Bullying is an insidious problem among students in elementary schools, junior high schools, and high schools everywhere. In fact, 20 percent of school students in the United States report having been recently bullied.
Research over the years has shown that bullying behavior puts both student victims and the bullies themselves at increased risk for criminal behavior, delinquency, violence, substance abuse, depression, self-harm, suicide and life-long health problems. No educator wants that for their students.
In order to stop bullying, a school-wide anti-bullying program for students needs to tackle several fronts, including school culture, parent involvement, and community engagement. The Positive Action anti-bullying program combines these strategies and more into one comprehensive approach to help children in their navigation through the intense social dynamics of childhood and adolescence.
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At Positive Action, our anti-bullying curriculum is based on the social-emotional learning philosophy and message that kids feel good about themselves when they do positive actions, including treating other children the way they want to be treated themselves.
Through the group and individual activities in our bullying kit, kids who are Positive Action participants learn the tools and vocabulary necessary to confront bullying in constructive and healthy ways, as well as specific strategies to defuse situations when an aggressor would typically bully another student.
An ongoing story follows students involved in bullying in one of three ways: as the bully, victim, or bystander. Then the kids learn ways to use positive actions in place of negative ones.
We also share useful information with parents and get them to take part, too, to reduce victimization and help positive actions extend to the whole community.
But perhaps most importantly, Positive Action aims to address the underlying causes of bullying by fostering students' development of compassion and decision-making skills.
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.
Usually, more common among male students, physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, pushing, tripping, or damaging personal property. Many of these actions result in injury.
Verbal bullying consists of name-calling, teasing, insults, discriminatory remarks, or verbal abuse. This form of bullying can start with something small but can escalate quickly.
Social bullying can manifest in lying, rumors, exclusion, and humiliation designed to harm someone’s reputation. Female students are more likely to engage in this type of bullying. Since this social bullying is often carried out behind the targeted student’s back, it may be harder for people to recognize.
Cyberbullying involves using computers, phones, and other electronic devices to bully other kids, whether publicly or privately. A few examples include:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that this type of bullying occurs the most among middle school students.
Each Positive Action kit includes two free sample lessons available for download. To access a lesson, go to the product page for the kit of your choice, then click on the link in the product description, or click on the image below to discover all of our sample lessons.
Positive Action is an evidence-based program, meaning that teachers have seen tangible improvements among their students. Our curriculum has produced outcomes, including:
Compared to other anti-bullying programs, Positive Action provides the most content (with more than 1800 lessons), meets the most standards, and offers the most training and support resources.
While other community anti-bullying programs like the pioneer Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) come with a steep price tag, Positive Action has earned a reputation of being the most effective program for the price. The Washington State IPP Analysis estimates that Positive Action’s net benefits total over $30,000.
See the ways that students, teachers, and communities all over the country are spreading a no-bullying message with Positive Action.
“Positive Action teaches empathy and acceptance of others. The children are guided through lessons on how they would feel if they were different from others. The children begin to realize that kindness and helping others can be positive actions.” -Suzee Fujihara, a teacher at Lihikai Elementary School
“In second grade, I started fights with anyone who tried to challenge me. I was alone and felt that everyone was scared of me. Fourth grade is where I changed my life around (after being introduced to Positive Action). I made new friends and didn’t care to fight.” -6th Grade Student
Yes, they really work. A 2013 study by the Congressional Research Service found that a school-based bullying prevention program can decrease bullying behavior in students by up to 25 percent.
An analysis of similar school programs in the U.S. indicates that program duration helps determine effectiveness. Our curriculum lasts the entire school year, but studies have shown that a minimum of two years is required for the initiative to show maximum effectiveness. Schools shouldn’t abandon the project after only one year.
Our products include curriculum kits with age-appropriate activities for each grade level. A supplementary Bullying Kit for kids aged 5 to 12 builds upon the main lessons with direct instruction on topics related to bullying. With program adaptation, it can apply to older students, too.
The supplemental program components include an instructor's manual, booklets of activities, posters, and certificates of completion--all the information needed to implement the program.
If you want to see how Positive Action can arm your students with the skills, strategies, and information needed to prevent school bullying, let us know when you're available for a webinar, and we’ll help you get started.