducting team building exercises with
youth Creating a safety plan for children who
are bullied Developing screening processes to promote
early detection and response Training adults on gathering and using
bullying data Developing a follow-up procedure to monitor
youth who have been bullied Establishing in-school committees
Monitoring internet activities and mobile devices
Sponsoring training sessions for adults on best practices in bullying prevention,
response, and crisis planning Erin Reiney: Well-trained staff are critical
to effective bullying prevention and many state laws now encourage or require training
of school staff in bullying prevention. Staff must understand the nature of and prevalence
of bullying, its effects, and effective prevention strategies, including those covered in this
training module. Every adult who interacts with youth also
needs to develop skills in how to stop bullying on-the-spot and what to do if bullying is
suspected. Designated adults will need training to follow-up with those involved afterwards.
Erin Reiney: As mentioned earlier, the training center on www.StopBullying.gov includes many
resources to equip stakeholders to fight and prevent bullying in their communities. The
training center includes: Downloadable PowerPoint containing much
of today’s training material, ready to share in PPT and PDF format.
A Community Action Toolkit which provides tools to guide community leaders in facilitating
action planning among local stakeholders to increase adoption of the best practice strategies.
11 User Guides that describe the unique role and potential next steps of various training
target audiences: parents & caregivers, school administrators, mental health professionals,
health & safety professionals, early education & child care providers, law enforcement officers,
business professionals, young professionals & mentors, faith leaders, recreation leaders,
and elected officials. An infographic summarizing the latest research
and findings on bullying. Erin Reiney: Different trainings tailored for educators and school bus drivers, developed
by the National Center for Safe Supportive Learning Environments are also available at
www.SafeSupportiveLearning.ed.gov, as well as a classroom module which is available on
the Training Center. Erin Reiney: The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)and Blueprints
for Healthy Development are two free, searchable online databases of mental health and substance
abuse interventions and positive youth development programs. Each has a somewhat different focus
and criteria for evaluating programs, but each includes programs and practices related
to bullying. NREPP is available at http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov.
Blueprints for Healthy Development are available at http://www.blueprintsprograms.com.
77 78 Erin Reiney: In order to bring community stakeholders
together to kick-off bullying prevention efforts, it is important to organize a community event,
meeting or town hall to catalyze efforts. Your event can also provide a time to gather
all of the stakeholders together to gain an understanding of the resources and expertise
available in your community, identify areas for collaboration, build a timeline and most
importantly, develop a call-to-action that mobilizes the community.
Erin Reiney: An effective call-to-action that responds to bullying will include roles and
responsibilities for stakeholders from across the community.
When developing your call-to-action, it is important to be aware of your timeline and
resources. This will help you adhere to plans and achieve your goals. Erin Reiney: The Community Action Toolkit,
which I mentioned earlier, will give you everything you need to put the research, ideas, and bullying
prevention and response strategies into practice in your communities. The toolkit includes
resources for community event planning, community event action and community event follow-up.
80 Erin Reiney: Specifically, the Community Action
Toolkit includes: Community event planning tools
A landscape assessment A template community event agenda
A community engagement tip sheet A guide to mobilizing communities in bullying
prevention Community event action resources
An action planning matrix Tips for working with the media
A resource on the complex relationship between bullying and suicide
A tip sheet with funding ideas for future bullying prevention efforts
Feedback forms for you to use at your event Erin Reiney: Best practice number seven focuses
on the importance of creating clear policies and rules about bullying. Laws in all 50 states
require public schools to develop anti-bullying policies, although the definitions of bullying
and the requirements for these policies differ. School personnel should be familiar with their
school’s policy and work to improve it if needed. Staff in afterschool and other youth
programs may also find it helpful to develop bullying policies and may benefit from being
familiar with the local schools’ policies. As part of these policies, school personnel
should establish and communicate clear rules about bullying behavior that apply to all
children and youth, and communicate expectations about positive behaviors to take if bullying
is witnessed. It is important to make clear to children and adults that bullying behaviors
are prohibited and explain what is expected of all of them to be good citizens and allies
(not passive bystanders) if they’re aware of bullying or if they’re aware of students
who seem troubled in any way. When children and youth do help out, this
should be noted and reinforced by adults. Erin Reiney: Best practice number eight focuses
on the importance of responding consistently and appropriately when bullying happens. All
staff should be prepared to respond on-the-spot to bullying if it is observed or suspected.
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message
that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time.
