Anti bullying programs are being created across the country in an attempt to prevent bullying in both schools and communities at large. Over the past few years, bullying has reached epidemic proportions. Not only can it be found in schools and on the street, it is also exhibiting a strong presence on the internet as well. Often times, the main source of bullying is found within the family as sibling rivalry.
School counselors and teachers are quickly realizing that much of the bullying that takes place in schools can be prevented if they are proactive in coming up with a positive solution. By meeting the problem head on with zero tolerance policies and a clearly defined definition of what bullying is, they can stay, if not one step ahead of the game, at an even pace with it. While it’s impossible to prevent every case of bullying, being diligent and proactive can dramatically reduce the number of reported cases.
City, state and federal governments are creating anti bullying programs in an attempt to eliminate the harmful damage it can cause if left unchecked. Bullying is uniform. It can happen anywhere at any time. In some places there are very few cases of bullying to report, while in others the number of incidents is staggering. One of the main keys is to know when an anti bullying program is needed and what the best way is to get it up and running.
When Are Anti bullying Programs Needed
In situations where reports of bullying instances have increased steadily over a specific period of time, odds are an anti bullying program should be considered. In schools that have extremely diverse groups of students, there is a much higher risk of bullying and cultural difficulties. An anti bullying program should be designed on a school by school basis. Many schools have strong support systems for students in the form of clubs and organizations.
Teachers and other faculty members often have an effective level of control over the students they are in charge of. It’s normally when students begin to take matters into their own hands that problems really start to present themselves. Implementing an anti bullying campaign allows for proactive measures to be taken before the situation gets out of hand. Teachers who are observant will begin to pick up on specific patterns when it comes to which groups of students produce the most bullies and which ones produce the most victims. Recognizing the trends also helps in being more proactive when it comes to stopping the harassment before it starts.
Students who understand the school or organizations’ zero tolerance policy towards bullying and hazing will more than likely, avoid bullying others simply because their is no chance of escaping being punished for the event. Bullies who tend to be more malicious than others will often continue with their tactics no matter what the consequences. In some cases, especially when they tend to be extremely disruptive, the best alternative is to remove them from the campus completely.Schools will often encourage students and faculty members alike to join the program and commit themselves to helping reduce the instances of bullying that occur on the premises.
Anti bullying Campaigns and Programs In Schools
- Provides information about bullying as well as an accurate definition
- Enforces zero tolerance policies that pertain to bullying
- Lays effective ground rules that define specific consequences for bullying
- Gives students a place to turn to if they have been bullied or feel as if they are being harassed by other students
- Teaches students and faculty members what to look for if they believe someone is being bulled or picked on
Anti bullying programs are not designed to be a catch all for every case of bullying. They are, however, designed to raise awareness and teach people to speak out about what is going on around them. It is the goal of every participant to raise awareness about bullying so that it can be at least controlled and the risk of permanent damage averted. Effective programs also provide support for the bully’s victims. By giving them a forum to share their experiences, they can begin to work through the experience and move forward with their lives.
Schools that choose to implement an anti-bullying program or campaign must be prepared to follow through with it. Putting it in place is only half the battle. If the faculty members of the school are not prepared to take control of the situation and dole out the consequences that meet the crime, the program should not even be considered.
National Bullying Campaigns
National bullying campaigns have been established to raise awareness on both a local, and national level. Programs of this size are created to raise awareness about bullying as well as help victims find the resources they need once an incident has occurred. National campaigns are developed in such a way that they can be introduced into a school setting and be used to effectively handle bullying problems as they appear.
According to U.S. News, some researchers are saying that anti bullying programs could possibly be having the opposite effect as to what they intended. They believe that by being exposed to the programs, students who bully others know what to say to teachers and parents to get away with the activity. To some extent, that line of thinking may be true, but it is undeniable that anti bullying campaigns, especially those on a natural level, effectively educate the public at large and prepare them to better handle situations where bullies are involved.
Even if bullies are being taught what to say and how to handle being called out for their actions, victims are being given valuable resources to better be able to handle the bullies and level the playing field. They are no longer at a disadvantage when it comes to being isolated. Now the victims have advocates on their side who will work diligently to make sure the bullying tactics stop, no matter how savvy the bully becomes.
Implementing an anti bullying program will produce both positive and negative results. The goal is to make sure the positives are reinforced while the negatives are constantly being evaluated. Taking a good look at what negatives are being produced will help teachers and faculty members find ways to turn them into positive influences.
Stop Bullying is the name of the anti bullying campaign started by the federal government to help bullies take control of their lives. The organization deals with almost every form of bullying including cyber bullying, stalking and face to face confrontations. It is the goal of the organization to provide valuable resources to the victims of bullies and help them to get back on track once they have become a victim.
Stop Bullying also provides information to educate the public on how to respond to bullies. They offer guidelines on how to maintain a high level of security over the internet as well. Schools that choose to use the StopBulling.gov program receives materials that can be passed out to students to help them gain a better understanding of what bullying is and what they can do about it if they feel they have been a victim.
The No Bully anti bullying program is a set of carefully planned steps to help prevent bullying and protect individuals from becoming victims. There are four main steps to the program. They are:
- Prevent and Interrupt – Prevent and interrupt the incident by addressing the situation as it occurs.
- Check In and Refer to a Solution Coach – Once the incident has been interrupted, check in with a solution coach and immediately begin working towards a solution.
- Hold a Solution Team and Follow Up – Work together to resolve the problem within minutes of the incident. Establish a compromise of sorts so that both parties feel they have treated fairly. Schedule a follow up session to discuss the event.
- Implement an Empathy-Building Action Plan – Each case of bullying will be different. Implementing an empathy building action plan is beneficial as long as it is tailored to the two or more people who were involved in the incident.
The No Bully System stops bullying at its most basic stages and attempts to correct the situation in real time. While some programs allow for a cooling off period, No Bully settles the issue when it occurs. Not only is the incident addressed, steps are taken that eventually help both parties have a better understanding of the other.
Anti bullying campaigns and programs are developed with the right concept. In cases where they aren’t truly effective, it isn’t so much the program is bad. The problem lies with how it is implemented and how well the guidelines are enforced once a bullying incident has been reported. If a program is implemented and expected to be effective, it must be adhered to and lines of communication kept open at all times.