Intervention

www.TheCitizensWhoCare.org

Bullying Intervention for Bullying Behaviors - Student Engagement
Bullying Prevention and Intervention - NASP Center
Bullying intervention strategies
Bullying Intervention Strategies That Work - Cooperative Extension
Bullying Intervention and Prevention Plan - Leverett Elementary School
Bullies: Turning Around Negative Behaviors
Bullying Interventions in schools: Six major approaches (15 page PDF)
Bullying Intervention Strategies That Work - Education World (6 page PDF)
Interventions on Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools: A Systematic Review
Bully Index

Bullying Intervention for Bullying Behaviors - Student Engagement


"Bullying," according to noted expert Dan Olweus, "poisons the educational environment and affects the learning of every child." Learn what you can do to keep bullying behavior from poisoning your school. Included: Practical tips for changing the behavior of bullies and their victims.

In 1982, three Norwegian boys, ages 10 through 14, committed suicide, apparently as a result of severe bullying by their classmates. The event triggered shock and outrage, led to a national campaign against bullying behavior, and finally, resulted in the development of a systematic school-based bullying intervention program. That program, developed by psychologist Dan Olweus, was tested with more than 2,500 students in Bergen, Norway. Within two years, incidents of school bullying had dropped by more than 50 percent. Since then, a number of countries, including England, Germany, and the United States, have implemented Olweus's program with similar results.

How it Works

Olweus based the program on principles derived from research into behavior modification techniques for aggressive or violent children. The program restructures the learning environment to create a social climate characterized by supportive adult involvement, positive adult role models, firm limits, and consistent, noncorporal sanctions for bullying behavior.

In order to effectively accomplish its goals of reducing existing bullying problems and preventing the development of future problems, the program leads teachers, administrators, and staff through a series of tasks that make them aware of the extent of the bullying problem and help them solve it. Those tasks include the following:

At the school level:

  • a bullying survey to determine the extent of the problem.
  • a conference day to educate teachers, administrators, school staff, parents, students, and community members about bullying behaviors, response strategies, and available resources.
  • increased supervision in the cafeteria, hallways, bathrooms, and on the playground, where most bullying behavior occurs.
  • a coordinating group --, typically consisting of an administrator; a teacher from each grade level; a guidance counselor, psychologist, and/or school nurse; and parent and student representatives -- to manage the program and evaluate its success.
  • ongoing meetings between parents and school staff.
  • discussions of bullying issues at regularly scheduled PTO meetings.

At the classroom level:

  • a curriculum that promotes kindness, communication, cooperation, and friendship and includes lessons and activities stressing empathy, anger management, and conflict resolution skills.
  • class rules against bullying. Rules should be brief and clear. Olweus suggests the following examples:
    • We will not bully other students.
    • We will try to help students who are bullied.
    • We will include students who might be left out.
  • immediate consequences for aggressive behavior and immediate rewards for inclusive behavior. Possible sanctions include having the bully
    • apologize;
    • discuss the incident with the teacher, principal, and/or parents;
    • pay for damaged belongings;
    • spend time in the office or another classroom;
    • forfeit recess or other privileges.
  • weekly meetings to communicate to students clear and consistently enforced expectations and to engage them as resources in preventing bullying behavior.
  • ongoing communication with parents.

At the individual level:

  • serious talks with bullies and victims.
  • serious talks with the parents of bullies and victims.
  • role playing of non-aggressive behavior with bullies.
  • role playing of assertive behavior with victims.

The key components of the bullying intervention program, according to Olweus, are increased adult supervision in all areas of the school, increased consequences for bullying behavior, and a clear message that bullying will not be tolerated.

Steps for Intervening in Bullying Situations

The Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System of the London Family Court Clinic recommends the following steps for dealing with a bullying situation at school:

* Intervene immediately to stop the bullying.

* Talk to the bully and the victim separately. If more than one student is involved in bullying behavior, talk to each separately, in quick succession. (Expect bullies to minimize and deny their actions.)

* Remind the bully about school and classroom rules, reiterate what behavior is expected, and discuss sanctions that will be imposed for future bullying behavior.

* Reassure the victim that everything possible will be done to prevent a recurrence.

* Make other students aware of the consequences of the bullying behavior. Reiterate the school's policy of zero tolerance toward bullying.

* Phone the parents of both the bully and the victim as soon as possible. If possible, involve the parents in designing a plan of action.

* Continue to monitor the behavior of the bully and the safety of the victim.

* Consult administrators, teachers, and staff members to alert them to the problem and to get a better understanding of it.

* If the situation doesn't change, remove the bully -- not the victim -- from the classroom.

Defining Characteristics

Olweus also recommends that for a bullying intervention program to be successful, schools must do the following:

  • Place primary responsibility for solving the problem with the adults at school rather than with parents or students.
  • Project a clear moral stand against bullying.
  • Include both systems-oriented and individual-oriented components.
  • Set long-term and short-term goals.
  • Target the entire school population, not just a few problem students.
  • Make the program a permanent component of the school environment, not a temporary remedial program.
  • Implement strategies that have a positive effect on students and on the school climate that go beyond the problem of bullying.

Bullying behavior, according to Dr. Olweus, is evident even in preschool and the problem peaks in middle school. It's important, therefore, that bullying intervention strategies be implemented as early as possible. Even if only a small number of students are directly involved, Olweus points out, every student who witnesses bullying is affected in some way. Even students who initially sympathize with or defend victims may eventually come to view bullying as acceptable if responsible adults fail to say otherwise. Over time, ignoring -- or being ignorant of -- bullying behavior will result in a social climate that fosters bullying, fighting, truancy, and other social and learning problems in all students.

"The school," said Olweus, "has a responsibility to stop bullying behavior and create a safe learning environment for all students."

Additional Resources

The following resources provide additional information about the bullying prevention program developed by Dan Olweus:

  • Overview of the Bullying Prevention Program
    The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, offers online information excerpted from "Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Book Nine: Bullying Prevention Program," by Olweus, Limber, and Mihalic.
  • Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do, by Dan Olweus
    This book provides information about the results of Olweus' bullying surveys, as well as a detailed description of his school-based bullying prevention program. (To obtain a copy, contact Blackwell Publishers, c/o AIDC, P.O. Box 20, Williston, VT 05495.)

