NCSE is an initiative
of the Partnership
for Families & Children.
Summary & Information
Contact: Jodi Heilbrunn, Director
Center for School Engagement
Numerous studies report that many children across the nation are fearful in their schools and in their neighborhoods. This fear is not only due to the more extreme forms of school violence that have been reported in the media, but to the high incidence of bullying and harassment that takes place daily in U.S. schools. Bully-Proofing Your School (BPYS) is a nationally recognized school safety program, implemented in school districts throughout the United States and Canada, with a scientifically proven track record since its inception in 1992. BPYS is a critical element in the creation of safe, civil and caring school culture that, in turn, promotes student attachment to school, attendance at school and achievement in school.
Why Does Bullying Matter?
The 1993 National Household Education Survey, based on the responses of 6,504 students in grades 6-12, reported that unsafe conditions at school are a reality for most students. The report found that 56 percent of the respondents had personally witnessed some type of crime or victimization at school, including bullying, physical attack, or robbery, and that 71 percent reported that such incidents happened at their schools. Another study shows that out of 15,000 6th-10th graders at public and private schools, 30 percent of these students reported being either bullies, victims or both (Lusden, 2002). Recent statistics show that the percentage of students who reported being bullied increased between 1999 and 2001 ( Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime and Safety, 2003).
Bullying can include physical aggression, social aggression, intimidation, written aggression, sexual harassment and racial/cultural harassment. It is also important to note that bullying behaviors are varied and range from mild to severe. Three important groups are involved in the bullying dynamic: bullies, victims, and bystanders. Any successful bullying prevention program must address all three groups. In most schools, six to seven percent of the students are bullies and the actions of these bullies can be devastating to victims. Studies show that bullying can affect the academic performance, health, and social adjustment of victims. As many as seven percent of American eighth-graders stay home at least once a month because of their concerns about being bullied (Olweus, 1993; Batsche & Knoff, 1994). In
Colorado , it is estimated that more than 10,000 students (grades 9-12) stay home at least once every 30 days because they are afraid to go to school (Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, 2001). Studies have also shown that bystanders can experience anxiety and guilt for not having taken action when they witness bullying (Hazler, 1996).
A Program that Works
Bully-Proofing Your School is a comprehensive program for handling bully/victim problems through the creation of a “caring majority” of students who take the lead in establishing and maintaining a safe and caring school community. The program focuses on converting the silent majority of students into a caring majority by teaching strategies that help them to avoid victimization and to take a stand for a bully-free school. In schools which have implemented the program, incidences of bullying behaviors have declined and feelings of safety among the students have increased.
Bully-Proofing Your School workshops are available to early childhood, elementary, middle and high school personnel. Joint elementary/middle or middle/high workshops can also be arranged. Danger Assessment and Early Childhood workshops are delivered as separate training modules. Follow-up consultancies are a recommended component of the training program in order to maintain continuity, and guide program implementation. Bully-Proofing Your School is a system-wide program that seeks to impact the context within which bullying occurs. It also teaches protective skills to the students and influences the school climate by engaging the “caring majority”—the 85% of children who are neither victims nor bullies. An education program for bullies is part of the program and is based upon an understanding of the thinking errors that antisocial children make rather than on placing blame.
School Climate Survey
Dr. Amy Plog has created a tool to evaluate the climate of schools using the BPYS program. The survey instrument—the Colorado School Climate Survey—offers schools and districts an opportunity to establish a baseline reading on the climate of their school and the capacity to track changes in that climate over time. The instrument is offered to schools at no charge as part of the training. The survey is published in both elementary and middle school versions. Analysis of the data is available for an affordable fee.
Training, TA and Evaluation Services
- Bully-Proofing Your School Workshops including ultural differences, cyber bullying and relational aggression
Advanced Bully-Proofing Training
Training for Trainers (four-day intensive)
Curriculum and Support Materials A detailed catalog of BPYS publications is available online through Sopris West Educational Services.
- Bully-Proofing in Early Childhood
- Bully-Proofing Elementary Curriculum (3 volumes)
- Bully-Proofing Middle School Curriculum
- First Aid for Hurt Feelings and A Parent’s Guide (Spanish versions
- Bully-Proofing: A Parent’s Guide
- Bully-Proofing for High Schools
District Proposal Options for Training and Consultation
Bully-Proofing Your Schools is a comprehensive program that offers a systemic approach for handling bully/victim problems through the creation of a “caring majority” of students who take the lead in establishing and maintaining a caring school community.
