Bullying Prevention In-Service Training

The training also focuses on identifying bullying behaviors, as well as the roles played by targets and bystanders. Additionally, participants will learn about some of the newest bullying issues, including cyber bullying, sexting, and hazing.

Bullying Prevention Training Rationale

The National Association of School Psychologists has reported that:

  • Up to 30% of students are directly involved as either bullies or victims.
  • 160,000 American children miss school every day due to their fear of being bullied

Nearly one-third of the middle school and high school students surveyed reported having bullied, being bullied, or both.  The study findings were based on a representative sample of 15,686 students in grades 6 to 10 who were enrolled in public or private schools throughout the United States. According to Viadero, studies conducted in recent years have produced “strikingly similar conclusions that offer useful lessons for educators “ regarding both the prevalence and severity of the problem:

One major finding is that teachers and principals consistently underestimate the amount of bullying that takes place under their radar–on playgrounds, in hallways, even in classrooms. Virtually all studies on the subject show a wide gap between the amount of bullying students say they experience and the amount their teachers see. Part of the reason for the gap is that most bullying takes place when there is little adult supervision.

Some adults see bullying as normal–”kids being kids”–and something all kids must just learn to handle. But researchers say the problem is too pervasive and damaging for educators to ignore. “You’re talking about 10, 11, 12 percent of kids saying their lives are miserable in school,” says John Hoover, an education professor quoted in Viadero’s article. “I don’t think that’s something that kids need to go through.”

Students who are targets of bullying experience immediate sadness, fear, anger, pain, loneliness, and humiliation. They can develop such internal expressions as depression and eating disorders or such external expressions as aggression and violence.  Finally, rarely but tragically, bullying and victimization have been associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.  As reported very recently by Hinduja and Patchin, to youth who experienced traditional bullying or cyberbullying had more suicidal thoughts and were more likely to attempt suicide than those who had not experienced such forms of peer aggression.

Bullying typically takes place in the context of other peers.  Bystanders are typically part of the problem, as many students either just watch or even instigate aggression, without reporting the situation to an adult or intervening to help the target child. However, bystanders can be motivated and taught to become part of the solution.

The message from research on bullying prevention is both loud and clear.  Bullying is indeed a serious and pervasive problem.  However, for schools that are willing to commit resources, time and personnel to comprehensive bullying prevention programs, it is possible to reduce bullying.

Best Practices In Bullying Prevention

The recent focus on bullying and bullying prevention has resulted in a bewildering array of information, programs, and recommendations. In this workshop, participants will experience a “guided tour” through the best practices in the field. The session includes explanations and illustrations of the 10 Best Practices from the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) Stop Bullying now campaign:

  1. Focus on the social environment of the school
  2. Assess bullying at your school
  3. Get staff and parent support for bullying prevention
  4. Form a group to coordinate the school’s bullying prevention activities
  5. Train your entire staff in bullying prevention
  6. Establish and enforce school rules and policies related to bullying
  7. Increase adult supervision in hot spots where bullying occurs
  8. Intervene consistently and appropriately in bullying situations.
  9. Focus some class time on bullying prevention
  10. Continue these efforts over time.

Also covered in this workshop are the following topics:

  • Important recent research findings of what does and doesn’t make things better for kids who are being bullied
  • Information and recommendations about the role of bias in bullying prevention
  • Recommendations about how to effectively utilize peer leaders in bullying prevention