More Bullying Resources from Education World

Education World has provided extensive coverage of the "bullying" issue as it affects your classroom and your school. Following is a sampling of the stories we've published:

  • Sticks and Stones and Names Can Hurt You: De-Myth-tifying the Classroom Bully! Bullies are raised in the home, but their victims are too frequently created in the classroom. Learn how what you believe about bullies can hurt your students! Included: Ten myths about bullies, and the research that helped identify those myths!
  • Stop Bullying Before It Starts! Bullying is no longer seen as the norm in the school or the community at large, and prevention has become the name of the game. Included: Poor and good solutions to bullying.
  • One Character Education Program That Works! Many schools, lacking the time and resources required to develop their own character education curricula, are instead turning to established programs that have proven successful in other school districts. Read about one such program -- recently adopted by schools in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- in which the whole community is involved.
  • Is Character Education the Answer? As incidents of in-school violence become more common, and strict disciplinary techniques and increased security measures fail to control the problem, many parents, educators, politicians, and social leaders are looking for reliable methods of prevention. Is character education the answer?
  • Teaching Citizenship's Five Themes Activities from the editors of Weekly Reader can help develop K-6 students' understanding of the five citizenship themes -- honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility, and courage.

Source: www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues/issues103.shtml

-------------------------------------------

Bullying Prevention and Intervention - NASP Center


Even if you aren't receiving complaints, bullying is occurring in your school. Address it before something worse happens.

Although bullying was once dismissed as an ordinary part of growing up, we now know that it is an insidious antisocial behavior that traumatizes millions of students each year and undermines the fabric of school life for millions more. Most principals understand the global realities of the problem-that an estimated 15% to 30% of students nationwide are either bullies or victims; that bullying encompasses a spectrum of aggressive behaviors ranging from overt acts of physical violence to far more subtle, yet equally destructive, patterns of verbal or relational cruelty; and that bullying is often a common thread linking a school's most troubling issues, including suicide, substance abuse, increased absenteeism, and academic failure.

The greater challenge lies in recognizing bullying in their school. Teachers and administrators frequently underestimate the extent and effect of bullying and, as a result, fail to prevent or stop it. In part, this is fueled by indifference-nearly 25% of teachers report that they do not think it necessary to intervene in bullying-and by the surreptitious nature of the behavior. Adolescents are masterful at shielding their social-and antisocial-lives from adults. Moreover, although students know bullying is painful, they often are not clear that bullying is wrong or preventable, so they do not report it.

Changing these perceptions is paramount. Failure to stop bullying implies tacit approval of the behavior, enabling bullies and condemning victims and bystanders to feel further victimized by the system. Principals can help their staff members and students take an honest look in the mirror and create an environment in which bullying is never tolerated and all students feel safe and valued.

Principles of Prevention and Intervention

Like many areas of children's learning and development, effective bullying interventions are grounded in universal prevention that reinforces protective factors and reduces risks for all students. Many successful programs are based at least in part on the work of Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus (1997), who developed an approach that targets the context in which bullying occurs (including adult and bystander attitudes) and the behavior of victims and bullies. The approach has shown to reduce bullying by 50% and includes:

  • A schoolwide foundation that offers universal interventions; a value system based on caring, respect, and personal responsibility; positive discipline and supports; clear behavioral expectations and consequences; skills development; and increased adult supervision and parental involvement.
  • Early interventions that target specific risk factors and teach positive behavior and critical-thinking skills at the classroom level, including lessons, discussion, and parent meetings.
  • Intensive individual interventions that provide bullies and victims with individual support through meetings with students and parents, counseling, and sustained child and family supports.

The goal is to create a culture in which adults stop all bullying immediately, all students learn positive behaviors and become a part of the anti-bullying solution, and the needs of individual students are met. Mental health plays a crucial role in this process. Principals should work with their school psychologist or other trained mental health personnel to develop and implement a program that best suits their schools' needs. To be successful, bullying programs should incorporate all of the following recommendations in some capacity.

Lay the Groundwork

Coordinate with other schools in your district. Students will do best if they receive consistent bullying prevention training throughout their schooling as they move through grade levels and among schools.

Assess the extent of the problem. Administer separate schoolwide surveys to students and staff members to identify prevalence, attitudes, knowledge, gaps in perception, and specific areas or aspects of the problem that you may need to target, such as locations or times when bullying occurs most often and particular concerns such as sexual harassment or "cyber bullying."

Establish a coordinating team. This group will help develop and implement schoolwide activities. Select individuals who are knowledgeable about the issue and respected in the school community and who are good communicators and consensus builders (include a mental health professional, parents, and students). A separate specially trained team should provide intensive interventions to individual students.

Involve the entire school community. Be prepared for some initial resistance. Staff members may not see a need for a program or may feel overwhelmed at the thought of adding yet another objective to the year. Students may be skeptical if bullying has persisted for a long time. Parents may be concerned about diverting resources from the core curriculum or unconvinced that all students, including their child, will benefit by learning anti-bullying skills. Elicit regular input and provide consistent information to all groups.

Build a Schoolwide Foundation

Develop a code of conduct. Development should involve the entire school community, including students and their parents. It should reinforce the values of empathy, caring, respect, fairness, and personal responsibility, and must clearly define unacceptable behavior, expected behavior and values, and consequences for violations. In addition, the code should apply to adults and students, reflect age-appropriate language, and be prominently placed throughout the school.

Establish and consistently enforce consequences for bullying. Consequences should be understood by all students and should combine sanctions with supportive interventions that build self-management skills and alternate positive behaviors.

Build students' sense of responsibility for the school community. Personal responsibility comes with a sense of ownership. Students should help develop the code of conduct, determine where and how it is displayed, contribute to schoolwide activities, and participate in peer mediation and conflict resolution.

Distinguish between "ratting" and "reporting." Most adolescents are reluctant to turn in their classmates. They usually do not want to get their peers in trouble-particularly if the bully is popular-or be known as a "rat." Ensure confidentiality and establish a nonthreatening way for students to report bullying of themselves or classmates. Identify which staff members handle bullying issues, but make it clear that students can contact any trusted adult.

Train all school personnel. Some teachers will need specific training on bullying prevention curriculum, but all school personnel (including bus drivers, coaches, and after-school program supervisors) need to know how to identify and respond to bullying as well as how to model and reinforce positive problem solving. They should know symptoms of victimization, how to reach out to victims, and the protocol for contacting the appropriate staff members or a student's parents.

Ensure cultural competence. To be effective, communications, curricula, and interventions must reflect the cultural needs of students and parents. Students who are not fluent in English may have difficulty communicating a problem and may be reluctant to do so. Written information should be translated into relevant languages.

Increase adult supervision. Adults should be visible and vigilant in such common areas as hallways, stairwells, cafeterias, and locker rooms. In particular, school employees should be aware of students' behavior on buses and on the way to and from school for students who walk or ride bikes.

Conduct schoolwide bullying prevention activities. This brings the community together, generates energy around the program, and conveys the consistent message that bullying is wrong and that everyone has a role in prevention. Consider an all-school assembly, a communications campaign, or a creative arts contest highlighting caring community values.

