I am an administrator at a school for students with learning disabilities and mental health challenges. We are looking at a variety of anti-bullying curriculums. I am wondering if any of you use a specific anti-bullying curriculum or if you have any recommendations for our population
Have you come across Restorative Practice/Approaches? It is not so much a curriculum as a way of interracting across the whole school – developing everyone's ability to make, maintain and repair relationships.
Research in the UK has indicated that a whole-school restorative approach can be one of the most effective ways to reduce the incidence of bullying and also provides a framework within which to address it when it does occur.
Where are you based? There will almost certainly be a training provider near you.
And yes – it does work well in settings like yours. We have trained staff in such establishments.
Best wishes and good luck
There are bullying curricula – the work of Olweus seems to be most respected. The approach is holistic and ecological acknowledging that to prevent and address bullying in its complexity and depthfulness more than a set curriculum needs to be put in place – that an entire culture of a setting needs to be addressed. In a curriculum certainly youngsters can be 'taught' strategies for handling bullying situations. But the entire milieu has to support what is being taught.
In a child and youth work approach, anti-bullying approaches include:
the roles of staff, including how they can handle bullying in a
relational and non-punitive way, immediate intervention into bullying
the environmental arrangement, the activities children do ( e.g. skill in an activity is an anti-bullying factor for both the bullied and the bullies),
the rules and requirements (point and level systems encourage covert bullying for example). Practices have to be careful not to represent forms of
'adult bullying' for the youngsters to emulate.
I am a residential practitioner in a Local Authority care establishment for young people in Scotland. I have found the resources and advice from Respect me.org.uk to be very helpful as this is Scotland's own government funded anti bullying charity that works with young people and those involved in their lives to understand what bullying is and how to address this using a range of strategies and techniques to promote respectful safe environments.
It also encourage all group care settings to create a bullying policy suggesting useful strategies and intervention for identifying and preventing bullying behaviour in our community. The respect me theme is helpful for group living approaches to bullying too as it promotes the desired behaviour and encourages adults to avoid using terms like 'bully' and 'victim' as it can be difficult to change this label or may disempower the person who is being targeted and empower those displaying bullying. The positive approach focuses on equality, acceptable and unconditional respect, non judgemental approach and celebrating diversity.