While most of the attention surrounding bullying focuses on middle and high school, starting prevention efforts at the elementary level can go a long way in reducing future bullying and also contribute to academic performance.
A 2005 survey found that elementary students who attended schools where a bullying and violence prevention program was in place for 2+ years had higher achievement than a matched comparison group of students in control schools that did not have the bullying prevention program. (Fonagy et al. (2005)
Students tend to look to other youth for cues regarding how to respond when they witness bullying (Salmivalli, Lagerspetz, Bjorkqvist, & Kaukiainen, 1996). In response, the Be Upstanding™ program focuses on turning bystanders into active agents of bullying prevention. Bystander response shifts are considered the most effective when conduced at the elementary school level, compared to middle or high levels (Swearer, Espelage, Vaillancourt & Hymel, 2010).
Be Upstanding™ Bullying Prevention Program (K-2) + (3-5)
Upon completion of the workshop, students will be able to:
- Recognize the physical and emotional consequences of bullying, including the impacts on the aggressor, the target and the bystander.
- Know and identify which behaviors constitute bullying, and distinguish between the 13 different types of bullying prevalent today.
- Become motivated to create group solidarity in intervening and reporting bullying incidents (using the BAND bracelets).
- Learn social skills, specific intervening actions, and ways of being that can empower students to reduce escalation of bullying and school violence.
- Critically examine student stereotypes that become barriers to intervening in peer-to-peer bullying prevention efforts (i.e., “snitches get stitches,” etc.)
- Know who the specific bullying prevention allies are in the school and community, as well as hotlines and crisis support groups.
- Learn how to use a picture page journal, showing students how to use a take-home booklet in which they can express their feelings and emotions, and remind them of the Be Upstanding™ program lessons and experiences (using a “I’m an Upstander” workbook, based on art therapy principles).
Once Upon a Time… Bullying is Not What it Used To Be™ is a workshop where parents learn the definition of bullying, how to talk to their children about bullying, the difference between bullying and conflict, ways to help their children resolve conflicts amongst their friends or classmates, and ways to help their children become assertive, self-reliant, and knowing when to involve parents or teachers in their conflicts. Parents will also learn the 13 different types of bullying including examples of actual cases, the importance of keeping documentation and their school district’s policy for properly reporting these events. More importantly, parents learn the pitfalls of labelling students as bullies or victims and the significance of becoming allies with other parents.
Reference for the workshop curriculum includes:
American Psychological Association (2011). “Bullying: A Module for Teachers.”
Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.apa.org/education/k12/bullying.aspx Fonagy, P., Twemlow, S. W., Vernberg, E., Sacco, F. C., & Little, T. D. (2005). Creating a peaceful school learning environment: The impact of an antibullying program on educational attainment in elementary schools. Medical Science Monitor, 11, 317–325.
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
Salmivalli, C., Lagerspetz, K., Bjorkqvist, K., & Kaukiainen, A. (1996). Bullying as a group process; Participant roles and their relations to social status within the group. Aggressive Behavior, 22, 1–15.
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