Make Early Interventions

Teach specific skills and values in the classroom. Target those areas identified as universally important to students, (e.g. empathy, impulse control, or taking a stand). Address skill acquisition and application and their roles in academic and social success, emotional awareness, seeing others' perspectives, alternative thinking strategies, and problem solving. Instructional strategies include adult role modeling, discussion, and practice.

Integrate skills into other curricula whenever possible. Teach conflict resolution and peer mediation. Teaching students how to solve their own problems can redirect potentially negative or passive behaviors to positive problem-solving and leadership skills. This also gives students a greater stake in promoting a positive school environment.

Hold parent meetings. Parent involvement is crucial. Group discussions convey what students are learning, teach parents how to reinforce those skills at home, and support the parents' role in fostering a caring school community. Meetings at the classroom level also help build connections among parents and teachers.

Provide Individual Interventions

Establish a protocol for intervening in or investigating a bullying incident. Adults should separate the victim and the bully. Meet with the victim first, then the bully, then bystanders. Name the behavior, reiterate the rules, and review expected behaviors. Determine if there is a pattern of bullying, the appropriate consequences, and the need for further interventions for the bully or the victim. Increase observation of the students involved and contact their parents, as necessary.

Determine the impetus for the behavior. Interventions should address underlying causes. Bullies and victims may need additional skills development or reinforcement on how to apply the skills they have. It may be necessary to focus on the subculture of a group of students who bully as a unit. Students may also be exhibiting signs of more serious problems, such as depression, an anxiety disorder, or being victimized at home.

Reinforce alternative behaviors. Ask students to address the thoughts and circumstances that preceded a bullying incident. Guide them in determining more appropriate strategies to express their feelings or resolve conflict. For bullies, this may mean identifying their thinking errors and reinforcing calming and impulse-control strategies. Victims may need help with strategies to avoid provoking a bully, reading social cues, or walking away. Bystanders may need to learn how to reach out to vulnerable peers and to diffuse bullying when they see it.

Work with parents. Parenting style and family issues often contribute to bully and victim behaviors. Sustained student and family counseling may be necessary to help parents learn new approaches to discipline, communication, and positive interactions with their child.

Address off-campus bullying. The code of conduct should include off-campus student behavior, particularly if it involves other students from the school. Students and parents should be encouraged to report such bullying. A growing concern in this arena is "cyber bullying"-when students harass their victims via e-mail or student-run webpages. This is particularly harmful because students may do and say things anonymously that they would not do otherwise, the messages can be transmitted to scores of people instantaneously, and the messages can be very difficult to eliminate. Schools can help to contact the relevant authorities (e.g., Internet service providers) to track down the source and stop the abuse.

An Ounce of Prevention

Implementing a comprehensive anti-bullying program may seem like one initiative too many, given current budget realities, staff shortages, and strains on existing resources and class time. But ignoring bullying is far more costly than addressing it, in terms of both expended resources and diminished outcomes. Effective prevention efforts mobilize a school's most vital resource-the students-to be a school's most powerful force in fostering a caring culture in which all students can grow and learn. It is a wise investment. PL

Reference

Olweus, D. (1997). Bully/victim problems in school: Facts and intervention. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 12(4), 495-510.

Anti-Bullying Programs

PeaceBuilders
PATHS (Providing Alternative THinking Strategies)

Related Case Study: A Clear Case of Bullying

The mother of a seventh-grade student calls to report an incident during the after-school program. According to her son, the supervisor left the room for a while and four boys began to harass a student named Adam, joking about "slam dunking" him into the trashcan. They chased him around the room as the other kids looked on, some laughing. Before the boys could catch him, Adam jumped in the trashcan himself. This prompted the students to laugh harder and call him a loser. Upon returning, the supervisor reprimanded the students and made them do homework the rest of the afternoon. The mother was concerned because of the lack of adult supervision and potential harm to Adam. Her son, on the other hand, blamed Adam, claiming that he was "really annoying" and always doing "stupid stuff."

Teachers have noted that Adam sometimes misreads social cues and uses inappropriate methods (talking too loudly or making off-the-wall comments) to get the attention of his peers. However, no one-not even Adam-has reported other students bullying him.

The after-school program is run under contract by a community organization, not school employees. The school has a responsibility, however, to ensure that adults working with students in any cocurricular program or activity reinforce the school's code of conduct and are trained to recognize and stop bullying.

Observations

This would clearly be seen as bullying behavior.

  • There is an imbalance in power. Adam is unpopular, outnumbered, and without allies. He may have done something to provoke the bullies or they may have simply viewed him as a deserving and easy target based on past experience. Adam lacked effective self-protection strategies and only reinforced his "loser" image by jumping in the trashcan on his own.
  • The bullies intended to cause harm, although it is not clear if the greater "thrill" was from being able to humiliate Adam or from showing off in front of the other students.
  • The event occurred within a permissive context. There was no adult present and the bystanders did not empathize enough with Adam to intervene, did not understand that the behavior was wrong, or lacked the skills to stop the bullies.

What to Do

Talk to all parties involved: the after-school program director, Adam, the bullies, and, if accounts differ, the bystanders. Reinforce with everyone that the behavior is unacceptable. Reassure Adam that no one has the right to bully him and that you will stop it. Confer with staff members to determine any pattern of behaviors (e.g., do the four boys only pick on Adam or do they target other students?). Meet with Adam's parents to explain the situation and review what you are doing to address the bullying and help Adam develop more effective internal (skills) and social (friends) resources. Let the bullies know that continued hurtful behavior against Adam or any student will be immediate justification for a conference with their parents, as well as more severe disciplinary actions. Consequences should redirect the bullies' desire for power through a more pro-social outlet and include a constructive, educationally relevant retribution that contributes to school community.

What to Consider

Context

  • How does the after-school program reinforce the school's code of conduct?
  • Are the staff members properly trained? What is the protocol for leaving students unsupervised?
  • What is the protocol for informing school employees when a problem occurs during an cocurricular activity? Do students know where to find another adult after hours if necessary?
  • What other strategies could the supervisor have used to restore order and reinforce positive behaviors for all of the students?
  • What resources can school staff members offer to support the after-school program's effort to provide a safe, caring environment. Can targeted skills and attitudes be integrated into program activities?
  • What process is in place to assess implementation of anti-bullying strategies in any cocurricular program?
  • Is there adequate communication with parents reiterating codes of conduct and behavioral expectations?

Students

Was this an isolated event or do these boys engage in a pattern of bullying? Is there a ringleader or does the group act in concert? What are their specific thinking errors (e.g., blaming Adam)?

