Bullying 101 “Become the change you want to see” Mahatma Gandhi By: Dave Misir, Lan Vu, Jasmine Turka Table of Contents • Introduction 4-9 • Affects of Bullying 10-17 • Prevention & Intervention Strategies 18-38 • Misguided Bullying Solutions 39-41 • Bullying Myths 42-48 • Resources & References 49-53 Introduction Video A Childs Perspective • When asked the question: "What threatens your safety and emotional health?" Most kids say, teasing and bullying (Kaiser Family Foundation & Children Now, 2001). • Yet many adults may not realize how often children see or experience bullying at school and elsewhere. • Often adults don't see bullying when it happens. • Those adults who see it, and do nothing, may not understand that kids can be hurt by bullying. What is Bullying • Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional (not accidental or done in fun) that involves an imbalance of power or strength. • Often, bullying is repeated over time, and can take many forms, such as: – – – – – hitting or punching, teasing or name-calling, intimidation through gestures, social exclusion, sending insulting messages or pictures by mobile phone or using the Internet also known as cyber bullying. Types of Bullying Physical Bullying: “Physical acts included within this category range from “accidentally on purpose” physical contact between a bully and victim to all out kicking and beating resulting in severe injury.” Emotional/Psychological Bullying: “This form of bullying is more subtle, more difficult to detect, and possibly more damaging. Very often emotional bullying is verbal, and centers upon gossip and name calling. Rejection and isolation are a form of emotional bullying as well.” Video Types of Bullying Cyber Bullying: “…refers to emotional intimidation of others via electronic communication. It often takes the form of inappropriate and hurtful rumors, threats, or photos sent through e-mail, text messaging, blogs, or website posts. Cyber bullying is easy to do and difficult to curtail.” Sexually Based Bullying (Sexual Harassment) Sexual harassment means that someone is bothering you by saying or doing unwanted or unwelcome things of a sexual or gender-related nature. Examples: - touching you inappropriately - making offensive jokes or remarks about women or men - making sexual requests or suggestions - staring at or making unwelcome comments about your body - displaying sexually offensive pictures - being verbally abusive to you because of your gender Video Why Does Bullying Occur & Who Becomes a Bully • “Pay Off” When parents and adults give in to an obnoxious or aggressive child, the child learns to use bullying to get what he or she wants. • Aggressive behaviour in the home. Some children are more likely than others to imitate aggressive behaviour. Watching adults bully each other gives children the tools they need to become bullies themselves. • Harsh physical punishment. Bullies often attack smaller, weaker children to model what happens to them in their homes. The worst possible punishment for bullies is physical. • Abusive peers. Children may be bullied by their “friends” or may be encouraged to bully to be part of the group. • Constant negative feedback. Bullies feel that the world around them is more negative than positive. As a result, they use negative behaviour to feel important and get attention. Warning Signs of Bullying There are many signs that a child is being bullied. Some signs to look for: • The child comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books or other belongings. • The child has unexplained bruises, cuts or scratches. • The child seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus or taking part in organized activities with peers. • The child appears sad, moody, teary or depressed when he or she comes home. • The child frequently appears anxious and/or suffers from low selfesteem. Affects of Bullying Warning Signs & Short Term Affect of Bullying • Victims feel afraid, lonely, and often attempt to avoid situations in which they may be bullied. • Has few, if any friends, with whom he or she spends time • Takes a long, “illogical” route when walking to or from school • Has lost interest in school work or suddenly begins to do poorly in school • Appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home • Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical ailments • Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams • Experiences a loss of appetite • Appears anxious and suffers from low self-esteem Long Term Affects • Victims see themselves as unworthy or inferior, academic performance sufferers, some believe they deserve the abuse, can develop a victim mentality, depression, and suicide, difficulty forming relationships. • Children who are bullied are more likely than other children to have lower self-esteem; and higher rates of depression, loneliness, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. • They also are more likely to want to avoid attending school and have higher school absenteeism rates. • Recent research on the health related effects of bullying indicates that victims of frequent bullying are more likely to experience headaches, sleeping problems, and stomach ailments. Why are the Victims Targeted? • Appearance, mannerisms, or just because they don’t fit in. • Children who have a disability or a chronic illness are also common targets. • Victims fit into two categories: passive (anxious, insecure, etc.) or provocative (hot-tempered, restless, etc.). - Provocative victims are also at risk of becoming bullies either category – talented or popular children are also victimized because some students view the high achievers as sucking up. This type of bullying is based on jealousy. Who Does Bullying Affect? • Debra Pepler, Research