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Bullying at School: Victims, Perpetrators and Prevention

A presentation for the GAM-A district meeting, February 23, 2013

Megan Freer

on 23 February 2013

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Transcript of Bullying at School: Victims, Perpetrators and Prevention

Types of Bullying Bullying At School Victims, Perpetrators and Prevention Verbal
Cyber It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students.
15% of all school absenteeism
American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million of their victims.
1 in 7 Students in Grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
Source: National Education Association Prevalence of Bullying in the United States What is Bullying? "Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose."

(United States Department of Health and Human Services) The Gifted as Bullies 28% of gifted students have bullied someone in either elementary or middle school
Earliest accounts of bullying began in Kindergarten
Well before their similarly aged peers
41% have thought about performing a violent act at school
14% have thought about committing violence at home Where are we now? Current Programs
Anonymous reporting
"Bully Boxes"
One size fits all character education
Designed for crisis response not prevention Elements of Effective Prevention Gifted students assume responsibility for victimization and consider their gifts and talents to be a predisposition for being bullied
Gifted Students are highly susceptible to
Suicidal ideation
Under achievement
Poor coping
Perfectionism The Unique Needs of the Gifted A structured curriculum
Teaches new skills
Practices new skills in active ways
Whole school or community approach Social-Emotional Differentiation
Cluster-grouped according to stage of development
Bi-weekly discussion sessions
Designed to create an outlet for social development with similar peers
Guided by educated teachers who are sensitive to the unique social and emotional needs of ALL learners
Facilitated by students
Needs of all students being met and feelings being validated by the experiences of others
Needs of student dictate lesson plans The Multi-Pronged Approach Social-Emotional Learning Programs (SEL)
teach skills necessary to successfully navigate interpersonal relationships and regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Bullying prevention programs
specifically address the needs of staff and students in recognizing and effectively dealing with bullying incidents. The Benefits of SEL Programs SEL programs help to teach:
Social awareness
Relationship skills
Responsible decision making Relationship Skills Initiate and sustain friendships and other relationships. Victimized children tend to have fewer friends, to only have friends who are also victimized, and to have more enemies than non-victimized children

Resist social pressure to enable, encourage, or directly participate in bullying, and actively defend victims. Studies have revealed that when bystanders observe bullying, they spend most of their time either actively participating in the act or passively encouraging the aggressor by serving as an audience.
less than one-quarter of the time do they try to assist the victim

Be able to seek help from peers or other adults when needed. Applying SEL to the Anti-Bullying Framework School-Wide:
Awareness and Training
Rules and Reporting Procedures
Discipline Policy
Adult Supervision
Adult Modeling of Behavior
Promoting Positive Peer Interactions Applying SEL to the Anti-Bullying Framework
(continued) Classroom Approaches:
Classroom Climate
SEL Curricula and Activities
Parental Involvement
Community Involvement Is it just "Kids Being Cruel"? Things to consider:
Many abusive behavior patterns were once seen as normal.
What if child and/or spousal abuse was still a private family matter?
Being bullied is NOT a right of passage.
How many times have we said, "Just don’t pay attention to them and go play with someone else"? How do Teachers Help
Encourage Bullying? Ask students to choose their own teams or work partners.
Leaving students unsupervised – staff must use proximity.
Showing we value some students over others, that we dislike some students, and we treat some students with disrespect.
Watch your body language. Whether we notice it or not, our students do and it can reinforce negative behaviors. Why isn't it Enough? 60% of bullies by age 24 have a criminal conviction with 40% having 3 or more.
Targets of bullying are more prone to depression and tragically suicide.
Bystanders often feel anxiety and helplessness. This prevents them from reporting incidents.
Patterns of aggressive behavior and intimidation can impact future adult relationships for bullies, targets, and bystanders. So, Where to Begin... On the piece of paper in front of you, answer the following questions:

1. Are expectations for peer interactions in a variety of settings clearly defined?
2. Do students have voice in the process?
3. Do you have a process for dealing with and tracking incidents of bullying separate from the discipline procedures?
4. Are the processes effective and clear?
5. Are staff members consistent in handling situations of peer aggression and do they regularly discuss and review incidents?
6. Are students held accountable for their actions?
7. Do adults model the behaviors for a positive environment? How do you know? Creating a Positive Culture Agreed upon norms, that reflect student voice, define behavior expectations in the classroom.
Reflection on how we are meeting these expectations is a part of the school day/week.
Yearlong, cross-grade classroom buddies provide opportunities for relationship building across the school.
K-5 “Families” that meet bi-weekly to explore character traits and are facilitated by students.
Social skills are practiced through adult mentors and adult role models.
Service learning is part of who we are.
Initiatives are intentional and proactive. What are Social-Emotional "Families"? Class Meetings Reinvented Class meetings can be a forum for students and the teacher to gather as a class to reflect, discuss issues, or make decisions about ways they want their class and school to be run.

Most importantly a class meeting creates a safe environment in which students can see that their learning, their opinions, and their concerns are taken seriously. Class meetings are not limited to problem solving but can provide voice for students on academics. Who's Involved in Bullying? Bullies:
• Select and systematically train their victims to comply with their demands
• Seek active encouragement, passive acceptance, or silence from bystanders

Bullies can be girls and boys of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds.

• Reward the bully by yielding control and showing signs of intimidation
• May fail to gain support from bystanders
• Sometimes avoid reporting the bullying
• Often are students who appear different and can include students with disabilities; students of ethnic or racial minorities; and lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender, and questioning youth

Some children are more likely than others to be victimized because they appear different from their peers. Who's Involved in Bullying? (Continued) Bystanders:
• See or hear about bullying
• May exacerbate a situation by providing an audience or failing to say anything
• Can be actively complicit if encouraging or joining in
• Sometimes discourage the bullying by defending the victim or redirecting the situation away from bullying
• Can rally support from peers to stand up and/or report bullying

Bystanders have the power to play a key role in preventing or stopping bullying. Positive stereotyping may lead gifted students to hide their vulnerabilities from those who are most invested in their performance. So, Who Gets Hurt? Bullies:
• Are less likely to develop social skills of reciprocity, empathy, negotiation, and trust
• Are generally not well liked in high school
• Are more likely to associate with aggressive friends
• Are at an increased risk for alcohol and drug abuse
• Are more likely to get into fights
• Are more likely to abuse their intimate partners in adulthood

• Are more likely to show signs of depression and anxiety
• May feel sad or lonely, experience trouble sleeping, and lose interest in activities that once brought them joy
• Have increased thoughts about suicide
• Are more likely to have physical health complaints
• May refuse to go to school and struggle academically
• May retaliate with violence toward others So, Who Gets Hurt? (Continued) Bystanders (who witness bullying):
• Are more likely to use tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs
• Are more likely to feel depressed and anxious
• Are more likely to miss or skip school

Bullying directly or indirectly affects every student in the school—undermining children’s safety, sense of belonging, feelings of value, and ability to learn. It creates a climate of fear and disrespect that spreads throughout the school and extends through the community. The SEL Connection Conclusions from Vreeman and Carroll (2007), and their systematic review of school-based interventions designed to prevent bullying:
Most effective whole-school approach
Anti-bullying programs exclusively directed at the bully, the victim, or both are less effective Self-Awareness and Self-Management Skills Recognize and manage emotions in order to respond to conflict in calm and assertive ways.

In order to handle conflicts effectively, children need to be able to recognize when they are getting angry, and learn to calm themselves before reacting.

Children who frequently bully others tend to have trouble managing anger and to strike out aggressively. Social Awareness Be tolerant and appreciative of differences, and interact with empathy toward peers.

Research suggests that children often lack empathy for the victims of bullying, and that they view being different from the social ideal, or social norm, as the cause of bullying. Responsible Decision Making Think through and resolve social problems effectively and ethically. Effective social problem-solving requires an accurate assessment of the situation. Research indicates that children who frequently bully tend to misinterpret social interactions as being more hostile, adversarial, or provocative than their peers do. The Single Story Quiz, Quiz, Trade Using the ball that you picked up as you entered, pair up with another person.

Ask your partner the question on your ball. Actively listen to their answer.

Your partner is going to ask you the question on their ball and actively listen to your answer.

Trade balls.

When time is up, find a new partner and repeat the process again. Based on a TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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