Bullying Prevention: Time to Rethink & Redirect

What schools are doing to reduce bullying at the secondary level is not working. The national data shows that the rate of bullying has not declined for a decade. This report outlines the challenges and positive strategies to move forward.

New Report: Bullying Prevention: Time to Rethink & Redirect

Short Version Read quickly to learn the main points.

The approach that has been recommended for schools, and incorporated into most state statutes, is not effective at the secondary level. It is not developmentally appropriate. So it is not that schools have not been trying. It is simply that the approach they have been advised or required to use will not work.

We must recognize that 1.2 million secondary students in the US report that someone is hurtful to them at school once a week or more – and over 500,000 say this is happening almost every day! Schools must redirect their efforts to more effectively address this serious concern.

There is solid research that provides insight into how schools can implement more effective, positive strategies to address bullying and other forms of social cruelty.

The most significant conclusion, based on developmental considerations, is that students must be fully engaged in a meaningful way in promoting positive relations. It is also necessary to ensure accountability by requiring ongoing local assessment through surveys and focus groups. Additionally, it is important to change the approach being used from punishment to one that provides essential support for all students involved in a bullying situation and that encourages restoration.

A video version of this report will be available soon. This video, plus some additional investigation and report should be sufficient to meet the requirements for 2.0 Professional Development Units – at no charge

Gain access to the materials to support PDUs, as well as the other resources described below here.

Information about Resources on this Site

Embrace Civility in the Digital Age promotes a 21st Century approach to address bullying and youth risk in the digital age.  This approach promotes positive norms, increases effective skills and resiliency, and encourages young people to be helpful allies who positively intervene when they witness peers being hurt or at risk.

Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere)

Legal Ramifications & Positive Strategies to Address Bullying & Harassment

Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere) is Nancy’s new book that provides guidance to schools on how to reduce bullying and harassment and limit its harmful effects in a manner that will both effectively address the well-being of students and assist schools from avoiding litigation and civil rights enforcement actions.

Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand

How Young People Can Powerfully Promote Positive Relations

Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand provides a short instructional booklet for young people that is packed full of research-based insight on reducing bullying and other forms of hurtful behavior, increasing positive peer intervention, and increasing resilience. A slideshow and discussion survey for young people is also provided.

Gain access to preview the program materials here.

Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere) Professional Development Resources

Embrace Civility in the Digital Age has developing a “flipped classroom” approach for professional development. Key issues are addressed in short segments. Each segment has a 4-6 page document and a short video.

Staff should watch and read this independently, at a time of their choosing. At the end of each video will be questions to ask students–to foster greater student voice. Staff should record their thoughts and the insight from students on a one-page reporting form that will support discussion at the staff or committee meeting.

Professional Development Resources for Teachers and Support Professionals is ready to go. Professional Development Resources for the Leadership Team are under development.

Gain access to preview the program materials here.


Parents can obtain a booklet, Your Bullied Child or Teen: A Parent Empowerment Guide, and watch a video that provides guidance. An additional document on digital safety is also on this page. This booklet is being updated and will soon be released as an ebook.

Youth Organizations and Summer Camps

The research ground insight that has supported the development of Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere), Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand, and Resolve also support the development of positive strategies for youth organizations, including summer camps and after-school organizations, as well as youth clubs that are seeking to empower their members to engage in leadership roles. Resources to support youth organizations are under development.

Medical & Mental Health Professionals

The role of community-based medical and mental health professionals cannot be understated. This is especially true of pediatricians. Bullying may be grounded in concerns that are medical, including obesity, disabilities, and the like. Bullying often results in psychosomatic illness.

Pediatricians and other medical and mental health professional who work directly with youth need greater insight into how to screen for the potential that bullying is occurring, how to effectively communicate their concerns to the school, and how to support parents in reducing the harmful impact. Older materials are currently available. These resources are being updated.

Expert Services

Nancy Willard is available for workshops and can also provide webinars for professional development. Nancy also provides legal research, mediation, and settlement assistance to attorneys working for school districts or student plaintiffs.


Nancy’s resources to address digital safety are found here. This work has been “back-benched.”

Informational Documents

Over the years, Nancy Willard has written numerous reports and articles. You can find these resources on this page.


  • Embrace Civility Blog
  • Twitter
  • Embrace Civility Discussion Group
Image. Wikipedia Commons. Created by Lumax Art at: http://www.lumaxart.com/

Comments are closed.