School bullying: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency report

20 Dec

The Tanenbaum Center which honors the work of the late Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum has a really good definition of the “Golden Rule” which is stated in an interview with Joyce Dubensky entitled, The Golden Rule Around the World

What’s your own understanding of the Golden rule?

At its simplest, it’s really just “being kind.”  Caring about other people. That means putting that kindness into action and treating people with compassion.  It means trying to understand people’s beliefs and needs. It means not harming others and actively working to eliminate harm.

The Golden Rule is meaningful to me because as a universal value, it can serve as the measure of how to live well in a world of many interesting and exciting differences.

Life would be so much easier if people applied the concept of the “Golden Rule.”

There are frequent media reports about children and school kids who are the victims of bullying and cyberbullying.  Bullying Is Everybody’s Business is a great article by Liz Perle at Common Sense Media. Huffington Post reports about bullying in the article, Facebook and Time Warner Teaming Up to Fight Bullies, States Pass Anti-Bullying Laws  The “Stop Bullying, Speak Up” campaign has information about bullying. Information about the campaign can be found at the Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying, Speak Up Perhaps, the most concise look at bullying comes from a Department of Justice report.

The Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency has issued the report, Bullying in Schools: An Overview by Ken Seeley, Martin L. Tombari, Laurie J. Bennett, and Jason B. Dunkle. Among the study’s findings are:

  • Bullying is a complex social and emotional phenomenon that plays out differently on an individual level.
  • Bullying does not directly cause truancy.
  • School engagement protects victims from truancy and low academic achievement.
  • When schools provide a safe learning environment in which adults model positive behavior, they can mitigate the negative effects of bullying.
  • Any interventions to address bullying or victimization should be intentional, student-focused engagement strategies that fit the context of the school where they are used.

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • Increase student engagement.
  • Model caring behavior for students.
  • Offer mentoring programs.
  • Provide students with opportunities for service learning as a means of improving school engagement.
  • Address the difficult transition between elementary and middle school (from a single classroom teacher to teams of teachers with periods and class changes in a large school) (Lohaus et al., 2004).
  • Start prevention programs early.
  • Resist the temptation to use prefabricated curriculums that are not aligned to local conditions.

Increase Student Engagement

Bullied children who remain engaged in school attend class more frequently and achieve more. Challenging academics, extracurricular activities, understanding teachers and coaches, and a focus on the future help keep victimized children engaged in their education (Bausell, 2011). Schools, administrations, and districts that wish to stave off the negative effects of bullying must redouble their efforts to engage each student in school. Typical school engagement strategies include (Karcher, 2005):

•            Providing a caring adult for every student through an advisory program or similar arrangement.

  • Carefully monitoring attendance, calling home each time a student is absent, and allowing students the ability to make up missed work with support from a teacher.
  • Adopting and implementing the National School Climate Standards from the National School Climate Council (2010).
  • Promoting and fostering parent and community engagement, including afterschool and summer programs.
  • Providing school-based mentorship options for students.

See, School Bullying Report Makes Recommendations To Address Issue, Support Victims

Hurting people often hurt other people.

Joyce Meyer

This country and this society is wounded in so many ways, We, must focus on:

A healthy child in a healthy family who goes to a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Adults have to set an example of not only how children should treat each other, but they must set an example of respect for people in general.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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