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Understanding Bullying American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Webinar Washington, DC June 2, 2011 Kevin Jennings Assistant Deputy Secretary Office of Safe.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Bullying American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Webinar Washington, DC June 2, 2011 Kevin Jennings Assistant Deputy Secretary Office of Safe."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Bullying American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Webinar Washington, DC June 2, 2011 Kevin Jennings Assistant Deputy Secretary Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools Department of Education

2 Goals To become familiar with research on antisocial behavior specific to Bullying To identify some interventions and supports that can help to prevent bullying.

3 Reminders Honor people’s ideas Participate and share in all activities Silence phones (and texting) 3

4 President Obama “We must dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up. It’s not. Bullying can have destructive consequences for our young people. And it’s not something we have to accept. As parents and students, as teachers and members of the community, we can take steps -- all of us -- to help prevent bullying and create a climate in our schools in which all of our children can feel safe; a climate in which they all can feel like they belong.”

5 Beginning with the school year, Texas school boards will be required by law to adopt new or amend existing board policies that prohibit bullying, including cyber-bullying. Districts may also have to create or revise administrative procedures to address how the district responds to incidents of bullying. These changes are designed to promote a safe and secure learning environment for all students.

6 What is Bullying? Bullying refers to repeated aggressive behavior meant to hurt another person. 6

7 Some Groups are Singled Out for Harassment Question: “At your school, how often are students bullied, called names or harassed for the following reasons?” Source: From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America 2005

8 Only boys bully. True False Verbal, social, and physical bullying happens among both boys and girls, especially as they grow older.

9 Prevalence of Bullying Behaviors and the Roles of Gender Source: Wang, 2009

10 Today’s Teens Love Technology Percentage of teens who… Source: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

11 VictimizationPerpetration

12 “Sexting” is Common Percentage of teens sending or posting sexually suggestive messages (text, , IM) Source: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

13 People who bully are insecure and have low self-esteem. True ? False? FALSE FALSE Bullies are often popular and have average or better-than-average self-esteem. They often take pride in their aggressive behavior and control over the people they bully. People who bully may be part of a group that thinks bullying is okay. Some people who bully may also have poor social skills and experience anxiety or depression. For them, bullying can be a way to gain social status.

14 Bullying often resolves itself when you ignore it True? False? FALSE FALSE Bullying reflects an imbalance of power that happens again and again. Ignoring the bullying teaches students who bully that they can bully others without consequences. Adults and other students need to stand up for children who are bullied, and to ensure they are protected and safe. We all have a right to a safe and orderly environment!

15 All children will outgrow bullying. True? False? For some, bullying continues as they become older. Unless someone intervenes, the bullying will likely continue and, in some cases, grow into violence and other serious problems. Children who consistently bully others often continue their aggressive behavior through adolescence and into adulthood.

16 Higher Rates of Criminal Conviction (Ages 15-50) Bullies are 1.69 times more likely to be convicted of a crime between the ages of 15 and 50. Farrington, Ttofi & Lösel; Criminal Behavior and Mental Health (2011)

17 Higher Rates of Violent Conviction (Ages 15-50) Bullies are 1.96 times more likely to be convicted of a violent crime between the ages of 15 and 50. Farrington, Ttofi & Lösel; Criminal Behavior and Mental Health (2011)

18 Less Successful Lives (Age 32) Bullies are 1.72 times more likely than non-bullies to lead an unsuccessful life at age 32. Farrington, Ttofi & Lösel; Criminal Behavior and Mental Health (2011)

19 Less Successful Lives (Age 48) Bullies are 2.57 times more likely than non-bullies to lead an unsuccessful life at age 48. Farrington, Ttofi & Lösel; Criminal Behavior and Mental Health (2011)

20 Teachers often intervene to stop bullying True? False? Adults often do not witness bullying despite their good intentions. Teachers intervene in only 14 % of classroom bullying episodes and in 4% of bullying incidents that happen outside the classroom.

21 There is Profound Disagreement among Students, Teachers and Administrators about Teachers’ Ability to Deter Bullying (Grades 6-8, % agreeing with idea that teachers can effectively deter bullying) Perkins, Brian. (2007). Figure 1D and 1.1D [Tables]. Where We Teach: The CUBE Survey of Urban School Climate. Alexandria, VA: National School Boards Association

22 There is Profound Disagreement among Students, Teachers and Administrators about Teachers’ Ability to Deter Bullying (Grades 9-12, % agreeing with idea that teachers can effectively deter bullying) Perkins, Brian. (2007). Figure 1D and 1.1D [Tables]. Where We Teach: The CUBE Survey of Urban School Climate. Alexandria, VA: National School Boards Association

23 Reporting bullying will make the situation worse. True? False? Research shows that children who report bullying to an adult are less likely to experience bullying in the future. Adults should encourage children to help keep their school safe and to tell an adult when they see bullying.

