Nickerson east aurora sept 4, 2012
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Nickerson east aurora sept 4, 2012






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Nickerson east aurora sept 4, 2012 Nickerson east aurora sept 4, 2012 Presentation Transcript

  • Promoting Dignity for All Students through Prevention and Intervention Amanda Nickerson, Ph.D. Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention | University at Buffalo East Aurora School District September 4, 2012
  • Overview Dignity Act for All Students Act Recognizing and understanding bullying and harassment Best practices in preventing bullying and harassment
  • Dignity Act Overview Intent: “No student shall be subjected to harassment, discrimination, or bullying by employees or students” Took effect July 1, 2012 (signed into law 9/13/11) Cyberbullying amendment takes effect July 1, 2013 Applies to all public schools, BOCES, and charter schools
  • Definition of Harassment in Dignity Act “the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her safety.”
  • Protected Classes Race  Religious practice Color  Disability Weight  Sexual orientation National origin  Gender identity Ethnic group  Sex Religion  …Obligation extends to harassment not related to protected class
  • Dignity Act Requirements for Schools Policy (Code of Conduct) intended to create an environment free from discrimination and harassment Designated Dignity Act Coordinator within each school to handle reporting and responding Instruction for students (K-12; excludes charter)  Civility, citizenship, and character education to address prohibition of harassment, bullying or intimidation of protected classes School employee training Annual reporting
  • Reflection and Planning Is our policy communicated in understandable terms to employees, parents, and students? How do we involve students in creating a climate free of harassment? How do we teach students about harassment and protected classes? How do we identify and report incidents? What are our intervention options? Do we work with both the perpetrator and the target (separately)? How and when do we communicate with parents?
  • Suggested Resources  Regulations, guidance policy document, voluntary implementation self-assessment checklist, webinar, Power Point, informational brochure, fact sheet, sample lesson plan  Information about bullying, preventing, responding; Kids’ section with videos  Resources for educators, parents, kids and teens (book lists, links to videos, bullying prevention programs)
  • What is Bullying? Acts of aggression (verbal, physical, relational, or cyber) intended to cause harm By a peer (or group of peers) operating from a position of strength or power Usually repeated Olweus (1978);
  • How is Bullying Different from Conflict and Playing? Conflict: A struggle, dispute, or misunderstanding between two equal forcesPlaying: Mutually desirableinteraction (positive affect, give-and-take) – rough and tumble and playingthe dozens often mistaken foraggression and bullying
  • Quick Bullying Facts Estimates vary WIDELY, but about 1 in 3 children and adolescents are involved in as bully, target, or both Bullying peaks in grades 4-7 Bullying is more likely to occur in less closely supervised areas (bathrooms, hallways, playground, lunch, bus, online) Both boys and girls bully, but there are some differences  Boys more likely to be direct/physical with younger, vulnerable target  Girls may engage in more subtle, indirect forms with same-age girlsCowie (2000); Nansel et al. (2001); Perry, Kusel, & Perry (1988); Skiba & Fontanini (2000)
  • Students who Bully: Common Characteristics Desire for power and control Get satisfaction from others’ suffering Justify their behavior (“he deserved it”) More exposed to physical punishment More likely to be depressed Engage in other risky and delinquent behaviors Myth: Most are loners with low self-esteem Fact: Most report average to high self-esteem and are popular Batsche & Knoff (1994); Beaver, Perron, & Howard, (2010); Olweus (1993); Swearer et al. (in press); Vaughn, Bender, DeLisi, (in press)
  • Students who are Bullied: Common Characteristics Most are perceived as weak or vulnerable  Different in some way (appearance, age, disability, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender expression)  passive and lack assertiveness; do not invite the bullying Fewer provoke others (provocative victims or bully- victims)  Offend, irritate, tease others  Reactive; fight back when attacked Boivin, Poulin, & Vitaro (1994); Hodges & Perry (1999); Olweus (1978, 1993, 2001); Schwartz (2000); Snyder et al. (2003)
  • Signs that Child May be Bullying Others Refer to others negatively (wimp, fag) Lack empathy Strong need to get his or her own way Hostile or defiant attitude Easy to anger Deny or blame others when behavior addressed
  • Signs that Child May be Bullied by Others Change in behavior  Withdrawn, lack of interest Not wanting to go to school or be in social situations Physical complaints (headaches, stomachaches) Unexplained cuts, bruises
