Bullying Prevention

What is Bullying Prevention?

Bullying prevention involves a systemic school-community approach to preventing repeated acts of intentional aggression, intimidation, or coercion by one person or group against another. The broad range of physical, verbal, and social behaviors, the intent to harm, the repetition of confrontational episodes, and the imbalance of power between the perpetrator(s) and victim(s) are key features of the epidemic of bullying. Bullying has gone beyond face-to-face confrontations to cyberbullying and electronic bullying with devastating consequences.

The Lions Quest approach to Bullying Prevention?

The research on effective bullying prevention programs is clear: It takes a joint effort of the home, school, and community working together over time to create a culture of respect and caring that does not tolerate bullying behaviors. Consistent, schoolwide efforts along with the creation of prosocial environments tend to be more effective than programs focused on the classroom level only or only on perpetrators and victims of bullying. Students need the appropriate tools to remove social rewards for engaging in inappropriate behaviors and learn appropriate recipient and bystander responses.

According to research on effective bullying prevention programs, best practices include the following:

  • Adopt and implement a universal schoolwide K-12 curriculum for all students
  • Explicitly teach social and emotional competencies so that students have the tools to respond appropriately if they find themselves in perpetrator, recipient or bystander roles.
  • Promote a positive school climate of cooperation, caring, and respect.
  • Establish a clear anti-bullying policy
  • Assess bullying at the school and find out what the frequency, types, locations, typical responses, rate of reporting, perceptions of safety, and feelings about the school climate
  • Train staff to recognize signs of perpetrator and victim behaviors
  • Increase adult awareness, supervision, and intervention in hot spots

Lions Quest programs reflect these best practices in Bullying Prevention through:

  • Sequential, universal K-12 curriculum for all students that provides long-term instruction in the social and emotional competencies so students have skills to address bullying effectively
  • Developmentally appropriate bullying prevention lesson plans that foster specific skills to prepare students to identify, handle, and stop bullying behaviors in themselves and others
  • Highly interactive, student-centered instructional design that fosters collaboration, cooperation, and practice in bullying prevention skills to prepare in advance
  • Interdisciplinary learning experiences that teach, model, and reinforce SEL and bullying prevention skills across the disciplines
  • Establishment of a safe, supportive classroom and school environment that reinforces shared agreements for a respectful and caring learning environment
  • Positive classroom and schoolwide climate and culture supported by a clear anti-bullying policy
  • Tools for assessing the bullying climate in a school community
  • Parent and caregiver materials to support parents in identifying bullying behaviors and teaching young people SEL skills to handle and prevent them in the home and community
  • Service-learning and civic engagement opportunities that provide all students with opportunities for highly rewarding, equitable, and collaborative learning experiences for success
  • Home-school-community partnership necessary to create norms for preventing bullying
  • Ongoing professional learning to increase awareness, encourage supervision, and teach intervention skills for identifying, handling, and preventing bullying throughout the school and community

 

Does It Work?
The Lions Quest program has pulled the trained staff together, working toward a common goal. The interaction between 1st through 6th graders has been impressive.
  W. Spatzer
West Rutland School
Vermont
 

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