Why The Be Upstanding™ School-wide Program is Needed

According to national surveys, 70% of middle and high school students have experienced bullying at some point, with 20-40% having bullied or been part of bullying during the school year (American Psychological Association, 2011). Other surveys have shown 5th–12th graders are more concerned about emotional maltreatment and social cruelty from peers than anything else (APA, 2011). Current news of desperate youth committing suicide after an endless barrage of hateful, destructive bullying fills the media channels each week. Schools and parents alike often feel overwhelmed by the current bullying epidemic, wanting to make a difference and not knowing where to begin.

The Be UpStanding™ Bullying & Harassment Prevention Program offers workshops that teach students social skills, model specific actions, and demonstrate ways of being and behaving that can empower students to reduce peer-harassment, as well as self-harm. Be UpStanding™ serves as a catalyst to support peer-led intervention to alter school cultures around bullying. Workshop surveys are used to assess school and community specific needs, and to capture data unique to each school’s social and ecological frameworks, a practice recommended in leading bullying prevention research (Swearer, Espelage, Vaillancourt & Hymel, 2010).

Workshops are conducted using a variety of learning modalities (group discussion, videos, media slides, role playing dyads, and interactive exercises) and utilize bullying prevention curricula and materials from the National Education Association (Health Information Network, 2010). Multicolor BAND bracelets are used in a pivotal workshop exercise, providing students with a take-away symbol to remind them of their Be Upstanding™ experience and to encourage ongoing student participation and peer solidarity.

References for the Be Upstanding™ Curriculum Includes but not limited to:

American Psychological Association (2011). “Bullying: A Module for Teachers.”  Retrieved October 30, 2011 from:  http://www.apa.org/education/k12/bullying.aspx

Swearer, S.M., Espelage, D.L., Vaillancourt, T., Hymel, S. (2010). “What Can Be Done About School Bullying? Linking Research to Educational Practice.” Educational Researcher, 39(38). DOI: 10.3102/0013189X09357622

Health Information Network, National Education Association (2010). “Be a STAR”.
Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.neahin.org/educator-resources/be-a-star.html