Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere): Legal Parameters & Positive Strategies to Address Bullying
Bullying will never be effectively addressed by focusing on bullying incidents alone ~ making rules against bullying and punishing “the bully.” Bullying is grounded in the quality of interpersonal relationships. To reduce bullying and to limit its harmful effects requires focusing on the quality of relationships within the school community, fully engaging students in leadership roles, helping students gain social emotional competencies, and resolving hurtful incidents in a restorative manner that builds the strengths of all parties involved. Schools that do this will see decreased bullying and increased happiness.
The Challenge: What schools are doing to stop bullying isn’t working. It isn’t that schools aren’t trying or don’t want to stop bullying. The problem is that what schools are doing isn’t effective. Further, the risks of school liability for failing to effectively address bullying or harassment have significantly increased in the last several years.
Addressing the Challenge: Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere) provides insight into the legal parameters and presents a 21st Century approach to address the age-old problem of bullying. The recommended approach is grounded in insight from recent litigation, U.S. Department of Education guidance, current research, and professional guidance. The recommended approach includes:
- Dedicated staffing & coordinated planning.
- Local measurement & a focus on effectiveness.
- Review of policies & practices.
- Focus on positive school climate, positive management of student behavior, and students’ social, emotional, and cultural competencies.
- Student involvement in leadership roles.
- Specific attention to typically targeted students.
- Restorative interventions that effectively address students’ challenges.
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Workshops & Webinars: Nancy Willard offers a 3-hour engaging workshop on these issues. The most cost effective approach is a “virtual presentation.” Ample time is provided for Q & A. The workshop also provides strategic breaks where participants will discuss specific issues with their peers. A Leadership Assessment Inventory will be provided that will allow administrators to identify areas for improvement. For more information, contact: <info (at) embracecivility (dot) org.
Medical and Mental Health Professional: Resources for medical and mental health professionals are here.
Blog & Communciations: My first version of Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere) was much longer. I opted for a more succinct version to be published. However, I have ample resources for numerous blogs that will address the underlying research and analysis. Check out my blogs and sign up for a periodic email update here. (Under development – available soon.)