24 Rivers, I., Poteat, V.P., Noret, N., Ashurt, N. (2009). Observing Bullying at School: The Mental Health Implication of Witness Status. School Psychology Quarterly. 24:4,

25 Petrosino, A., Guckenburg, S., DeVoe, J. and Hanson, T. (2010). What characteristics of bullying, bullying victims, and schools are associated with increased reporting of bullying to school officials? (Issues & Answers Report, REL No.092). Washington, DC: US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Education Laboratory Northeast and Islands. Retrieved from

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28 More Fighting=Worse Grades Percentage of US High School students who were in an physical fight on school property in the last year, by grades earned National YRBS, 2003

29 Worse Grades=More Absenteeism Percentage of US High School students who did not go to school because they felt unsafe at school on or their way to/from school, by grades earned National YRBS, 2003

30 Card Game Get a card from the deck Don’t look at it. Hold it up on your forehead for others to see. Your peers will let you know if you are in their group or not. The object of this game is to find your peer group based on how you are treated. You have 5 minutes. Be ready to report what you experienced.

31 Reliving High School Aces and Face cards: you are the most popular kids in school. You are mean You are ok. Average. They can take you or leave you. It’s all the same. 2-5 You are a low status student. No one wants to be with you. You often get into trouble.

32 Bullying usually occurs when there are no other students around. True? False? Students see 4 out of every 5 bullying incidents at school. In fact, when they witness bullying, they give the student who is bullying positive attention or even join in about three-quarters of the time.

33 Rivers, I., Poteat, V.P., Noret, N., Ashurt, N. (2009). Observing Bullying at School: The Mental Health Implication of Witness Status. School Psychology Quarterly. 24:4,

34 Participant Roles BullyWitnessesVictim

35 Participant Roles Bully What Characterizes a Bully? High rates of “externalizing behavior” - Having behaviors consistent with ADD, ADHD, Oppositional/Defiant Disorder, or Conduct Disorder - Being Highly Aggressive Having negative perceptions of “others”: people unlike themselves Cook, C. R., Williams, K.R., Guerra, N.G., Kim, T.E.m & Sadek, S. (2010). Predictors of bullying and victimization in childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic investigation. School Psychology Quarterly, 25(2),

36 Long-Term Effects - Bullies By age 23, 60% of boys identified as bullies in middle school had at least one conviction of a crime and 35% had three or more convictions 50% of all identified school bullies became criminals as adults Bullies at age 8 are three times more likely to be convicted of crime by age 30 Bullies are less likely to finish college or locate a good job

37 Participant Roles Victim What Characterizes a Victim? Low Social Competence -Lack basic social skills - Unable to easily make friends Peer Rejection Cook, C. R., Williams, K.R., Guerra, N.G., Kim, T.E.m & Sadek, S. (2010). Predictors of bullying and victimization in childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic investigation. School Psychology Quarterly, 25(2),

38 Long-Term Effects - Victim Being bullied during middle school is predictive of low self-esteem 10 years later By age 23, children who were bullied in middle school were more depressed and had lower self- esteem than their non-bullied peers Feel more rejected by peers More suicidal Often leads to violent retaliation by victims

39 Rivers, I., Poteat, V.P., Noret, N., Ashurt, N. (2009). Observing Bullying at School: The Mental Health Implication of Witness Status. School Psychology Quarterly. 24:4,

40 Participant Roles BullyVictim What Characterizes a Bully-Victim? A bully-victim is someone who is both the perpetrator and the target of bullying behavior Bully-victims show similarly low- levels of social competency as only- victims. Bully-victims are more easily influenced by their peers than only- victims. Cook, C. R., Williams, K.R., Guerra, N.G., Kim, T.E.m & Sadek, S. (2010). Predictors of bullying and victimization in childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic investigation. School Psychology Quarterly, 25(2),

41 Assistants Reinforcers OutsidersDefenders Rivers, I., Poteat, V.P., Noret, N., Ashurt, N. (2009). Observing Bullying at School: The Mental Health Implication of Witness Status. School Psychology Quarterly. 24:4, Witnesses Role of Bystanders in Instances of Bullying

42 Nothing can be done at schools to reduce bullying True? False? School initiatives to prevent and stop bullying have reduced bullying by % The most successful initiatives involve the entire school community: teachers, staff, parents, students, and community members.

