First Presenter's Institution

Clemson University

Second Presenter's Institution

Clemson University

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 7 (Verelst)

Strand #1

Safety & Violence Prevention

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

Hands”: Safety & Violence Prevention is addressed through the topic of bullying prevention.

Recent school violence continues to increase the desire to create school climates that reduce the risk for victimization and violence. However, school safety implies more than hardening the target with locks, fences, and armed security. A climate of respect, and emotional support in schools not only helps to diminish the possibility of targeted violence in schools, it can also impact academic achievement.

“Heart”: Social & Emotional Skills addressed are school climate, sense of community, and student empowerment.

Bullying is one of the most common forms of violence experienced by children and youth, particularly in school settings. In order for students to progress academically and socially, they must feel safe at school. Bullying can negatively affect that sense of safety depriving children of the right to be educated in an environment that is both physically and emotionally safe. While those involved can suffer both academically and socially, bullying also influences a school’s climate, thereby impacting all students at the school. To reduce bullying, it is important to change the climate of the school and the social norms with regard to bullying.

Brief Program Description

School staff play an important role in preventing bullying, but they can’t do it alone. Schools must meet the social-emotional needs of students for bullying to decrease and these efforts are more successful when youth are involved. This session will explore engaging youth by promoting youth voice, changing social norms, and using class meetings to teach social-emotional learning skills.

Summary

Bullying is still one of the most pressing issues facing youth, affecting individuals across ethnicity, gender, grade, and socioeconomic status. It is one of the most common forms of violence experienced by children and youth, particularly in school settings. Bullying is considered an Adverse Childhood Experiences that can negatively impact a child’s development with both short term and long-term consequences for all involved.

School staff play an important role in preventing bullying, but they can’t do it alone. Prevention efforts will be more successful if youth are involved. Adults can influence youth participation by creating the social context in which students have opportunities to participate in planning, implementation, and assessment of prevention efforts.

Social learning theory tells us that learning takes place through the interaction students have with their peers, teachers, and others making youth engagement an essential component of successful bullying prevention. Schools can develop more responsive solutions to bullying when youth are involved because students are more likely to see or hear about bullying than adults; and school climate improves when students are engaged in actions to stop bullying.

Social-emotional skills can be taught through school-wide approaches that simultaneously create supportive learning environments and focus on emotional skill development. This workshop will explore how to do this by promoting youth voice, engaging youth in bullying prevention efforts, changing social norms, and using class meetings to teach social-emotional learning skills.

Schools must meet the emotional and social developmental needs of students for bullying to decrease, for teaching and learning to take place, and for positive relationships to form. When schools guide youth in development of social-emotional skills, it can prevent students from resorting to pushing, teasing, or hurting peers as an emotional release. It can also help students who are bullied and students who are bystanders develop the skills they need to manage their fear and anxiety, communicate their needs, and get support.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain knowledge of key information about bullying.
  2. Increase understanding of the role Emotional Intelligence plays in bullying prevention.
  3. Learn tools and strategies to engage youth to promote resiliency and prevent bullying.

Evidence

1. Social learning theory tells us that people learn in social contexts and informs us on how educators construct active learning communities. Consequently, teachers can create a learning environment that maximizes this interaction through discussion, collaboration, and feedback.

Lev Vygotsky, a Russian teacher and psychologist, first stated that we learn through our interactions and communications with others. He suggested that learning takes place through the interaction students have with their peers, teachers, and others.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bandura’s Social Learning Theory suggests that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling.

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall

2. In The Importance of Youth Voice contributor Robert Shumer states: “One of the most important elements necessary to engage young people in learning, in civic activity, and in important youth development roles is voice: ensuring that young people are involved in the planning, the implementation, and the assessment of any effort.”

Shumer, R. (2015). The Importance of Youth Voice. National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Newsletter 25(2).

3. Erickson conducted a literature review to establish the consequences of bystander effect in a bullying incidence and found that the bystander effect, the ability to remain passive in a bullying occurrence because of the presence of other witnesses, reinforces bullying because the bully imagines non-action means approval and will continue the act of bullying. The review highlights the fact that bystander effect can be reduced by the presence of caring peers who are likely to support the victim; and this group can create an environment in school where more students will be empowered to intervene.

He found that if friends are helping then bystanders who are friends of those helping will intervene as well. Beliefs and social norms influence the decision to intervene as well. Perception of peers of a defender will significantly influences one to either intervene or not to. Thus, schools should enable caring students to influence others.

Erickson, D. (2016). Consequences of the Bystander Effect in Relation to Bullying, Underage Alcohol Consumption, and Suicide/Suicidal Ideation. Winona State University.

4. Engaged youth can make meaningful contributions to comprehensive bullying prevention efforts that build program capacity and sustainability. Research has shown what works in successful youth engagement.

  • The focus should be on changing behavior - the environment rather than the individual. A broad approach is needed as bullying goes beyond the classroom and school.
  • It is important to involve everyone with influence on youth – family, peer groups, schools, churches, local businesses, and recreational programs.
  • Involvement in all aspects of the prevention program beginning with development shows youth a concrete result of their efforts, can inspire additional advocacy, and helps to create an environment where bullying in not acceptable.
  • Simply providing information does not prevent bullying. Youth must be empowered to act if they see bullying or it is happening to them.
  • If youth are given a seat at the table without a voice in designing strategies for bullying prevention, they are not full participants and the impact on reducing bullying may be limited.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Best Practices User Guide: Youth Engagement–State and Community Interventions. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.

5. The National Academies Report Preventing Bullying through Science, Policy and Practice best practices, published research, and meta-analyses by Ttofi and Farrington provide insight on what impacts bullying prevention program success. One component is class meeting time that promotes youth engagement. A 2010 study done by Olweus and Kallestad to find out if there were certain classroom components of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program that were more effective and if that varied by grade level found that class level components, class meetings, were more effective and predicted 27% of total variance.

Kallestad, J. H., Olweus, D., & Alsaker, F. (1998). School climate reports from Norwegian teachers: a methodological and substantive study. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 9, 70–94. https://doi.org/10.1080/0924345980090104.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23482.

Ttofi, M.M. & Farrington, D.P. (2011). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: A systematic and meta-analytic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology (7).

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Jan Urbanski, Ed.D. is Director of Safe and Humane Schools at Clemson University where she oversees the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and related initiatives focused on building positive connections and reducing bullying and violence. Dr. Urbanski has 24 years of school district experience as a prevention specialist, elementary teacher, and professional school counselor. She has also authored several publications and curriculum related to bullying prevention.

June Jenkins, M.Ed., is Training Coordinator for the Olweus Program, Safe & Humane Schools at Clemson. With more than 25 years of experience in education as teacher and administrator, she holds a Postgraduate Professional License from VA and SC Departments of Education in PK-12 administration and supervision. She completed a postgraduate certification in PBIS. She serves on the Leadership Board of the SC-APBS Network and Co-Leader for the SC-Olweus Network.

Keyword Descriptors

bullying, school climate; violence prevention, youth empowerment, school safety, social-emotional learning youth voice

Presentation Year

March 2020

Start Date

3-10-2020 2:45 PM

End Date

3-10-2020 4:00 PM

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Mar 10th, 2:45 PM Mar 10th, 4:00 PM

Fostering Emotionally Intelligent Bullying Prevention through Youth Engagement

Session 7 (Verelst)

School staff play an important role in preventing bullying, but they can’t do it alone. Schools must meet the social-emotional needs of students for bullying to decrease and these efforts are more successful when youth are involved. This session will explore engaging youth by promoting youth voice, changing social norms, and using class meetings to teach social-emotional learning skills.