Differentiating Effective and Ineffective Anti-bullying Programs
With studies researching anti-bullying programs showing inconsistent results, parents and schools alike should continue to work together to face increasing concerns about school-based bullying. By comparing effective and ineffective programs, anti-bullying advocates can make the first move in overcoming this aging problem thriving in U.S. schools.
What Makes an Ineffective Anti-bullying Program?
School systems designating harassment and persistent teasing as “usual” childhood behavior create an environment where negative peer relationships prosper. Ineffective programs give space for individual interpretation on “girls acting like girls” and “boys acting like boys.”
Study: My Understanding of Lessons
One of the most perilous flaws in current anti-bullying practice places the responsibility on the victims to advance their needs and face up to bullies. By encouraging victims to deal with bullies, educators, and even parents, are indirectly blaming the victims, as though problems with their own social abilities are the cause of bullying. Furthermore, this kind of focus can actually put victims in a dangerous position.
What I Can Teach You About Programs
Ineffective bullying prevention programs focus solely on individual bullying incidents. To address the causes of bullying, schools need to start a school culture of acceptance and tolerance. Add to that, majority of bullying incidents will go unnoticed by school staff. Quite scary, but because it is impossible to “be everywhere” and “see everything,” options for intervening in all bullying situations are limited.
Educators’ firmness and consistency are needed for a school’s anti-bullying policies to work. The whole institution must unite against bullying, or bullies will always find areas where they can physically and emotionally harm their victims.
What Makes an Effective Anti-bullying Program?
Effective anti-bullying programs work on the entire school climate and not just certain peer interactions. Such programs not just teach students appropriate communication and positive social leadership techniques, but go to the extent of redesigning school hallways and classrooms in a way that promotes a sense of community and acceptance. Several programs are designed specifically to work on school environments that are ripe for bullying and generally negative behavior.
An effective program utilizes strategies and supports at each level in the school — from individual classrooms and students to anti-bullying groups composed of both educators and students. Some of the best school bullying prevention programs concentrate on all levels, from school to classroom to individual to community. Supportive anti-bully programs, perpetrators are put in isolation. They never tolerate harassment and bullying, and identify concrete punishments for any student committing such offenses.
One of the most crucial, and often ignored, pieces of the anti-bullying puzzle centers on school and domestic partnerships. Eradicating bullying needs parents and educators to be steadfast against negative peer interactions, and there must be more communication with parents when schools embark on anti-bullying initiatives.