By Michele Borba, EdD
What works in reducing bullying? When students become active bystanders. Read on to see how you can help your kids learn to speak up, during National Bullying Prevention Month—and anytime.
“Research shows that when student bystanders intervene correctly, bullying can be cut more than half the time and within 10 seconds.” —Professor Debra Pepler
Bullying is cold-blooded, intentional cruelty and will flourish if tolerated. Forty-nine states have now passed anti-bullying policies and so-called bullying prevention programs are cranking off the presses in record numbers. But beware: Cambridge University professor David P. Farrington’s analysis of more than 600 bullying “programs” found only about one fourth are effective in reducing peer abuse. Studies do show, however, that mobilizing students to become active bystanders may be our best hope in reducing bullying.