The program includes six basic components:
· Staff training
· Student instruction
· Support of the victims
· Interventions with the bullies
· Systems interventions
· Development of a caring climate within the schools
Bullying declined when adults and students were willing to intervene, treat each other fairly and show they care. The findings also show that schools with less bullying had higher scores on the
Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) in reading, writing and math. (The
Colorado Trust, Evaluation of Bullying Prevention Intervention Three Year Study, December 2008)
A team of two trainers comes directly to your school or district. You decide who is to be trained depending on your needs. You may choose for a small number of representatives from each school to be trained or focus on one school and train all the teachers in that school.
Follow up coaching is highly recommended. Three consultations will occur over the year following the training. Typically, this consultation is conducted by telephone and occurs in three-month intervals for approximately one hour. Rubrics will be utilized to ensure the site is on track with the schedule they’ve established. Training and coaching is conducted by our team of certified Bully-Proofing Your School trainers.
Host Sites are responsible for training team expenses: airfare, lodging, meals and transportation.
What is BPYS responsible for providing?
In addition to training and consultation, trainers provide master copies of handouts and training aids that attendees may copy for distribution.
What are the key deliverables of the training?
· An overview of Bully-Proofing Your School concepts and outcomes
· Standard definitions of bully, target and bystander
· Key strategies for classroom implementation
· Curriculum concepts
· Ten elements of successful program implementation
· Research pertaining to bullying, cyber bullying, relational violence and
best practices in prevention
· Role plays and vignettes that illustrate the well known Bully-Proofing
What levels are available?
Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School
Which books will I need and how many?
The curriculum books required for training may be purchased through Sopris West Educational Services. BPYS curriculum books for appropriate grade level are required for all attendees
A) Our recommendation-one book per attendee
B) Minimum requirement-one book for every four attendees
· Bully-Proofing Your School (3 vols.)
· Bully-Proofing Your School: A Comprehensive Approach For Middle
· Bully-Proofing Your School: A Comprehensive Approach For Elementary
· Bully-Proofing Your High School (2 vols.)
· Bully-Proofing In Early Childhood (2 vols.)
Training Workshops and Consultation
Ø Two Day Basic: BPYS brings a team of trainers to your community, district or school to provide a two day training to include basic training in Elementary and or Middle School Bully Proofing Your School curriculum to anyone your school or district wants to attend. In addition to being trained in the areas of curriculum and caring community development, participants will get to practice preparing and delivering lessons and receive feedback from trainers. The two day workshop also allows for the participants to plan how they would like to implement the program and the certified trainer can give feedback on the spot.
Ø One Day Refresher: BPYS brings a team of trainers to your community, district or school to provide a one day training designed for an audience with BPYS experience. This training is more customized to meet the needs and experiences of the client, and focuses on fidelity and troubleshooting.
Ø One Day Overview: BPYS brings a team of trainers to your community, district or school to provide a one-day training designed to educate the audience about bullying, describe the BPYS program strategies and the research supporting the program and create public will for addressing this issue. This training is not designed to support immediate program implementation; it does not include lesson-demonstration, role-modeling and other participant activities included in the two-day workshop.
Ø District On-Site Training for Trainers (TFT): BPYS brings a team of trainers to your school district to provide an intensive four-day certification program. Upon completion of the training, your graduate trainers are endorsed to conduct staff training within your school district and will receive a CD that includes all of the handouts necessary to implement BPYS with fidelity. On-going consultation after initial training is required.
Ø Systemic Mini Training for Trainers: BPYS brings a team of trainers to your community, district or school to provide basic training for up to 30 staff in the Elementary/Middle or Middle/High curriculum. This is combined with a shortened “Training For Trainers” session for five people designated to become your training “cadre.” This small group would receive training certification and would be allowed to train within their school district. Ongoing consultation is required after initial training.
Ø Individual Training for Trainers: A representative or team is sent to a BPYS four-day Training For Trainers workshop held regionally within the
. Successful graduates will be certified to train BPYS material throughout their school district and will receive a CD that includes all of the handouts necessary to implement BPYS with fidelity. The individual or team has the opportunity to network with others from around the country, share ideas and develop a broad support network of peers who are also working toward implementation of BPYS in their districts. This training requires registration and is individually priced.