Are there other circumstances that trigger the bullying behavior outside the after-school program? Can these circumstances be modified? Is there adequate adult supervision?

What are the specific skills deficits and strengths of the students involved? Are there related school activities that can reinforce these strengths?

Which adults has Adam identified as someone he trusts to go to for support? Are there students who share Adam's interests and with whom you might help him develop positive social relationships?

Does the apathy of the bystander students reflect attitudes of the general student body or is it contextual? What schoolwide strategies can reinforce students' empathy and ability to draw on their strength in numbers?

What Worked

The mother recognized a problem and called even though her son was not the victim. It is important to thank parents who do this and reinforce their role in ensuring a safe school environment for all students.
Source: www.naspcenter.org/principals/nassp_bullying.html

Bullying intervention strategies


Bullying prevention in schools is a full-time exercise. For true change to take place, the culture of a school must be transformed. But it’s not as difficult as it sounds. With a yearround bullying prevention program, clear expectations of faculty and staff and established guidelines for how to treat incidents, students and adults can be a part of a culture of caring.

Here are 10 strategies for bullying prevention for schools:

  • Establishment of school-wide policies and classroom procedures pertaining to bullying that are distributed to students, parents, and teachers.
  • Depiction on bulletin boards and in hallways that school and classrooms are bully-free zones, and that students treat each other with respect.
  • Develop strategies to recognize and reward positive social behavior.
  • Speak with ALL involved in a bullying situation separately and in private.
  • Develop separate intervention plans for children who are bullied, children who participate as bystanders, and children who bully others. Some intervention plans may need to include steps to address circumstances where a student who has been bullied also bullies others or vice versa.
  • Be mindful of class seating arrangements to promote positive role models and limit access.
  • Hold periodic class meetings and assemblies to remind children of bullying prevention.
  • Contact parents of all students involved in a bullying incident; meet separately with parents of each student to provide information about bullying; explain school’s bullying protocol; and address the specifics of the situation. Do not identify names of other students. Provide support and clarifications to address parents’ emotional reactions, as well as solicit parent input and review intervention plan. Assess extent of social/emotional/family problems in conjunction with the school counselor and ensure that appropriate referrals are given to parents.
  • Establish procedures for documenting episodes of bullying and intervention.
  • Assign all students classroom allies/buddies and periodically re-arrange the assignments.

Source: standforthesilent.org/for-schools/how-do-we-handle-bullying-in-school/

Bullying Intervention Strategies That Work - Cooperative Extension


In 1982, three Norwegian boys, ages 10 through 14, committed suicide, apparently as a result of severe bullying by their classmates. The event triggered shock and outrage, led to a national campaign against bullying behavior, and finally, resulted in the development of a systemic school-based bullying intervention program. That program, developed by psychologist Dan Olweus, was tested with more than 2,500 students in Bergen, Norway. Within two years, incidents of school bullying had dropped by more than 50 percent. Since then, a number of countries, including England, Germany, and the United States, have implemented Olweus’s program with similar results.

How It Works

Olweus based the program on principles derived from research into behavior modification techniques for aggressive or violent children. The program restructures the learning environment to create a social climate characterized by supportive adult involvement, positive adult role models, firm limits, and consistent, noncorporal sanctions for bullying behavior. Since we know that aggressive patterns in children are established by age eight, school programs to address bullying need to begin early and be a consistent part of school curriculum through high school. Because bullying tends to peak in the middle school years, programs in these grades are especially important.

In order to effectively accomplish its goals of reducing existing bullying problems and preventing the development of future problems, the program leads teachers, administrators, and staff through a series of tasks that make them aware of the extent of the bullying problem and help them solve it. Those tasks include actions at several levels:

At the school level:

  • A bullying survey to determine the extent of the problem
  • A conference day to educate teachers, administrators, school staff, parents, students, and community members about bullying behaviors, response strategies, and available resources.
  • Increased supervision in the cafeteria, hallways, bathrooms, and on the playground, where most bullying behavior occurs.
  • A coordinating group-typically consisting of an administrator; a teacher from each grade level; a guidance counselor, psychologist, and/or school nurse; and parent and student representatives-to manage the program and evaluate its success.
  • Ongoing meetings between parents and school staff.
  • On-going trainings, especially for new teachers and staff.
  • Discussions of bullying issues at regularly scheduled parent-teacher organizational meetings and parent-teacher conferences.

At the classroom level:

  • A curriculum that promotes kindness, communication, cooperation, and friendship and includes lessons and activities stressing empathy, understanding the other person’s perspective and point of view, anger management, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Class rules against bullying. Rules should be brief and clear. Olweus suggests the following examples:
    1. We will not bully other students.

    2. We will try to help students who are bullied.

    3. We will include students who might be left out.

  • Immediate consequences for aggressive behavior and immediate rewards for inclusive behavior. Possible sanctions include having the bully:
    1. apologize;

    2. discuss the incident with the teacher, principal, and/or parents; pay for damaged belongings;

    3. spend time in the office or another classroom;

    4. forfeit recess or other privileges.

  • Weekly meetings to communicate to students clear and consistently enforced expectations and to engage them as resources in preventing bullying behavior.
  • Ongoing communication with parents.

At the individual level:

  • Model kindness and compassion.
  • Serious and empathic dialogues with bullies and victims about the impact of bullying, what appropriate behavior is and isn’t, non-violent and effective ways to keep yourself safe, and what children learn about being male and female in our culture.
  • Serious and empathic dialogues with the parents of bullies and victims.
  • Role-playing of nonaggressive behavior with bullies.
  • Role-playing of assertive behavior with victims.
  • Help bullies think differently about “provocations” and using a neutral rather than hostile attribution orientation.

The key components of the bullying intervention program, according to Olweus, are increased adult supervision in all areas of the school, increased consequences for bullying behavior, and a clear message that bullying will not be tolerated.

Defining Characteristics

Olweus also recommends that for a bullying intervention program to be successful, schools must do the following:

Place primary responsibility for solving the problem with the adults at school rather than with parents or students.

  • Project a clear moral stand against bullying.
  • Include both systems-oriented and individual-oriented components.
  • Set long-term and short-term goals.
  • Target the entire school population, not just a few problem students.
  • Make the program a permanent component of the school environment, not a temporary remedial program.
  • Implement strategies that have a positive effect on students and on the school climate that go beyond the problem of bullying.

