Building better bullies

Anti-bullying programs are backfiring, according to a new study. Students are more likely to be victimized by bullies if their school has an anti-bullying program, concludes University of Texas at Arlington criminologist Seokjin Jeong.

Many campaigns use videos to show examples of bullying and how to intervene. Students may be learning new ways to bully through social media and texting, says Jeong. Bullies learn how to get away with it, he fears.

As an intern with the California Department of Education, my daughter previewed an anti-bullying video by Peter, Paul and Mary, Don’t Laugh at Me.  She thought it would help bullies identify  more categories of  victims.

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  1. Foobarista says:

    What? You mean education actually works?

    They’d be better off teaching martial-arts, and looking the other way when known bullies (teachers always know) are knocked on their butt.

  2. I think that mainstreaming and full inclusion policies have aggravated the situation, because obviously-impaired kids are likely to be seen as easy targets. In separate placements, they’re more protected. Of course, it used to be that bullies were punished, not their targets (whether intended or actual) – sometimes officially and sometimes by other kids. Successful retaliation usually worked.

    • ime the trouble is that the privacy policy can protect impaired children from being ‘outed’…classmates don’t know initially that Johnny who is throwing pencils like darts is special needs (emotional disturbed classification most likely), because he is on grade level and in the reg. ed. classroom. Classmates aren’t picking on him, but trying anything to get him to stop. Johnny however, knows he is classified, so he doesn’t follow the school’s discipline plan. And throwing darts is more fun that getting a sticker and adult attention for that hour block on the behavior chart.

      I took my children out of full inclusion to get away from this.

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    Unintended consequences????
    I never expected something like this to come from an educrat’s idea.

  4. They appear to be trying to cram years of individual training about compassion and respect into a 3-minute song. While I appreciate the intent behind it, I’m just not sure that institutional anti-bullying programs are workable. Indeed many of them seem designed to expose the weaknesses of some kids for others to prey upon.

    If parents and teachers and administrators all keep a close eye on kids and consistently teach, model, and enforce good behavior for years on end, that would be better….but there will still be some sharks in the pond.

  5. .Bullying is not the same old issue it used to be. With social networking and computers and cellphones it’s become an around the clock problem. It’s now a health issue.Think of this It is the lack of knowledge of, or the unwillingness to recognize, or the deliberate denial of the existence of the serial bully which is the most common reason for an unsatisfactory outcome for both employee and employer. Be brave don’t be a victim be safe ang keep protected check this out at!/page_home.

    • How we handled bullies in the 1970’s was generally beating the living crap out of them off of school grounds, the rule was, you wanted to fight, you did it off school grounds, so that school officials couldn’t do anything about it, and most of the bullies who got a beating usually stopped bullying at school when they came back to campus, lest they get another beating.

      Sad commentary on old methods, but it is what worked in my day.

  6. Deirdre Mundy says:

    When I was in school, the teachers often aided and abetted the bullies. After all, the quirky kids were ‘asking for it,’ ‘needed to toughen up,’ and ‘should learn to fit in.’

    Which is why I’m skeptical of these programs, since the adults leading them are often bullies in their own right.

  7. Come to think of it, the main way that bullies were dealt with in my junior high years was the presence of quite a number of no-nonsense teachers who would take bullies aside and give them a good (non-physical) talking-to. I think there would need to be a critical mass of such teachers. Not saying that kids didn’t retaliate physically as Bill and others have stated, but I think that within the school it was mostly those teachers who could be depended on to shame the bullies (and maybe sometimes uncover underlying family problems?). Keep in mind, too, that most bullying these days is not physical.