There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep children
safe. Follow these tips from
www.StopBullying.gov (http://www.StopBullying.gov/respond/on-the-spot/index.html) to respond to bullying.
Do: Separate the children involved.
Make sure everyone is safe. Meet any immediate medical or mental health
needs. Stay calm. Reassure the children involved,
including bystanders. Model respectful behavior when you intervene. Police or medical assistance may be needed
if: A weapon is involved
There are threats of serious physical injury. There are threats of hate-motivated violence,
such as racism or homophobia. There is serious bodily harm.
There is sexual abuse. Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such
as robbery or extortion, using force to get money, property, or services. Erin Reiney: It is also important to avoid
these common mistakes: Don’t ignore it. Don’t think children
can work it out without adult help. Don’t immediately try to sort out the
facts. Don’t force other children to say publicly
what they saw. Don’t question the children involved
in front of other children. Don’t make the children involved apologize
or patch up relations on the spot. Erin Reiney: Follow-up responses are often
needed in order to plan intervention strategies for youth who are bullied to support them
and provide protection plans. Follow-up is also needed with youth who bully to help them
appreciate the seriousness of the bullying, understand the consequences of their behavior,
and learn alternative behaviors. A trauma-informed approach should be adopted,
which recognizes that children who have been bullied may have experienced significant trauma
and need special care to address their trauma and avoid inadvertently re-traumatizing them. In some students, involved students may need to be referred to mental health professionals. in or outside of school settings for additional
help in addressing their bullying behavior or the consequences of being bullied.
Guidance on supporting bullied youth and addressing behavior of youth who bully can be found at
www.StopBullying.gov. Erin Reiney: According to best practice number
nine, we should look to spend time on a regular basis as adults talking about bullying and
peer relations with children and youth. Bullying prevention efforts should include
facilitated small group discussions with children and youth. Such forums give them a way to
increase their knowledge about bullying and the harms it causes, share feelings and different
viewpoints, gain skills in preventing and responding to bullying, and build understanding
and empathy. These meetings also can help build a sense of community in the group and
give teachers a better understanding of their students’ concerns. Anti-bullying themes
and messages can also be incorporated throughout the school curriculum. Whether in small groups
or through classroom curricula, social and emotional learning boosts critical thinking,
academic achievement, school connectedness, empathy and positive interactions with peers.
www.StopBullying.gov offers advice on how to talk about bullying with children (see
Prevent Bullying) By following the steps in the youth engagement toolkit adults can empower youth to organize social and educational bullying prevention initiatives. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration KnowBullyingapp provides tips on talking about school, work, relationships,
life, and bullying. The app also has a feature to remind you that it’s time to talk.
KnowBullying by SAMHSA includes: Information about bullying
Warning signs that your child may be bullying others, being bullied, or witnessing others
being bullied Conversation starters to talk with your
child about bullying Reminders to talk with your child at times
that work best for you and your family The ability to share advice right from
the app in an email and/or text message Quick access to bullying prevention resources,
and Resources for educators Erin Reiney: Of course, young people themselves
can have tremendous power in helping to stop bullying and create positive social environments.
www.StopBullying.gov’s Be More than a Bystander Campaign offers adults tips for how to encourage
youth to feel comfortable stepping in and sharing information about potentially threatening
situations with a responsible adult. And finally best practice ten recognizes that there should be no end date For bullying prevention activities Bullying prevention should be ongoing in schools, afterschool programs and in all youth serving organizations Pause for a chapter check in. Which of the following is NOT considered a best practice in bullying prevention and response? A. Work to improve the social climate of your school or organization to one where youth and adults notice if children are being left out, made fun of or bullied in other ways. B. Identify a motivational speaker who can identify simple solutions to bullying in your school. C. Coordinate and integrate bullying prevention efforts with related efforts D. Provide training in bullying prevention and response The correct answer is B Identify a motivational speaker who can identify simple solutions to bullying in your school. Thank you for your commitment to preventing bullying To receive continuing education (CE), there are 3 steps:
1.Complete this activity; 2. Complete the Evaluation at www.cdc.gov/TCEOnline;
3. Pass the posttest at 80% located at the same website www.cdc.gov/TCEOnline. If you do not want continuing education, please visit
stopbullying.gov/training to provide feedback on this activity.
We look forward to receiving your feedback and improving the quality of our resources
and tools. And remember, additional free resources are
available at www.StopBullying.gov including a complete list of references for today’s training. Thank you.