Professor of Psychology at Work University, identified bullying as “a disrespectful relationship problem.” • The harmful impacts of bullying are not inclusive to the bully and the victim; it affects peers, family members, student culture, and the community. Percentage of Students Engaged in Bullying • About one-tenth (9.9 per cent) said they engaged in consistently high levels from elementary through high school • 13.4 per cent said they had reduced from relatively high levels in elementary school to almost no bullying by the end of high school • 35.1 per cent said they bullied peers at moderate levels • 41.6 per cent almost never reported bullying. • Results from the study also show that children who bullied tended to be aggressive and have experienced a lot of conflict in their relationship with their parents. Their relationships with their friends also had a lot of conflict as well and the bully usually associated with others who bullied. Problems with Other Relationships • According to a study conducted by scientists at York University and Queens University, children who bully also have difficulties with other relationships, such as with parents or friends. • Researchers surveyed 871 students (466 girls and 405 boys) for seven years from ages 10 – 18. The students were asked questions about their involvement in bullying, their relationships, and positive or negative behaviours. Suicide • Research from Yale School of Medicine published in the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health has identified an apparent link between bullying or being bullied and suicide in young people. • Together with colleague Bennett Leventhal, M.D., Young-Shin Kim analysed 37 studies into bullying and suicide among children and adolescents from 13 countries including United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Japan and South Africa. • Bullying was found to affect between nine and 54 per cent of participants. Almost all studies identified connections between being bullied and suicidal thoughts, with victims between two and nine times more likely to report experiencing this state of mind. Perpetrators were also found to be at increased risk of suicidal behaviours. Video Prevention & Intervention Strategies Video School Wide Initiatives Building A School Wide Foundation: -Coordinating with other schools in the school district Students will do best if they receive consistent bullying prevention training throughout their schooling as they move through grade levels among schools. -Assessing the extent of the problem Handing out school wide surveys to students and staff members to identify problems -Create a coordinating team This group will help develop and implement school wide activities. School Wide Initiatives Building A School Wide Foundation: -Developing a code of conduct This should involve the entire school community, including students and their parents. -Establish and consistently enforce consequences for bullying Consequences should be understood by all students. -Building students' sense of responsibility Students should help develop the code of conduct, determine where and how it is displayed and contribute to school wide activities. -Distinguish between "tattle tailing "and "reporting." Most students are hesitant to turn in their classmates. They usually do not want to get their peers in trouble. Ensuring confidentiality and establishing a safe way for students to report bullying School Wide Initiatives -Train school staff Staff need to know how to identify and respond to bullying as well as how to demonstrate and reinforce positive problem solving. -Ensure cultural competence Written information should be translated into relevant languages. -Increase adult supervision Adults should be visible in all common areas of the school. -Conduct school wide bullying prevention activities This lets everyone know that bullying is wrong and that everyone has a role in stopping it. School Wide Initiatives Preventative Measures in the Classroom: -Teach specific skills and values in the classroom This would be done through adult role modeling, discussions, and practice -Integrate skills into other areas of the curriculum whenever possible Teaching students how to solve their own problems can encourage problem-solving and leadership skills. -Hold parent meetings Parent involvement is a key role. Group discussions teach parents how to reinforce those skills at home. How to Approach a Bullied Student If you suspect your student is being bullied, remember to support your student, inform others and take action. • First, focus on your student. Be supportive and gather information about the bullying. Tell your student you are concerned about him or her and ask questions. • Talk to other staff members who interact with your student to see if they have observed bullying incidences. • If you know your student is being bullied, take quick action. There is nothing worse than doing nothing, and bullying can have serious effects. What Should Students Do? Steps: 1. YOU can help Stop Bullying Now! by talking to adults about bullying! 2. Think about times you have seen bullying happen and write down as much as you can remember using the questions below as a guide. Where does it take place? Who does the bullying? When does it happen? 3. Find out how bullying is handled at your school. 