43 Teachers and Students Make a Difference In classrooms where both students and teachers had strong attitudes and actions against bullying and aggression rates of aggression were 1/3 to ½ of classes where peers alone (and not teachers) had strong attitudes against aggression Henry, D., Guerra, N., Huessmann, R., Tolan, P., VanAcker, R., & Eron, L. (2000). Normative influences on aggression in urban elementary school classrooms. Amerian Journal of Community Psychology, 28(1),

44 Peer Intervention Works, but Isn’t Common Of bullying episodes in which peers intervened, 57% of the interventions were effective (i.e., the bullying stopped within 10 seconds). Peers intervene in only 11-19% of all bullying incidents. Source: Hawkins, Pepler and Craig 2001

45 Every School Should… Help to educate faculty, staff & parents about bullying Have a clear policy against bullying behaviors, and communicate this policy early and often to students, staff, and parents Train all staff who interact with students (including bus drivers, school resource officers, school nurses, and cafeteria workers) on how to recognize bullying behaviors and intervene effectively to stop them Ensure that all staff members take immediate action when bullying is observed. Gather data to assess bullying, the level of staff commitment to address bullying, and parent interest and concerns.

46 Every Teacher Should… Initiate discussion with students and parents about expected behavior before problems arise Closely supervise your students and be watchful for possible signs of bullying among students in your classes (sudden changes in behavior, etc) Take immediate action if you observe or suspect bullyingIntegrate bullying prevention into your curriculum in age-appropriate ways Remember that actions sometimes speak louder than words, and be sure that you don't inadvertently model bullying behavior

47 Every Student Should… Speak up! Step in when other students are being bullied or tell a teacher what is going on Make it clear to others that bullying is not okay. Support bullied students – make them feel like they are not alone Help teachers and administrators know what is going on. Work with them to find solutions. Source: HRSA Stop Bullying Now!

48 In a Truly Safe School Every Student Feels Like… They Belong. They are Valued. They Feel Physically and Emotionally Safe.

49 The good life for our own children can only be secured if a good life is also secured for all other people’s children” “ The good life for our own children can only be secured if a good life is also secured for all other people’s children” “ Each of us must come to care about everyone else’s children. We must recognize that the welfare of our children is intimately linked to the welfare of all other people’s children. When one of our children needs life saving surgery, somebody else’s child will perform it. If one of our children is harmed by violence, somebody else’s child will be responsible for the violent act.” Lilian Katz is an early childhood professor from the University of Illinois

50 Lilian Katz is a Professor Emerita of early childhood education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is also principal investigator for the Illinois Early Learning Project, [1] a contributor to the Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative, and editor of the first on-line peer-reviewed early-childhood journal, Early Childhood Research & Practice. She was born and raised in England and received her Ph.D. in Child Development from Stanford University in 1968.early childhood educationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [1]Stanford University

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52 Create a Safe Environment in which Bullying Is Unacceptable Establish yourself as a clear and visible authority with responsibility for making the school experience safe and positive. Develop rules and sanctions related to bullying. Post the rules campus wide. Discuss the rules and sanctions. Enforce the rules and sanctions.

53 Create a Safe Environment in which Bullying Is Unacceptable Take immediate action when bullying is observed. Listen to students and parents who report bullying in your classroom. Quickly, consistently and effectively resolve the issue to avoid perpetuation of bullying behaviors.

54 Create a Safe Environment in which Bullying Is Unacceptable Notify parents of all involved students when a bullying incident occurs. In instances of cyber bullying there is often printed evidence, such as an instant message or Facebook page that can be shared with parents so that parents can address the issue at home. 54

55 Create a Safe Environment in which Bullying Is Unacceptable Refer students affected by bullying to school counseling or mental health staff, if needed. Hold class meetings during which students can talk about bullying and peer relations. Provide information to parents and students about bullying behaviors and encourage involvement and support in addressing bullying issues.

56 AFT’s Guidelines for Discipline Codes Apply rules consistently everywhere, and to everyone, in the school system. Authorize and encourage all employees to enforce the code. Provide resources to promote rigorous enforcement. 56

57 School wide Discipline-Implementing the Plan Develop a school safety policy Develop a crisis intervention plan Implementing the School wide Plan Build school wide staff commitment Establish an operating system Concentrate on team building Develop a school wide discipline manual that reflects the program Conduct staff development Teach students about the plan Develop and implement a system to collect and evaluate data 57

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