Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bullying Prevention is not working in the US: Answer focusing on the care of the Bullied Victim

There are so many websites and organizations that tout Bullying prevention.  Guest speakers like Miss Florida and other celebrities visit schools and talk to bright eyed students about heartbreaking bullying experiences.  The question is, do these bullying prevention type methods work?.  Do celebrity guests speakers talking to kids about their past  woos really get into the soul of the bully, to make them STOP the bullying.  Probably Not.  Are we  educating the wrong people. 

A well known meta analysis of school based anti bully  preventive methods were conducted by the Sweedish National Council for Crime Prevention [Trofi, Farringon and Baldry, 2008] and was found that  US anti bullying prevention programs were less effective then programs in Europe.  A matter of fact the programs in the US were only 17-23% effective of reducing incidence and prevalence of bullying in schools.
In response the Council and other state groups found that the  focus should be on such programs that support victims of bullying by instilling a sense of community, encouragement, well being and other means to help manifest bullied victims into healthier human beings.

The Sweedish National Council of Crime Prevention suggests for more of a successful program is to educate parents, communicating to the parents, improvement of supervising playgrounds where bullying takes place, start early, [bullying takes place during early ages], showing education videos, providing effective disciplinary methods in the school, having strict classroom rules and strict classroom management. 

In summary you can have all the laws in the world.  But what it comes down to, is that it is inevitable that you are going to have bullying,  Kids are learning bullying from their home environment.  Whether they are witnessing domestic violence from parental relationships or t other violent types of behavior. Bullies are taking their learned behavior into the schools and using that behavior as a tool to gain power and control over kids they feel they can manipulate.  It is a cycle.  Teachers are ignoring it for the most part and advocates are finding that that if they just talk to the bully everything will be fine.  Not true.  We know this from Domestic Violence.  Bullying has gotten so bad we now need to focus on the victims and the parents.  Victims are too young to  bully from what the see at home.  They are struggling to have that control they lose at home.  Teachers cannot prevent what bullies learn at home.  But they can stop the bully actions at school by instilling strict rules and focusing on the care and support of the victim.   I have yet to see any programs that focus on victim rehabilitation for the those who have been bullied. seek help on their own, it is up to the parents to become their advocate.

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