4. If you haven't been bullied but are close to someone who has and is willing to discuss it, talk to him or her about what could have been done differently. Here are some questions you could ask: Did you tell a parent or teacher? Did an adult help stop the bullying? Did any students help you? What would make you feel safer? What a Student should Not Do • Think it's your fault. Nobody deserves to be bullied! • Fight back or bully a person back. This probably won't make things any better and it might get you into big trouble. Besides, you should try to act better than the person who bullies you. • Keep it to yourself and just hope the bullying will "go away." It's normal to want to try to ignore bullying and hope that it will stop–or hope that the person will start to pick on someone else • Skip school or avoid clubs or sports because you're afraid of being bullied. Missing out on school or activities that you enjoy isn't the answer. You have a right to be there! • Think that you're a "tattle tale" if you tell an adult that you've been bullied. Telling is NOT tattling! It's the right thing to do. • Hurt yourself. Some kids who are bullied get so sad and depressed that they may try to hurt themselves because they think there is nothing else they can do. What Can Adults Do? 1. Focus on the social environment of the school. In order to reduce bullying, it is important to change the social climate of the school and the social norms with regards to bullying. This requires the efforts of everyone in the school environment—teachers, administrators, counselors and other non-teaching staff, parents, and students. 2. Assess bullying at your school. Adults are not always very good at estimating the nature and prevalence of bullying at their school. As a result, it can be quite useful to administer an anonymous questionnaire to students about bullying. 3. Obtain staff and parent buy-in and support for bullying prevention. Bullying prevention should not be the sole responsibility of any single individual at a school. To be most effective, bullying prevention efforts require buy-in from the majority of the staff and from parents. However, bullying prevention efforts should still begin even if immediate buy-in from all isn't achievable. Usually, more and more supporters will join the effort once they see what it's accomplishing. What Can Adults Do? 4. Form a group to coordinate the school's bullying prevention activities. Bullying prevention efforts seem to work best if they are coordinated by a representative group from the school. This coordinating team might include: • an administrator • a teacher from each grade • a member of the non-teaching staff • a school counselor or other school-based mental health professional • a parent 5. The team should meet regularly to review findings from the school's survey; plan specific bullying prevention activities; motivate staff, students, and parents; and ensure that the efforts continue over time. 6. Provide training for school staff in bullying prevention. All administrators, faculty and staff at a school should be trained in bullying prevention and intervention. In-service training can help staff members to better understand the nature of bullying and its effects, how to respond if they observe bullying, and how to work with others at the school to help prevent bullying. 7. Establish and enforce school rules and policies related to bullying. Developing simple, clear rules about bullying can help to ensure that students are aware of adults' expectations that they not bully others and that they help students who are bullied. School rules and policies should be posted and discussed with students and parents. What Can Adults Do? 8. Increase adult supervision in "hot spots" for bullying. Bullying tends to thrive in locations where adults are not present or are not watchful. Adults should look for creative ways to increase adult presence in locations that students identify as "hot spots.“ 9. Intervene consistently and appropriately when you see bullying. Observed or suspected bullying should never be ignored by adults. All school staff should learn effective strategies to intervene on-the-spot to stop bullying. Staff members also should be designated to hold sensitive follow-up meetings with students who are bullied and (separately) with students who bully. Staff members should involve parents whenever possible. 10. Devote some class time to bullying prevention. Students can benefit if teachers set aside a regular period of time (e.g., 20-30 minutes each week or every other week) to discuss bullying and Improving peer relations. These meetings can help teachers to keep their fingers on the pulse of students' concerns, allow time for discussions about bullying and the harms that it can cause, and provide tools for students to address bullying problems. Anti-bullying messages also can be incorporated throughout the school curriculum. Tips for Bully Victims Have the bully victims… – Stick with groups and never be alone – Stay in sight of peers and adults – Speak slowly, firmly and clearly – Arrive earlier, later or choose a different route to school Dealing with Cyber Bullying Suggestions for Educators: • Educate your students, teachers, and other staff members about cyber bullying, its dangers, and what to do if someone is cyber bullied. • Be sure that your school’s anti-bullying rules and policies address cyber bullying. • Closely monitor students’ use of computers at school. • Use filtering and tracking software on all computers, but don’t rely solely on this software to screen out cyber bullying and other problematic online behavior. Dealing with Cyber Bullying Suggestions for Educators • Investigate reports of cyber bullying immediately. If cyber bullying occurs through the school district’s Internet system, you are obligated to take action. If the cyber bullying occurs off-campus, consider what actions you might take to help address the bullying: – Notify parents of victims and parents of cyber bullies of known or suspected cyber bullying. – Notify the police if the known or suspected cyber bullying involves a threat. – Closely monitor the behavior of the affected students at