Sunday, February 17, 2013

Anti-Bullying Programs

Lately bullying has become a problem throughout the states and has been the root to many shootings and suicides at schools.  Nearly one in threes students experienced bullying in the 2007-2008 school year and administrators at one in four schools described bullying occurrence as a daily thing (Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2010).  Psychologist believe that bullying can begin a "trajectory of trouble" for those who are bullying and create how suicides rates amongst those who are being bullied. Every one is effected by bullying even if they are not directly effected.

Psychologist have developed an intervention that has been shown to reduce bullying. There are three levels of intervention, intervention for the bullies, help for the victims and school-wide change. The main reason why there is intervention for bullies is because their actions show that they have poor social skills and "emotional regulation." Bullies undergo a three hour program that helps psychologist understand their interaction with other children and find a better way for that child to express themselves.

The next area of intervention is for the victims of bullying. 40% of teachers report observing bullying once a week or more according to a 2010 survey by the National Education Association. To find the hidden victims of bullying they did a very clever thing. They used anonymous surveys that asked students to list classmates who are regularly bullied. "What we've found in a number of schools are students who get listed 10 or 15 or 20 or more times. Almost invariably, these are students who are in serious trouble, and often not known to be victims by guidance counselors," School counselors were able to take this information and help victims better deal with bullying. Because of this surrey, the number of students who reported experiencing bullying dropped by 22 percent and the number of middle school students decreased by almost 16 percent since the survey has been given in 2009.

Last but not least was an intervention amongst the school. The best way to reduce bullying is for the student to come together against bullying. Two such programs, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program developed by Norwegian psychologist Dan Olweus, PhD, and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports, are being tested by Bradshaw through a $13.3 million study of 60 public high schools in Maryland. The Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports program works by giving student rewards for positive behaviors. Another way to fight against bullying is by teaching kids how they can intervene as bystanders.

I find that these methods should be used in many more schools than just those in Maryland. Bullying seems to be a problem tormenting our school systems and these programs may be the beginning of the process needed to rid our schools of bullying.

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