By Hannah Pickworth, PSC President
I recently returned from an Anti-bullying summit sponsored by the Truman Pierce Institute at Auburn University. Last year was the inaugural year and the summit had approximately 150 attendees, but this year, attendee numbers soared to 300. (It didn’t hurt that it was in a beautiful location – The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama – right on Mobile Bay.) Each presentation was jam-packed with information, handouts, and people committed to addressing bullying in schools.
I’d like to share a couple of concrete ideas I learned from the summit that we can all use, but are especially helpful in the classroom:
Attendees were asked to access where our schools or organizations are in terms of addressing bullying. Each organization or school’s atmosphere is unique – one program may not be the solution for all schools or bullying situations – but the 5 stages below can help you assess:
#1. Pre-Contemplation about bullying: Bullying is a rite of passage – It’s going to happen.
#2. Contemplation: We want to address bullying in our school but it is too overwhelming.
#3 Preparation: Our school is coming together to address bullying
#4. Action: We are taking important steps to stop bullying.
#5. Maintenance: We are continuing to engage our community in anti-bullying behaviors.
Once we have decided on ways to address bullying and implement programs to stop bullying we must sustain our non-bullying community. One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Jay Banks, shared his research suggesting that this student anti-bullying program, teacher professional development and parent program reduces bullying on average of 50%.
Dr. Banks, of the “I am Unafraid” anti-bullying programs, gave the following strategies for helping children address bullying. It empowers each victim, bystander, and stakeholder over bullies and bullying situations by taking the following four steps:
A (Avoid bullies)
F (Find a Friend)
R (Report bullying)
A (Act confident)
These were just two of the many presentations at the summit and Truman Piece Institute promises to post the Power Points presentations and hand-outs on their website, so look for more information by clicking here.
With the success of this Summit, I imagine Auburn is preparing for another summit for Summer 2013. Get on their mailing list and let them know you’d like to learn more!