Three-point plan to address bullying in schools

Below is the start of a roadmap to addressing bullying in schools. Input is welcome. The goal is to come at bullying from three directions: targeting the children, targeting the data, and targeting the day-to-day reality on the ground.

1. Implement positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) for each school.

2. Ensure that the district has a tracking system to monitor behavioral patterns, such as the Schoolwide Information System (SWIS). This has been touted as a cover-your-ass system for districts to ensure that they’ve responded to bullying complaints, but its use as a way to monitor for patterns and problem areas cannot be overlooked.

3. Invest in a school resource officer, at least part time and daily, for every school. They are the link between adults and children, rules and real behaviors. This officer could, with the school counselor, be the point person for bullying complaints from children or parents, thus being aware of the tide of interaction in the hallways where they work. This approach also offers a specific point-person on each campus for mediating bullying issues.

Any plan involving these factors must also incorporate a policy of acceptance (not only tolerance) of all people, regardless of differences of any kind. Period.


About ejwillingham

Sciwriter/editor/autism-ADHD parent. SciMaven @ I speak my pieces @ & @
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5 Responses to Three-point plan to address bullying in schools

  1. Pingback: Bullying, bullied in high school an even split | End the Bullying

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  4. D. S. Walker says:

    I quickly read over the information on the programs. I truly appreciate all the work you do to research issues around bullying. All three programs have their positives; however, I have a few concerns. The first is that they all seem to be a one size fits all, or at least most solution. I would feel better about the programs if I saw input from families of children, who have actually experienced bullying. I don’t really believe anyone can understand the impacts of bullying until either they, or someone they love has been bullied.

    I would also like to see parents of the bullies involved because truthfully, children who bully are either victims at home, or they are encouraged to be on top at all costs. They need help too, and their parents need to understand that there are consequences of their children’s actions.

    My last concern is that I don’t see anything in any of these programs about cyber bullying. Did I miss it or are the schools not going to address it?

  5. biolotrix says:

    Yes, those things would be an excellent part of any program, but these are simple basics that would help ensure that even those who continue to insist on trying to bully or that bullying is OK would run into the brick wall of an SRO, at the least. These are steps to take NOW, not culture-changing steps, necessarily. Programs like Roots of Empathy, begun early, may change culture. The reason for this particular plan is primarily that it’s pretty much immediately actionable, and that SROs are among the only interventions that have proved effective in halting bullying in a school. The problem w/ input from families who have experienced bullying is that people who adhere to a culture in which bullying is OK will simply view them as whiny victims. The roots go too deep for real-life stories to influence people like that. But a law-enforcement backdrop, the reality of repercussions from bullying? These are effective with such people.

    As for cyberbullying, from what I’ve read, targeting it specifically may not be particularly any more effective than targeting bullying as a whole. There are anti-cyberbullying initiatives out there, but I haven’t evaluated them.

    I very much appreciate your comments and would like to hear further ideas.

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