Bullying behavior, according to Dr. Olweus, is evident even in preschool and the problem peaks in middle school. It’s important, therefore, that bullying intervention strategies be implemented as early as possible. Even if only a small number of students are directly involved, Olweus points out, every student who witnesses bullying is affected in some way. Even students who initially sympathize with or defend victims may eventually come to view bullying as acceptable if responsible adults fail to say otherwise. Over time, ignoring—or being ignorant of—bullying behavior will result in a social climate that fosters bullying, fighting, truancy, and other social and learning problems in all students. “The school,” said Olweus, “has a responsibility to stop bullying behavior and create a safe learning environment for all students.”

Anti-Bullying Resources

The following resources provide additional information about the bullying prevention program developed by Dan Olweus:

  • The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence offers online information excerpted from Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Book Nine: Bullying Prevention Program, by Olweus, Limber, and Mihalic. http://www.colorado.edu/cspv/blueprints/.
  • Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do, by Dan Olweus. This book provides information about the results of Olweus’ bullying surveys, as well as a detailed description of his school-based bullying prevention program. To obtain a copy, contact Blackwell Publishers, c/o AIDC, P.O. Box 20, Williston, VT 05495 or visit their website: www.blackwell.com.
  • For information on how to order a teacher handbook, student questionnaire, or other materials from the Bullying Prevention Program, write: BVP-Dan Olweus, Vognstolbakken 16, N-5096 Bergen, Norway.

Source: Report September 2001 National Council on Family Relations, extension.umaine.edu/publications/4424e/bullying-intervention/

Bullying Intervention and Prevention Plan - Leverett Elementary School


I. Priority Statement

Leverett Elementary School (LES) expects that all members of the school community will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences.

LES is committed to providing all students with a safe, supportive environment that is free from bullying and cyberbullying. This commitment is an integral part of our comprehensive efforts to promote learning, and to prevent and eliminate all forms of bullying and other harmful and disruptive behavior that can impede the learning process.

We understand that members of certain student groups, such as students with disabilities, students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, and homeless students may be more vulnerable to becoming targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing. The school or district will take specific steps to create a safe, supportive environment for vulnerable populations in the school community, and provide all students with the skills, knowledge, and strategies to prevent or respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. We repeat that this plan is not focused on any one group of students but strives to create a safe environment for that promotes positive peer relationships for everyone.

We will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation, in our school buildings, on school grounds, or in school-related activities. We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curriculum, instructional programs, professional development, extracurricular activities, and parent/guardian involvement.

The LES Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (“Plan”) is a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying and cyberbullying, and LES is committed to working with students, staff, families, law enforcement agencies, and the community to prevent issues of violence. In consultation with these constituencies, we have established this Plan for preventing, intervening, and responding to incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation.

II. Definitions

Aggressor is a student who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation.

Bullying, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:

i. causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property;

ii. places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property;

iii. creates a hostile environment at school for the target;

iv. infringes on the rights of the target at school; or

v. materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Cyberbullying, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include (i) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or (ii) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying. Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.

Hostile environment, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of a student’s education.

Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.

Staff includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff, or paraprofessionals.

Target is a student against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.

III. Response and Investigation Pocedures

A. Reporting bullying or retaliation. Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents or guardians, or others, and may be oral or written. Oral reports made by or to a staff member shall be recorded in writing. A school or district staff member is required, as a mandated reporter, to report immediately to the principal or designee (school psychologist, school nurse, teacher-in-charge) any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member becomes aware of or witnesses. Reports made by students, parents/guardians, or other individuals who are not school or district staff members, may be made anonymously. The school or district will make a variety of reporting resources available to the school community including, but not limited to, an Incident Reporting Form, a voicemail box, a dedicated mailing address, and an email address.

Use of an Incident Reporting Form is not required as a condition of making a report. The school or district will: 1) include a copy of the Incident Reporting Form in the beginning of the year packets for students and parents or guardians; 2) make it available in the school’s main office, the psychologist’s office, and the school nurse's office; and 3) post it on the school’s website.

At the beginning of each school year, LES will provide the school community, including administrators, staff, students, and parents or guardians, with written notice of its policies for reporting acts of bullying and retaliation. A description of the reporting procedures and resources, including the name and contact information of the principal or designee, will be incorporated in student and staff handbooks, on the school or district website, and in information about the Plan that is made available to parents or guardians.

1. Reporting by Staff

As a Mandated Reporter, a staff member must report immediately to the principal or designee when he/she witnesses or becomes aware of conduct that may be bullying or retaliation, filing an incident report promptly. The requirement to report to the principal or designee does not limit the authority of the staff member to respond to behavioral or disciplinary incidents consistent with school or district policies and procedures for behavior management and discipline.

2. Reporting by Students, Parents or Guardians, and Others

The school or district expects students, parents/guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the principal or designee. Reports may be made anonymously, but no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Students, parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report. Students will be provided practical, safe, private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying with a staff member, or with the principal or designee.

B. Safety. Before fully investigating the allegations of bullying or retaliation, the principal or designee will take steps to assess the need to restore a sense of safety to the alleged target and/or to protect the alleged target from possible further incidents. Responses to promote safety may include, but not be limited to, creating a personal safety plan; pre-determining seating arrangements for the target and/or the aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, at recess, or on the bus; increase adult supervision at transition times and in locations where bullying is known to have occurred or is likely to occur; identifying a staff member who will act as a “safe person” for the target; and altering the aggressor’s schedule and access to the target. The principal or designee will take additional steps to promote safety during the course of and after the investigation, as necessary.

The principal or designee will implement appropriate strategies for protecting from bullying or retaliation a student who has reported bullying or retaliation, a student who has witnessed bullying or retaliation, a student who provides information during an investigation, or a student who has reliable information about a reported act of bullying or retaliation. The principal or designee will work closely with classroom teachers to insure that students who has reported bullying or retaliation, a student who has witnessed bullying or retaliation, a student who provides information during an investigation, or a student who has reliable information about a reported act of bullying or retaliation are protected. Remedies may include, but are not limited to, creating a personal safety plan; pre-determining seating arrangements for the target and/or the aggressor in the classroom, at lunch, at recess, or on the bus; increase adult supervision at transition times and in locations where bullying is known to have occurred or is likely to occur; identifying a staff member who will act as a “safe person” for the target; and altering the aggressor’s schedule and access to the target.

C. Counseling and other services. Leverett Elementary School will identify the availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate resources within the school and district. A listing will be available with the principal or designee. If resources need to be developed, LES will identify linkages with community based organizations, including Community Service Agencies (CSAs) for Medicaid eligible students. In addition, the school psychologist, nurse, and principal will assist in developing safety plans for students who have been targets of bullying or retaliation, providing social skills programs to prevent bullying, and offering education and/or intervention services for students exhibiting bullying behaviors. LES will utilize current tools including, but not limited to, behavioral intervention plans, social skills groups, and individually focused curricula.

