Bullying Prevention

Bullying/Peer Aggression Prevention

Bullying/Peer Aggression is a serious problem that affects children of all ages. Although awareness of the issue is on the rise, there’s still a long way to go to make sure that children are safe and receive the protection they need. Here are answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about bullying, abuse, and prevention:

What is Bullying/Peer Aggression?

  • Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
  • Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
  • Bullying involves an imbalance of perceived power or strength

It is a form of aggressive behavior that frequently manifests as abusive treatment, and can be classified as child abuse. It is the use of force or coercion to affect others, and often involves an imbalance of power, which can be social and/or physical. Bullying can occur in any context in which human beings interact with one another. The five types of bullying include physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, and cyber (online).

How is Bullying different from teasing?

Teasing is when two (or more) people are laughing. Bullying is when only one person is laughing. Bullying is when one person does all the giving and one person does all the taking. In a bullying situation, there is no fun for the person on the receiving end.

What role does bullying play in family and domestic violence?

Studies strongly correlate bullying behavior with domestic violence, showing that children who are bulliers and many who experience bullying may develop into abusers as adults. Adult abusers often focus their attention on family members and in settings where imbalance of power exists, increasing the likelihood of violence at home. 

What are the laws concerning Bullying?

While there are laws and policies in place to address the issue, most school districts report that the implementation is still an unfunded mandate that causes grave concern. Many Superintendents and School Boards indicate that the fear of bullying may be occurring daily in their schools, but they lack the resources and tools for a fail-safe implementation of their newly developed policy.

Others express concern for the legal implications and liability when bullying occurs and districts cannot document their efforts or when no formalized anti-bullying implementation exists. Educators recognize the need to provide training and strategies to address bullying at the levels where it most frequently occurs to increase student achievement and decrease legal liability.

What does “changing the culture of bullying” really mean to schools and students?

The bullying disorder that ravages many schools requires two approaches. We must find a way to identify and treat afflicted children, both the targets and the bulliers, who are in pain. At the same time, we must create a system to address the widespread causes of the problem, which is to change the culture of the school community. Targets of bullying commonly report that school personnel, parents and other students were aware of the bullying behavior but failed to take action to stop it. These situations occur in environments that have become accustomed to tolerating a culture of bullying, or just don’t understand the culture. Changing the culture of bullying means changing the societal “norms” and creating a “new normal” where bullying behavior is not tolerated, and where a culture of kindness and empathy is taught and nurtured.

What is Prevent Child Abuse Indiana’s role in bullying prevention?

Train the Trainer sessions are designed to teach school personnel, parents and students to recognize bullying behavior and stop it in its tracks. Since a bullying specialist can’t possibly be present in every school, Train the Trainers aims to make everyone an expert on detecting and stopping bullying behaviors so a culture of kindness and empathy can be created.

What is a “Student Empowerment Session?”

The goal of Student Empowerment Sessions is to empower students with their own collective wisdom. By the end of an hour children have a clearer picture of why students become bullies, how some students are singled out for taunting, strategies for dealing with bullying behavior and the role of the witness in the daily power struggles that permeate our schools. Children also want to discuss sibling bullying, the special ways that girls bully each other and opportunities to make amends with students they have hurt. They have profound insights about this subject and are eager to share their thoughts and feelings.

What is BullySafeIndiana?

BullySafeUSA™ is launching BullySafeIndiana, a statewide public education outreach campaign in collaboration with The Villages and Prevent Child Abuse Indiana to distribute an effective anti-bullying curriculum to public and private schools and Indiana communities. BullySafeIndiana’s training system teaches teachers and parents how to empower students, and it teaches students how to police themselves, stand up to bulliers and protect each other. Student Empowerment and Train the Trainer sessions are supported with ongoing in-school curriculum and web components.