Bullying remains a significant problem among students worldwide: Twenty percent of students in the U.S. report having been recently bullied. During decades of research, social scientists have consistently found a wide array of harms associated with bullying. Both victims and aggressors are at increased risk for criminal behavior, delinquency, violence, substance abuse, depression, self-harm, suicide and life-long health problems.
Research on bullying prevention programs also has matured, offering important findings that should be considered when evaluating interventions. Research indicates that whole-school programs are the most effective approach to bullying prevention. A meta-analysis also indicates that program duration is an important factor for effectiveness. Other researchers have found that directly involving parents can reduce victimization.
It’s also recognized that effective interventions should engage the community. Lastly, an effective bullying program needs to promote a positive school climate. Positive Action is a comprehensive approach to bullying prevention that includes all of these components with age-appropriate lessons for all students to learn throughout the school year.
The main curriculum Kits prepare students for positive social engagement as they learn the importance of treating each other the way they want to be treated. Positive Action also prepares students with the tools and vocabulary necessary to confront bullying behaviors in a constructive and healthy way. Students learn specific strategies to defuse situations when an aggressor would normally bully another student. The supplementary Bullying Kit builds upon these lessons with direct instruction on topics related to bullying.
Positive Action is well-suited as a bullying prevention program because the underlying philosophy encourages empathy, compassion, and cooperation among students. Each grade features multiple lessons that address the underlying behaviors that lead to or away from bullying.
Positive Action would like to acknowledge Sharon Maudling for her work with bullying prevention. Based on her 15 years of experience using Positive Action, she has identified the most effective lessons in the main curriculum kits that deal directly with bullying prevention.