D. Students with disabilities. As required by M.G.L. c. 71B, § 3, as amended by Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010, when the IEP Team determines the student has a disability that affects social skills development or the student may participate in or is vulnerable to bullying, harassment, or teasing because of his/her disability, the Team will consider what should be included in the IEP to develop the student's skills and proficiencies to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing.

E. Referral to outside services. Leverett Elementary School will establish a referral protocol for referring students and families to outside services. This protocol will include the school psychologist in collaboration with the principal and/or designee and nurse will help students and families access appropriate and timely services. In addition, a listing of local outside services will be available to parents/guardians. Referrals must comply with relevant laws and policies. Current local referral protocols should be evaluated to assess their relevance to the Plan, and revised as needed.

F. Investigation. The principal or designee will investigate promptly all reports of bullying or retaliation and, in doing so, will consider all available information known, including the nature of the allegation(s) and the ages of the students involved.

During the investigation the principal or designee will, among other things, interview students, staff, witnesses, parents/guardians, and others as necessary. The principal or designee (or whoever is conducting the investigation) will remind the alleged aggressor, target, and witnesses that retaliation is strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.

Interviews may be conducted by the principal or designee, other staff members as determined by the principal or designee, and in consultation with the school psychologist, as appropriate. To the extent practicable, and given his/her obligation to investigate and address the matter, the principal or designee will maintain confidentiality during the investigative process. The principal or designee will maintain a written record of the investigation.

Procedures for investigating reports of bullying and retaliation will be consistent with school or district policies and procedures for investigations. If necessary, the principal or designee will consult with legal counsel about the investigation.

G. Determinations. The principal or designee will make a determination based upon all of the facts and circumstances. If, after investigation, bullying or retaliation is substantiated, the principal or designee will take steps reasonably calculated to prevent recurrence and to ensure that the target is not restricted in participating in school or in benefiting from school activities. The principal or designee will: 1) determine what remedial action is required, if any, and 2) determine what responsive actions and/or disciplinary actions are necessary.

Depending upon the circumstances, the principal or designee may choose to consult with the students’ teacher(s) and/or school psychologist, and the target’s or aggressor’s parents or guardians, to identify any underlying social or emotional issue(s) that may have contributed to the bullying behavior and to assess the level of need for additional social skills development.

The principal or designee will promptly notify the parents/guardians of the target and the aggressor about the results of the investigation and, if bullying or retaliation is found, what action is being taken to prevent further acts of bullying or retaliation. All notice to parents must comply with applicable state and federal privacy laws and regulations. Because of the legal requirements regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principal or designee cannot report specific information to the target’s parent or guardian about the disciplinary action taken unless it involves a “stay away” order or other directive that the target must be aware of in order to report violations.

VI. Range of Disciplinary Action

If the principal or designee decides that disciplinary action is appropriate, the disciplinary action will be determined on the basis of facts found by the principal or designee, including the nature of the conduct, the age of the student(s) involved, and the need to balance accountability with the teaching of appropriate behavior. Discipline will be consistent with the Plan and with the Safe and Respectful Plan of LES. The range of disciplinary actions may include, but are not limited to, restitution, behavior contract, suspension from school, expulsion, notification of local law enforcement agency. Repeated offences may result in more severe consequences.

Discipline procedures for students with disabilities are governed by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), which should be read in conjunction with state laws regarding student discipline.

Disciplining of Students with Special Needs

Authority of school personnel.

School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether a change in placement is appropriate for a child with a disability who violates a code of student conduct. School personnel may remove a child with a disability who violates a code of student conduct from his or her current placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension, for not more than 10 consecutive school days (to the extent those alternatives are applied to children without disabilities), and for additional removals of not more than 10 consecutive school days in that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct.

After a child with a disability has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days in the same school year, during any subsequent days of removal the public agency must provide services so as to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child's IEP and receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, and behavioral intervention services and modifications, that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.

For disciplinary changes in placement that would exceed 10 consecutive school days, if the behavior that gave rise to the violation of the school code is determined not to be a manifestation of the child's disability, school personnel may apply the relevant disciplinary procedures to children with disabilities in the same manner and for the same duration as the procedures would be applied to children without disabilities. The school is only required to provide services during periods of removal to a child with a disability who has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days or less in that school year, if it provides services to a child without disabilities who is similarly removed.

Manifestation determination

Within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the child's IEP Team (as determined by the parent and the LEA) must review all relevant information in the student's file, including the child's IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine if the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child's disability. If the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team make the determination that the conduct was a manifestation of the child's disability, the IEP Team must either conduct a functional behavioral assessment, unless the LEA had conducted a functional behavioral assessment before the behavior that resulted in the change of placement occurred, and implement a behavioral intervention plan for the child; or if a behavioral intervention plan already has been developed, review the behavioral intervention plan, and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior; and return the child to the placement from which the child was removed, unless the parent and the LEA agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.

Special circumstances.

School personnel may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the child's disability, if the child carries a weapon to or possesses a weapon at school, on school premises, or to or at a school, knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises, or has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises.

If the principal or designee determines that a student intentionally made a false allegation of bullying or retaliation, that student may be subject to disciplinary action.

VII. Notification of Proedures

A. Notice to parents or guardians. Upon determining that bullying or retaliation has occurred, the principal or designee will promptly notify the parents or guardians of the target and the aggressor of this, and of the procedures for responding to it. There may be circumstances in which the principal or designee contacts parents or guardians prior to any investigation. Notice will be consistent with state regulations at 603 CMR 49.00.

B. Notice to Another School or District. If the reported incident involves students from more than one school district, charter school, non-public school, approved private special education day or residential school, or collaborative school, the principal or designee first informed of the incident will promptly notify by telephone the principal or designee of the other school(s) of the incident so that each school may take appropriate action. All communications will be in accordance with state and federal privacy laws and regulations, and 603 CMR 49.00.

C. Notice to Law Enforcement. At any point after receiving a report of bullying or retaliation, including after an investigation, if the principal or designee has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor, the principal will notify the local law enforcement agency. Notice will be consistent with the requirements of 603 CMR 49.00 and locally established agreements with the local law enforcement agency. Also, if an incident occurs on school grounds and involves a former student under the age of 21 who is no longer enrolled in school, the principal or designee shall contact the local law enforcement agency if he or she has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor.

In making this determination, the principal will, consistent with the Plan and with applicable school or district policies and procedures, consult with the Superintendent of Union 28 and other individuals the principal or designee deems appropriate.

