Resources for Schools to Address Bullying
Laura Danna (bio) suggests programs and a website, and offers a tip for addressing school bullying.
So some people who are familiar with social/emotional learning programs, who have been doing Second Step in the classrooms, there's a program specific for bullying called Steps to Respect. So we have some schools that use Steps to Respect as a way of going into the classroom and doing some guidance lessons around, "What are the ways that we want to treat people? What are the ways that we don't?" and then some exercises around that.
There's also some information that Eric Landers has put out and he has a great website called mybehaviorresource.com and he really focuses on schools, focusing on the social structure of bullying. So it's not just about identifying the bullying and identifying the victim. It's also about identifying everybody else that's a part of it, whether it's an active participation or passive. Who's doing something positive about it? Who's doing nothing? And who's doing something that might be detrimental?
Another part that's through the PBIS is Stop, Walk, and Talk. Again, it is part of a larger system that talks about bullying specifically. So by using a hand signal or words, letting them know to stop. "Stop saying what you're saying because those words are not appropriate. Stop doing what you're doing because that's not what we do at our school." The walking is, "If it doesn't stop, then walk away." But, then, the talking part is if, sometimes, you might stop it and you might walk away and you still might have to tell somebody, even if it stopped. And then, the other piece of it is, when it's not stopping, it doesn't help that you're walking away. It really is important to talk to an adult.
The other piece that's so important about that is that, sometimes, adults don't listen or they don't hear it in the way that the kids are saying it. So, we often recommend to students, "If you tell somebody and they're not quite getting it, you've got to go tell somebody else." So, sometimes, it's not just one adult. You've got to go find multiple adults.
And then, the last piece is a really exciting program called Actively Caring for People. It is a kindness movement that emerged after the shooting on the Virginia Tech campus back in 2007. Some of the staff really decided that they wanted to set out to focus on people being kind. So they coined the term "actively caring." How do you care for people in a way, whether it's the people that you know or the people that you don't? And so, they've created this program. It was not set out to be a bullying prevention program. It was really set out to be about kindness and about caring and catching people being good and how that can really make a difference for a stranger who's really struggling, if you help them do something or say a kind word, it can really make a difference.
Excerpted from an interview at SSET Training 2013 in Los Angeles, CA.