Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to Start an Anti-Bullying Campagin: Part 2

Is your child safe at school from bullying? 
A parent's child was cyber bullied and taunted at school. Yet when she complained, the school had no official policy for dealing with bullies. One mom made sure it wouldn't happen again. Could your school be the same? Yesterday we looked the article from on how to at build a team and making your case for bullying.  Today we are looking at building a case and how to do your research.

Build your case

Next, gather as much evidence as you can to support the need for an anti-bullying program at your school. Newman and her group put the word out at school functions, and sent e-mails asking parents to contact them if their child had been bullied or knew anyone else who had.

“Bullying is a problem no one wants to talk about," Newman says. "But once word gets out, the floodgates seem to open. Soon people were calling us.” She cautions that it’s crucial to assure anonymity, since most parents fear that their child will be retaliated against if he or she is identified as a snitch.

“Our findings weren’t scientific,” Newman is quick to say. “Still, we gathered enough information from enough parents that we could make the case that bullying was a problem throughout the school district.”

Do your research

Newman’s committee also did research to find out what a school anti-bullying program should look like. Newman drew on her background as a business and marketing consultant to tap every possible resource: “I did internet research, made cold calls, and called school districts that had existing programs," she says.

Today, there are many excellent anti-bullying organizations, and some have programs specifically designed to be used by schools, including: Olweus, Community Matters, Educators for Social Responsibility, and PFLAG's Safe Schools program.

For more information on bullying and bullying prevention, see the new government website, Stop

In the end, Glen Ellyn school district officials decided not to go with a pre-packaged program, but to develop one of their own. Still, Newman's research paid off since it educated everyone involved about different approaches, what works, and what does not. Newman and other anti-bullying experts agree that, whatever approach you take, it's important to make sure to adapt any program to the specific needs of your individual school.

Your research should also include possible sources of funding to support an anti-bullying program. The Community Matters and Olweus websites both include funding advice and sources.

Newman emphasizes the importance of doing as much legwork as possible so school officials won't have to. “Most school administrators aren’t against the idea," she says. "They just don’t have the resources to make it happen. The more you can do ahead of time, the more likely you are to succeed."

Tomorrow will conclude the article from with " It's never to early to start".


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