VIII. Bullying Prevention Curriculum

A. Specific bullying prevention approaches. Bullying prevention curriculum will be informed by current research, which, among other things, emphasizes the following approaches:

  • using scripts and role-plays to develop skills
  • empowering students to take action by knowing what to do when they witness other students engaged in acts of bullying or retaliation, including seeking adult assistance
  • helping students understand the dynamics of bullying and cyberbullying, including the underlying power imbalance
  • emphasizing cyber safety, including safe and appropriate use of electronic communication technologies
  • enhancing students’ skills for engaging in healthy relationships and respectful communications
  • engaging students in a safe, supportive school environment that is respectful of diversity and difference

Initiatives will also teach students about the student-related sections of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan.

B. General teaching approaches that support bullying prevention efforts. The following approaches are integral to establishing a safe and supportive school environment. These underscore the importance of our bullying intervention and prevention initiatives:

  • setting clear expectations for students and establishing school and classroom routines (LES’ Safe & Respectful Plan)
  • creating safe school and classroom environments for all students, including for students with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students, and homeless students
  • using appropriate and positive responses and reinforcement, even when students require discipline
  • using positive behavioral supports
  • encouraging adults to develop positive relationships with students
  • modeling, teaching, and rewarding pro-social, healthy, and respectful behaviors
  • using positive approaches to behavioral health, including collaborative problem-solving, conflict resolution training, teamwork, and positive behavioral supports that aid in social and emotional development
  • using the Internet safely
  • supporting students’ interest and participation in non-academic and extracurricular activities, particularly in their areas of strength

C. LES Bullying Prevention and Intervention Curriculum. The foundation of behavior expectations at LES is the Safe & Respectful Plan (Appendix D). Each grade at LES has 30 minutes of social curriculum instruction per week, including bullying prevention and intervention. In Kindergarten through Grade 3, Second Steps is the evidence-based curriculum used and MARC anti-bullying curriculum supplements the Second Step lessons. Steps to Respect is the evidence-based curriculum used in Grades 4, 5, and 6.

VIII. Professionl Development

A. Annual staff training on the Plan. Annual training for all school staff on the Plan will include staff duties under the Plan, an overview of the steps that the principal or designee will follow upon receipt of a report of bullying or retaliation, and an overview of the bullying prevention curricula to be offered at all grades throughout the school or district. Staff members hired after the start of the school year are required to participate in school-based training during the school year in which they are hired, unless they can demonstrate participation in an acceptable and comparable program within the last two years.

B. Ongoing professional development. The goal of professional development is to establish a common understanding of tools necessary for staff to create a school climate that promotes safety, civil communication, and respect for differences. Professional development will build the skills of staff members to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying. As required by M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, the content of school wide and district-wide professional development will be informed by research and will include information on:

(i) developmentally (or age-) appropriate strategies to prevent bullying;

(ii) developmentally (or age-) appropriate strategies for immediate, effective interventions to stop bullying incidents;

(iii) information regarding the complex interaction and power differential that can take place between and among an aggressor, target, and witnesses to the bullying;

(iv) research findings on bullying, including information about specific categories of students who have been shown to be particularly at risk for bullying in the school environment;

(v) information on the incidence and nature of cyberbullying; and

(vi) Internet safety issues as they relate to cyberbullying.

Professional development will also address ways to prevent and respond to bullying or retaliation for students with disabilities that must be considered when developing students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). This will include a particular focus on the needs of students with autism or students whose disability affects social skills development.

IX. Collaboration with Families

A. Parent education and resources. Each year, the school or district will offer education programs for parents and guardians that are focused on the parental components of the anti-bullying curricula and any social competency curricula used by the district or school. The programs will be offered in collaboration with the PTO, School Council, Special Education Parent Advisory Council, or similar organizations.

B. Notification requirements. Each year the school or district will inform parents or guardians of enrolled students about the anti-bullying curricula that are being used. This notice will include information about the dynamics of bullying, including cyberbullying and online safety. The school or district will send parents written notice each year about the student-related sections of the Plan and the school's or district's Internet safety policy. All notices and information made available to parents or guardians will be in hard copy and electronic format. The school or district will post the Plan and related information on its website.

X. Creation and Maintenance of this Plan

This Bulling Prevention and Intervention Plan was written in October 2010. Resources used to write it included An Act Relative to Bullying in Schools M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O; Model Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; the LES Safe & Respectful Program. The draft BIPP Plan was reviewed and edited by the LES staff, the LES School Council (including parents and members of the community), the School Safety Committee (including members of local law enforcement agencies), and the LES School Committee. The draft was then published for Public Comment in November 2010. The Plan was formally adopted by the LES School Committee on December 7, 2010 and then submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as required by law. The LES Student Contract for Internet Use, the Behavior and Discipline section of the Student Handbook, and the Staff Handbook were reviewed and amended to be in compliance with this Plan. The School Committee revised and adopted the Prohibition on Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Hazing & Bullying Policy File:ACAB. This plan will be reviewed and if necessary, revised and amended annually by the Safety Committee and the School Committee.
Source: www.leverettschool.org/information/school_documents_and_plans/bullying_intervention_and_prevention_plan

Bullies: Turning Around Negative Behaviors


Bully Prevention

Bullying in school is usually a hidden problem. The teaching staff typically is unaware of how widespread bullying is in their building and may not even recognize the seriousness of bullying incidents that do come to their attention. Teachers who are serious about reducing bullying behaviors must (1) assess the extent of the bullying problem in their classrooms, (2) ensure that the class understands what bullying is and why it is wrong, (3) confront any student engaged in bullying in a firm but fair manner, and (4) provide appropriate and consistent consequences for bullying.

Assess the Extent of the Bullying Problem.

By pooling information collected through direct observation, conversations with other staff, and student surveys, teachers can get a good idea of the amount and severity of bullying in their classroom. To more accurately assess bullying among students, a teacher can do the following:

  • Drop by unexpectedly to observe your class in a less-structured situation (e.g., at lunch, on the playground). Watch for patterns of bullying by individuals or groups of students. Signs of direct bullying could include pushing, hitting, or kicking. Also be on the lookout for prolonged teasing, name-calling, and other forms of verbal harassment. If you should overhear students gossiping about a classmate or see evidence that an individual has been excluded from a group, these may well be signs of indirect bullying. Note the names of children who appear to be instigators of bullying, as well as those who seem to be victims.
  • A single teacher alone is not likely to see enough student behavior to be able to accurately pick out bullies and victims in his or her own classroom. Ask other school staff that interact with your students (e.g., gym teacher) whom they have may have observed bullying or being victimized within your class or other classes in the same grade. Note the students whose names keep coming up as suspected bullies or victims. Monitor children thought to be bullies especially closely to ensure that they do not have opportunities to victimize other children.
  • Create a simple survey on the topic of school bullying. Have your students complete this survey anonymously. Questions to ask on the questionnaire might include "Where does bullying happen in this school?" and "How many times have you been bullied this year?" If your school administrator approves, you may also ask students to give the names of specific children whom they believe are bullies.