  • Effects of Bullying Those who bully  More likely to experience legal or criminal troubles as adults (even after controlling for other risk factors)  Poor ability to develop and maintain positive relationships Those who are bullied  Emotional distress (anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts)  Loneliness, peer rejection  Desire to avoid school  In some cases, may respond with extreme violenceAndershed, Kerr, & Stattin (2001); Crick & Bigbee (1998); Farrington (2009) ;Farrington, & Ttofi (2009, 2011); Hinduja, & Patchin, (2009); Nickerson &Sltater (2009); Oliver, Hoover, & Hazler (1994); Olweus (1993);Ttofi & Farrington (2008)
  • Peers and Bullying Peers see 85% of bullying incidents, most do not try to stop it (and many join in), because:  “It’s none of my business”  Fear of retaliation (by bully or other peers)  Target must have done something to deserve it  Actions will not be effective Charach et al. (1995); Hawkins, Pepler, & Craig (2001); Rigby & Johnson (2005)
  • School Staff and Bullying School staff are often not involved because:  Most students do not report it to adults  May not see it or notice it  Beliefs that this is a common part of childhood  May not know what to do  In some cases, fear of bully Banks (1997); Chang (2003); Cohn & Canter (2002); Hughes, Cavell, & Willson (2001); Limber (2002); Mullin-Rindler (2003); Skiba & Fonanini (2000); White, Sherman, & Jones (1996)
  • Summary of Key Points  Alberti Center Slide Show
  • Best Practices in Bullying Prevention in Schools Increase Skill Awareness & Development Supervision Whole-School Respond Anti-Bullying Along Policy Continuum Bullying Include Collect Data Prevention Parents in Schools Hazler & Carney (2012); Rigby (2000); Ttofi & Farrington (2011); Swearer, Espelage, & Napolitano (2009)
  • What Schools and Educators Can Do Collect data to better understand extent of problem and to monitor effects of interventions Have high expectations for behavior  Acknowledge and reward desired behavior  Use teachable moments and apply meaningful consequences for unacceptable behavior Arrange for active supervision in “hot spots” (hallway, lunch, recess, before school)  Everyone should know intervention and reporting procedures
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  • Respond to Bullying Intervene to stop the bullying  Describe the behavior and why it is not acceptable  Apply consequences consistent with policy; emphasize progressive discipline and teaching rather than only punishment  Be aware of humiliation or retaliation if confronted publicly Document and report the incident  May need investigation where parties interviewed individually Work with colleagues and support staff to assess issues involved and plan accordingly (increased individual supervision, parent communication, targeted intervention based on needs)
  • Respond to Target Listen and empathize  “Tell me what happened,” “That must have been upsetting” Ask what would be helpful to support the person Indicate what is being done to address the bullying (protect confidentiality) Suggest possible coping responses (avoid blame or “silver bullet” approach)  Do not show you are upset (OK to feel upset, but showing it may fuel more bullying)  Assert self using a calm, strong voice if safe (“Stop,” “Give it a rest”)  Say something to deflect it or make a joke of it  Tell a trusted adult  Surround self with supportive people Check-in regularly
  • Empower the Bystanders to be “Upstanders” Don’t join in… speak up if it is safe to do so Band together as a group against bullies Tell an adult about the bullying  Tattling/ratting  To get someone into trouble  Telling/reporting  To get someone out of trouble (unsafe or hurtful behavior) Reach out to isolated peers, offer support
  • Communicate with Parents Communicate in proactive and preventive manner Be timely with communication! Focus on the behavior (not the person) Avoid blaming or judging (expect denial) Emphasize how this type of behavior can be a problem for their child, the other person, and the school environment Inform parent about school response Work together to help child behave in other ways
  • Targeted and Intensive Interventions Students who bully  Targets  Identify areas of need and Identify function of behavior intervene accordingly  Need for power and control?  Teach social and coping skills  Bullied by others and lashing  Enhance social support from out? peers and significant adults Develop plan and intervention  Encourage involvement in an activity to experience success for change  Develop safety plan (follow-up) Assess for other problems (e.g., drugs, suicidality)  Assess for depression or other mental health problem
  • Provide Students with Resources in and Out of School 1-800-273-TALK (Suicide Lifeline) 1-866-4-U-Trevor (LGBTQ Youth Suicide Hotline) 716-834-1144 or 1-877-KIDS-400 (Buffalo Crisis Services Hotline) – has over-the-phone language interpreters 24/7 For Spanish speakers  Suicide Lifeline 1-888-628-9454  1-800-SUICIDA
  • Conclusion "They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.” - Carol Buchner Visit us at