Why am I here? • To do away with the myths about bullying. • To help you understand the power you have as individuals and as part of a community to end bullying. • To bring you some ideas about how you can begin to have a more caring community. • I am not here to fix the problem for you – I can’t.
What does bullying look like? What does bullying sound like?
What is bullying? Intentional Repeated Unbalanced
Direct Bullying • Physical hitting ,kicking, spitting • Verbal taunting, teasing • Non-verbal gestures, threats
Indirect Bullying • Non-verbal persuading another student to harass, manipulating friendships, spreading rumors, deliberately excluding someone • Cyber bullying IM, Web site, conference calling
Why focus on bully/target problems? Because bullying effects everyone!
Long Term Effects on Targets • Depression. • Poor self esteem as young adults. • Suicidal ideation.
Long Term Effects on the Child Who Bullies • Delinquency • Vandalism • Truancy • Drug Use • Domestic Violence • Criminal Convictions
Effects on School Climate • Witnesses believe it’s OK - feel guilty, afraid, powerless. Think adults don’t care. • Creates a less empathetic social climate. • Fear, anxiety and disrespect. • Students perceive a lack of caring and control.
Specific Rules Against Bullying • I will not bully. • Personal commitment. • I will try to help students who are bullied. • Actions – ask them to play,tell others to stop, report to an adult • When I know someone is being bullied I will report it to an adult. • Responsible citizens report abuse. • I will include students who are easily left out in my activities. • Be friendly to others. Sit with someone who is alone.
WHY DOES BULLYING AND TEASING CONTINUE IF SO MANY PEOPLE DON’T WANT IT?
What can parents do to prevent bullying? • Provide an atmosphere in the home characterized by emotional warmth. • Talk with your kids about bullying • Praise appropriate behavior. • Develop shared interests. • Set clear,consistent limits on behavior. • Limit access and exposure to media violence.
Discipline needs to be: • Inevitable and predictable • Immediate and logical • Consistent and escalating • Provided in a positive context and emotional tone • Persistent
Does it pay to be good? • Notice when behavior changes for the better • Praise positive changes in behavior. • Reward with positive attention and time together. • Reinforce pro-social behaviors.
What parents can do • Get connected to the school and community • Get your kids connected too
Media Violence: The Real Question What is the long term impact on our national psyche when millions of children, in their formative years, grow up decade after decade bombarded with very powerful visual and verbal messages demonstrating violence as the preferred way to solve problems and normalizing fear and violence as “the way thing are?’
Recent research findings document that viewing media violence results in : 1.learned aggressive attitudes, increased aggression and antisocial behavior 2. Increased desensitization to real-world violence and actual victims of violent acts 3. Increased mistrust of others, fear of becoming a victim and concerns about personal safety 4. Increased desire for more violence and increased likelihood to engage in risky behaviors.
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Edmund Burke
Students’ Modes of Reaction/Roles in an Acute Bullying Situation Start the bullying and take an active part A. The Bully/bullies Dislike the bullying and help or try to help the one who is exposed, the target G. Defender of the target Take an active part but do not start the bullying B. Follower henchmen F. Possible defender Support the bullying but do not take an active part C. Supporter passive bully/bullies Dislike the bullying and think they ought to help (but don’t do it) D. Passive supporter possible bully Like the bullying but do not display open support E. Disengaged onlooker Watch what happens is none of my business. Don’t take a stand. From: Bullying Prevention Program, Blueprints for Violence Prevention
Interventions that alone do not work as bullying prevention. • Mediation • Short term one shot solutions. • Anti-bullying Curriculum • Self-esteem work for bullies • Assertiveness training for targets. • More punitive discipline. • Group therapy for bullies. • Anger management training for bullies.
What does work in bullying prevention? An integrated approach based on clear expectations and consistent consequences, followed by counseling for perpetrators, support for victims, and education for the silent majority within a comprehensive approach.
Self evaluation Take a hard look at yourself Do you bully your children? • Do you frequently criticize? • Is your tone of voice unnecessarily harsh? • Do you yell for control? • Do you use sarcasm to discipline? • Do you teach and model the art of negotiation? • Do you model the behaviors you want from your children?
Framing the Issue • The seeds of violence are not rooted in school nor can they be solved only at school. • The solutions touch on mental health, strength of family and neighborhood, access to weapons, juvenile and criminal law, and the prevalence of violence in the media. • Solutions must be comprehensive, coordinated, collaborative and sustained. • Zero intolerance for bullying from adults is what works best to stop it.
"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)