Differentiating Effective and Ineffective Anti-bullying Programs With the research looking into anti-bullying programs showing unclear results, parents and schools together must keep working to solve growing problems on school-based bullying. By comparing effective and ineffective programs, anti-bullying advocates can make the first move in overcoming this aging problem thriving in U.S. schools. What Makes an Ineffective Anti-bullying Program? Schools that treat harassment and continuous teasing as “ordinary” childhood behavior create a climate in which negative peer relationships grow. Ineffective programs give space for individual interpretation on “girls acting like girls” and “boys acting like boys.”
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Among the most harmful ambiguities in present anti-bullying practice burdens the victim with the responsibility of advocating for their needs and defending themselves against bullies. By making victims stand up to their bullies, educators, and even parents, are indirectly showing that the victims’ own social deficiencies are the root of bullying. Moreover, this kind of focus may actually endanger the victims.
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Ineffective anti-bullying programs focus strictly on case-to-case incidents of bullying. To address the root of bullying, schools should initiate a school culture centered on tolerance and acceptance. Add to that, majority of bullying incidents will go unnoticed by school staff. It’s a frightening prospect, but the inability to be omnipresent – being everywhere, seeing everything – controls options for intervening in all bullying incidents. Educators have to be firm and consistent when implementing anti-bullying policies. The whole institution must unite against bullying, or bullies will always find areas where they can physically and emotionally harm their victims. What Makes an Effective Anti-bullying Program? Effective anti-bullying programs are geared for the entire school environment and not merely specific peer interactions. Such programs do not just teach proper communication and positive social leadership styles, but even go to the extent of remodeling school hallways and classrooms in ways that encourage a sense of community and acceptance among students. Several programs are designed specifically to work on school environments that are ripe for bullying and generally negative behavior. An effective program makes use of supports and strategies at all fronts – from students and classrooms to anti-bullying teams of which educators and students are members. Some of the best school bullying prevention programs concentrate on all levels, from school to classroom to individual to community. Supportive anti-bully programs, perpetrators are put in isolation. They have zero tolerance for harassment and bullying and pinpoint clear consequences for students who will commit such offenses. One of the most vital, and typically underrepresented, pieces of the anti-bullying puzzle revolves around school and home partnerships. To eradicate bullying, parents and educators should both be consistent against negative peer interactions, and there should be increased communication with parents in the school’s actions against bullying incidents.