NOTE: When administering this survey to students, you should also share with them the names of trusted adults in the building with whom they can talk in confidence if they are currently victims of bullying.

Ensure That the Class Understands the Definition of 'Bullying'.

Children may not always know when their behavior crosses the line and becomes bullying. Two important goals in asserting control over bullying are to create shared expectations for appropriate conduct and to build a common understanding of what behaviors should be defined as 'bullying'. To accomplish these objectives, a teacher can:

  • Hold a class meeting in which students come up with rules for appropriate behaviors. Rules should be limited in number (no more than 3-4) and be framed in positive terms (that is, stating what students should do instead of what they should avoid doing). Here are several sample rules:
    • Treat others with courtesy and respect.
    • Make everyone feel welcome and included.
    • Help others who are being bullied or picked on.
  • Create a shared definition for bullying with the class by having them identify behaviors that are 'bullying' behaviors. List these behaviors on the board. If students focus only on examples of direct bullying, remind them not to overlook indirect bullying (e.g., gossip, excluding others from a group). Tell the class that when you see examples of bullying occurring, you plan to intervene to keep the classroom a safe and friendly place to learn.

Confront Students Engaged in Bullying in a Firm But Fair Manner

When a teacher communicates to the class that bullying will not be tolerated and then intervenes quickly and consistently whenever he or she observes bullying taking place, that instructor sends a clear message to students that bullying will not be tolerated.

Bullies are often quite skilled at explaining away situations in which adults have caught them bullying. When confronted, they may say, for example, "I was just kidding around" or "Nothing happened"--even when the evidence clearly suggests otherwise. You can avoid disputes with students by adopting the 'I-centered' rule for evaluating misbehavior.

  • Tell your class that it offends or bothers you when you witness certain kinds of hurtful student behaviors (e.g., teasing, name-calling). Emphasize that when you see such behavior occurring, you will intervene, regardless of whether the offending student meant to be hurtful.
  • If you witness suspected bullying, immediately approach the child responsible, describe the negative behavior that you witnessed, explain why that behavior is a violation of classroom expectations, and impose a consequence (e.g., warning, apology to victim, brief timeout, loss of privilege). Keep the conversation focused on facts of the bully's observed behavior and do not let the bully pull the victim into the discussion.
  • If the bully's behaviors continue despite your surveillance and intervention, impose more severe consequences (e.g. temporary loss of playground privileges).

Here are additional tips to keep in mind when confronting students who bully:

  • When you confront a student for bullying, do so in private whenever possible. A private discussion will remove the likelihood that the confronted student will 'play to the audience' of classmates and become defiant or non-compliant. If you must call a student on his or her bullying behavior in public, do so briefly and in a business-like manner. Then arrange to have a private discussion with the student at a later time to discuss the bullying incident in greater detail.
  • Find an adult in the school with whom the student who bullies has a close relationship. Enlist that adult to sit down with the bully to have a 'heart-to-heart' talk. The adult should be willing to discuss with the student the problems created by his or her bullying behavior, to express disappointment with the student's conduct and to encourage the student to stop his or her bullying. This conference is not intended to be punitive. However, the student should feel at the end of the talk that, while he or she is valued, the student's bullying behavior hurts and disappoints those who care about the student

Provide Appropriate and Consistent Consequences for Bullying.

Schools should remember that the relationship between a bully and his or her victim is coercive in nature, and that the bully always wields power unfairly over that victim. Strategies for addressing student conflict such as peer mediation, therefore, tend to be ineffective in bullying situations, as the bully can always use his or her power advantage to intimidate the victim. The most sensible disciplinary approach that teachers can use with bullies is to make sure that they are watched carefully and that adults follow up with firm consequences for each bullying incident. When providing consequences for bullying, the teacher should consider these strategies:

  • Assemble a list of appropriate behavioral consequences for bullying. Include lesser consequences for isolated instances of bullying and greater consequences for chronic or more serious bullying. Share those consequences with your class. (In fact, you may want to enlist students to help generate items on the list!) Whenever a student is observed bullying a classmate, intervene and apply a consequence from the list. For example, a student who bullies during lunch might be required to spend several days seated away from his or her friends at a supervised lunch table.
  • If a group or class participates in a bullying incident (e.g., children at a lunch table socially ostracizing a new student), hold the entire group accountable and impose a disciplinary consequence on each group member.
  • If one of your students takes advantage of unsupervised trips from the room (e.g., bathroom break) to seek out and bully other children, restrict that student's movements by requiring that the student be supervised by an adult at all times when out of the classroom. When you are satisfied that the student's behaviors have improved enough to trust him or her once again to travel out of the room without adult supervision, let the student know that he or she is 'on probation' and that you will reinstate these school 'travel restrictions' if you hear future reports of bullying.
  • When you observe a student engaging in a clear pattern of bullying, arrange a conference with that child's parents. At that conference, share with them the information that suggests that the child is bullying other students. Enlist their help to stop the child's bullying. (You will probably want the child to attend that conference so that he or she will understand clearly that the school is monitoring his or her bullying behavior and will impose negative consequences if it continues.)
  • Develop a 'reward chart' for the student who bullies. Tell the student that you will put a sticker on the student's chart for each day that you do not receive reports from other teachers or from students and do not directly observed bullying or 'unkind behavior'. Let the student know that if he or she manages to collect a certain number of stickers within a certain number of days (e.g., 4 stickers across a 5-day period) for good behaviors, the student can redeem them for a prize or privilege.

References

  • Batsche, G.M., & Knoff, H.M. (1994). Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem in the schools. School Psychology Review, 22, 165-174.
  • Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying in school: What we know and what we can do. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Snell, J.L., MacKenzie, E.P., & Frey, K.S. (2002). Bullying prevention in elementary schools: The importance of adult leadership, peer group support, and student social-emotional skills. In M.A. Shinn, H.M. Walker, & G.Stoner (Eds.) Interventions for academic and behavior problems: Preventive and remedial approaches. (2nd ed., pp.351-372). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
  • US Department of Education (1998). Preventing bullying: A manual for schools and communities. Retrieved 3 April 2003 from: www.cde.ca.gov/spbranch/ssp/bullymanual.htm

Source: www.interventioncentral.org/behavioral-interventions/bully-prevention/about-bullying/negative-behavior

©2007-2018, www.TheCitizensWhoCare.org/intervention.html
072018