By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Many of us remember hearing that a time or two, from parents or perhaps from teachers. Those words encourage victims of bullying to hold their heads up, and to ignore words that were intended to hurt. Before the internet, it was more likely that playground teasing and taunting could be quickly forgotten by the victim, as well as any bystanders. Not so in the social media laden world our kids experience. Hurtful words are posted for all 1,134 of the victim’s friends to see and read. Photos can be manipulated and go viral in no time. The ability to remain anonymous further emboldens a bully.
The truth is that words do hurt and in the years since Columbine and Matthew Shepard and Tyler Clementi, we’ve come to understand that ignoring the bad behavior of bullies can have tragic consequences.
According to the Educators Guide to Bullying:
- 160,000 students miss school every day in the United States because of bullying
- 71 percent of school staff do not know about or ignore bullying
- Most bullying will stop in 10 seconds or less if another student intervenes
- Most school’s bullying incidents are cut in half if there is an awareness program in the school
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
You’ve never heard of the Olweus Bullying prevention Program? Neither had I! The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is a school wide program designed to prevent or reduce bullying throughout the school setting. The multi-component approach involves individuals, classrooms, entire schools, as well as parents and communities, to successfully address bullying in schools. The program has decades of research and successful implementation stories to back up its success.
CNN Town Hall Special on Bullying
CNN’s Anderson Cooper is hosting a town hall special on bullying on October 9th and will speak with students, parents and experts about bullying and prevention.
Stop Bullying: Speak Up Campaign
Using social media tools, Facebook and Time Warner have launched an anti-bullying initiative aimed at empowering bystanders to be more aware of what bullying is and to intervene on behalf of victims. “Stop Bullying: Speak Up.”
Visit Curriki to find a collection on bullying resources.
What is your school doing to address bullying and is it working??