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
This is kind of a very difficult question as I believe bullying is an issue even in normal school streams, and as far as my experience is concerned bullying is not bullying until you know that you are being bullied, like boys might think it is normal for them to be mistreated so as to become a strong man. In your case it needs thorough research because the children themselves are challenged mentally or otherwise. I know most of people in that state are likely to call each other names, while the problem they encounter is the same. But once one is made aware what bullying is and the reporting procedures, that's when you can be able to intervene. Let’s hope others will come with their expectations and we will learn from them. This is interesting topic for me, thank you for bringing it up.
Wish you all the best with the assistance regarding the matter.
There are a couple programs that I know of and perhaps you could get in touch with the organizations for some resources or materials that could be adapted for your school. Youcan has a Step-Up-Step program and West Coast has a program called Safe Spaces. It is geared to children under 6 but the approach would be the same and the resources could be adapted.
Have a look at the resources on www.respectme.org which is a Scottish Government funded charity who deal with training teachers, parents and anyone working or looking after young people as well as promoting strategies for addressing bullying in schools, workplaces and the community. It's a great website with lots of resources for policy makers and helpful advice.
Hope this helps and good luck
I know it can be overwhelming because there are so many resources and lots of information on the internet, but something I think you might want to look into is the "bystander effect." This is an important aspect of effective anti-bullying programmes since studies have shown that bystanders behaviours moderate or change the likelihood, frequency or intensity of bullying. When children or teens (or even adults in adult situations) "stand up for" or support victims of bullying situations, there is research to indicate a moderating effect, and alternativey, when peers are reluctant to support victims of bullying for fear of peer rejection, this can have a negative moderating effect. I think that an important aspect of successful anti-bullying programmes is the recognition of the bystander effect and components that include peer involvement in moderating bullying situations. It stands to reason that there is strength in unity, and when kids or even adults "stick together" this can be a powerful way of disempowering bullies.
A good place to start would be Google Scholar. There are multiple scholarly articles available if you do a Google Scholar search.
All the best,
Where is your school? Look at this program:
and how this agency is implementing it:
Here is some information on Green Dot Training, which we do locally in schools and IPV shelters –
Everyone has provided a great list of resources. There are many to choose from indeed so it can be overwhelming. I feel that whichever one you choose, it is important to keep the language 'bullying' and 'bully' out altogether. Instead, keep proactive words at the heart of your program – empathy, care, respect, etc.
The bystander effect is a great point. What you really want to do is build an safe and caring school climate. This cannot happen overnight but step by step efforts taken now can help build a sustainable caring school environment. Getting school club initiatives going that respect diversity is a great start. LGBTQ Safe and Positive Spaces, Best Buddies, and Restorative Practice are good:
Whichever program you choose, emphasize that everyone is equal and there is value in every human interaction/friendship. Get trained staff in your school who can work with those who may need to work on their self esteem, trauma experiences, etc.
Bullying behavioiur does not simply appear for no reason. It is important to find out what need is being met behind the behaviour and work with the child or group to find more proactive ways to meet that need. That will take time and staff training in Child and Youth Care practice. You may need to offer a pro-social club activity that you think will appeal to students' interests, get a Child and Youth Care trained staff to run it, and incorporate social skills training in that club while doing other activities. It is important to build rapport with all students.