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Bullying Prevention

Strategies

A Model Policy for Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, Hazing and Retaliation has been developed by USOE. You can find it under the Law and Legislation web page at http://www.schools.utah.gov/law/Model-Policies-and-Procedures/USOE-MODEL-POLICY-ON-BULLYING,-CYBERBULLYING,-HARA.aspx.

Research indicates that a school-wide process, such as School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS or PBIS), http://www.pbis.org/school/what_is_swpbs.aspx is the best approach to bullying intervention and prevention. In a meta-analysis of 213 School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS or PBIS) programs, the average effect size was 0.69 on social-emotional skill performance.

Prevention Dimensions (PD) is a collection of age-appropriate lessons developed by the Utah State Office of Education provided free of charge to Utah pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers. PD provides students with a strong foundation of effective skills based on risk and protective factor research. Students and teachers who apply PD objectives reduce risk factors associated with violence, substance abuse and other antisocial skills. Embracing PD objectives enhances protective factors of peer support and positive relationships, appropriate and smart decision making, and healthy living. The PD lessons have been designed to decrease risk factors and promote protective factors. The USOE conducts teacher trainings on the use of the PD resource lessons to enhance and develop teacher skills to teach proven prevention strategies, provide current evidence of effectiveness, and help teachers create a positive teaching climate in their classrooms.

Research

Trauma Sensitive Schools

http://acestoohigh.com/2012/05/31/massachusetts-washington-state-lead-u-s-trauma-sensitive-school-movement/

“With a school-wide strategy, trauma-sensitive approaches are woven into the school’s daily activities: the classroom, the cafeteria, the halls, buses, the playground. “This enables children to feel academically, socially, emotionally and physically safe wherever they go in the school. And when children feel safe, they can calm down and learn,” says Cole. “The district needs to support the individual school to do this work. With the district on board, principals can have the latitude to put this issue on the front burner, where it belongs.”

Why We Should Stop Chasing Self-Esteem and Start Developing Self-Compassion (Kristen Neff, Associate professor of human development, The Blog, Huffington Post, April 6, 2011) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-neff/self-compassion_b_843721.html.

Kindness curriculum study expanding to more schools (Center for Investigating Healthy Minds)

Can we train children to demonstrate more kindness? Can we introduce techniques that teach students how to pay attention better? Can we develop a school curriculum that nurtures emotional health as well as academic success?

These are some of the guiding questions that researchers at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds are exploring through the Kindness Curriculum study. This unique research endeavor involves four-year-old kindergarten (4K) students in self-selected classrooms within the Madison Metropolitan School District.

The curriculum, based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program for adults, is progressive in nature and incorporates children’s literature, music, movement and play to teach concepts related to kindness and compassion.

The curriculum provides 24 lessons over 12 weeks (each about 20 minutes long).

Themes include:

  • Mindful Bodies and Planting Seed of Peace and Kindness
  • I feel emotions on the inside
  • How I feel on the inside shows on the outside
  • Taking care of strong emotions on the inside and outside
  • Calming and working out problems
  • Gratitude
  • All people depend on each other and the world
  • Gratitude and Caring for our world

Researchers are assessing the effects of implementing this Kindness Curriculum. Initial findings indicate that children who took part in the Kindness Curriculum showed improved performance on computer measures of attention from before to after the curriculum and larger gains in pro-social behavior and emotion regulation as compared to the children who did not receive the curriculum training.

This fall, the study is expanding to additional Madison schools and tracking children into their Kindergarten year to look at whether benefits of training are sustained over time.
Researchers hope to expand the study into additional cities in the future, contingent on funding support. The Kindness Curriculum study relies on philanthropic support from individuals and foundations.

Our thanks to the administrators, teachers and parents of the Madison Metropolitan School District for their partnership with this project!