school for possible bullying. – Talk with all students about the harms caused by cyber bullying. Remember — cyber bullying that occurs off-campus can travel like wildfire among your students and can affect how they behave and relate to each other at school. – Investigate to see if the victim(s) of cyber bullying could use some support from a school counselor or school-based mental health professional. Dealing with Cyber Bullying Suggestions for Educators • Contact the police immediately if known or suspected cyber bullying involves acts such as: – – – – – Threats of violence Extortion Obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages Harassment, stalking, or hate crimes Child pornography Dealing with Cyber Bullying Tips for Students: • Don’t respond to the cyber bullying. • Do not erase the messages or pictures. Save these as evidence. • If the cyber bullying is coming through email or a cell phone, it may be possible to block future contact from the cyber bully. Of course, the cyber bully may assume a different identity and continue the bullying. • Contact your school. If the cyber bullying is occurring through your school district’s Internet system, school administrators have an obligation to intervene. Even if the cyber bullying is occurring off campus, make your school administrators aware of the problem. They may be able to help you resolve the cyber bullying or be watchful for face-to-face bullying. Dealing with Harassment • Educate students on what is harassment specifically sexual, and forms of sexual harassment. • Set clear expectation regarding appropriate and inappropriate behavior. • Development of written policies and complaint procedures. • Identify and respond to all incidents. • Create a school climate that supports gender equality and forms of diversity; • Train all school staff to recognize harassment and deal with it appropriately. How to Support a Bully • Make it clear to the student that you take bullying seriously and that you will not tolerate this behavior. • Develop clear and consistent rules regarding bullying and appropriate behavior. Praise and reinforce your student for following rules and use non-physical, non hostile consequences for rule violations. • Spend more time with your student and carefully supervise and monitor his or her activities. Find out who your students friends are and how and where they spend free time. • Build on your students talents by encouraging him or her to get involved in prosocial activities (such as clubs, music lessons, nonviolent sports). • Share your concerns with your students parents, teachers, counselor, or principal. Work together to send clear messages to your child that his or her bullying must stop. • If you or your student needs additional help, talk with a school counselor or mental health professional. How to Support a Bully • Establish a protocol for intervening in or investigating a bullying incident -The victim and the bully should be separated. Adults need to find out if there is a pattern of bullying and the appropriate consequences. Both bully and victim should be observed more carefully and parents should be contacted. • Reinforce alternative behaviors - Help students to determine more appropriate strategies to express their feelings or resolve conflicts • Work with parents -Student and family counseling may be necessary to help parents learn new approaches to discipline and positive interactions with their child. How to Support a Bully • Try to get the bully to put themselves in the victim’s shoes • Make it a learning situation • Set up a contract with the bully • Discuss the bullying event with the bully in an open discussion BRING THE BULLY AND VICTIM TOGETHER This is a time for the bully and victim to come together under supervision to discuss what happened and what will be done in the future. Each child has the chance to speak and no fingers should be pointed. Positive team building activities can be used. Misguided Bullying Solutions Misguided Bullying Solutions Zero tolerance policies • Many schools and school districts have adopted “zero tolerance” or “three strikes and you’re out” policies towards bullying, in which children who bully others are suspended or expelled from school. These policies (also called “student exclusion” policies) raise many concerns. • Threats of severe punishments, such as suspension or expulsion, may actually discourage children and adults from reporting bullying that they observe. • Bullying can be an early marker of other problem behaviors. Children who frequently bully their peers are at risk of engaging in other problem behaviors such as truancy, fighting, theft, and vandalism. Children who bully are in need of positive, pro-social role models, including adults and students in their school. • Although suspension and expulsion of students may be necessary to maintain public safety in a very small number of cases , these practices are not recommended as a broad-based bullying prevention or intervention policy. Misguided Bullying Solutions Group treatment for children who bully Another strategy that some schools use to address bullying behavior involves group therapeutic treatment for children who bully, including anger management, skillbuilding, empathy-building, and seeking ways to build the self-esteem of bullies. Although these interventions are well-intentioned, they often are counter productive. Students’ behavior may further deteriorate, as group members tend to serve as role models and reinforces for each others’ antisocial and bullying behavior. Simple, short-term solutions Often, school administrators and their staff adopt a short-term, piecemeal approach to bullying prevention. Bullying may be the topic of a staff in-service training, a school-wide assembly, or lessons taught by individual teachers. Although each of these efforts may represent important initial steps in the adoption of a comprehensive, long-term bullying prevention strategy, they likely will do little to significantly reduce bullying problems if implemented in a piecemeal way. To reduce the prevalence of bullying we need a change in the climate of the school and its exceptions for student behavior. Bullying Myths Bullying Myths Most bullying is physical (involves hitting, shoving, kicking). – The most common form of bullying—both for boys and girls—is verbal bullying (e.g., namecalling, rumor spreading). It is also common for youth to bully each other through social isolation (e.g., shunning or leaving a child out on purpose). Bullying Myths Bullying isn’t serious. It’s just a matter of “kids being kids.” – Bullying can be extremely serious. Bullying can affect the mental well being, academic work, and physical health of children who are targeted. Bullying Myths Children and youth who are bullied will almost always tell an adult. – Adults are often unaware of bullying—in part because many children and youth don't report it. Most studies find that only 25%-50% of bullied children talk to an adult about the bullying. – Boys and older children are less likely than girls and younger children to tell adults about bullying. – They may fear retaliation by children doing the bullying. – They also may fear that adults won't take their concerns seriously or will deal inappropriately with the bullying situation. Bullying Myths Children and youth who bully are mostly loners with few social skills. • Children who bully usually do not lack friends. In fact, some research finds that they have larger friendship networks than other children. • Importantly, they usually have at least a small group of friends who support and encourage their bullying behavior. • Bullies also generally have more leadership skills than victims of bullying or children not involved in bullying. Bullying Myths Bullied kids need to learn how to deal with bullying on their own. • Some children have the confidence and skills to stop bullying when it happens, but many do not. Moreover, children shouldn’t be expected to deal with bullying on their own. • Bullying is a form of victimization or peer abuse. Just as society does not expect victims of other types of abuse (e.g., child maltreatment or domestic abuse) to “deal with it on their own,” we should not expect this from victims of bullying. • Adults have critical roles to play in helping to stop bullying, as do other children who witness or observe bullying. Bullying Myths Children and youth who observe bullying don’t want to get involved. • The good news is that most children and youth think that bullying is “not cool” and feel that they should do something if they see it happen. • In a recent study of teens, (Brown, Birch, & Kancherla, 2005), 56% said that they usually either say or do something to try to stop bullying that they observe or tell someone who could help. • These children and youth play a critical role in helping stop bullying in schools and communities. Resources & References Websites • Bullies: A Serious Problem for Kids - National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) www.mcgruff.org/bullies.htm This site provides characteristics that are commonly present in victims and bullies and also offers tips to parents and teachers about what they can do to help prevent bullying. • Bullying Prevention and Intervention www.nasponline.org/resources/principals/nassp_bullying.aspx> This site provides various prevention and intervention strategies for educators to implement. • Family Education Network www.safenetwork.org Search this site for the phrase “Back-to-School Safety.” Here you will be able to find articles, a message board, and advice from experts on keeping children safe in school Websites • Mental Help Net www.mentalhelp.net This site is home to the oldest and largest online mental health community and indexes over 9000 mental health resources, including articles on aggression and behaviour disorders. • School Based Violence Prevention Programs www.ucalgary.ca/resolve/violenceprevention/English/reviewprog/harassin tro.htm This is a resource manual for girls and young women emphasizing prevention programs. • Science Daily www.sciencedaily.com This site hosts numerous articles regarding science and health issues, including the latest research about bullying. Organizations • Teen Touch Operates a confidential, non-judgmental, 24-hour distress line for teenagers and their families. It is staffed by trained volunteers who are there to listen, offer options and make referrals. • Kids help Phone Operates a 24-hour, toll-free, bilingual, telephone counseling service for troubled children and youth. Provides emotional support, counseling, information and referral services. • Youth resource Center: Winnipeg 477-1804 The services provided include information, referral, informal counseling, support services and guidance for youth aged 13-21. Also provides shortterm shelter for youth aged 13-17 between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. Books Beane, Allan L. The Bully Free Classroom. [Minneapolis]: Free Spirit Publishing Inc., 1999. Print. Coloroso, Barbara. The Bully, The Bullied, and The Bystander. [Canada]: Collins, 2003. Print. Charles, C.M. Building Classroom Discipline. [Boston]: Pearson Education, Inc., 2011. Print. Jones, Bern & Louise. Comprehensive Classroom Management: Creating Communities of Support and Solving Problems. [Boston]: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007. Print. Nesbit, W.C. Black Eyes and Bruised Souls: A Portrait of Bullying. [Manitoba]: Manitoba Council for Exceptional Children, 1999. Print.