Anti-bullying Programs - What Works and What Doesn't?


With studies researching anti-bullying programs showing inconsistent results, parents and schools alike should continue to work together to face increasing concerns about school-based bullying. By comparing effective and ineffective programs' characteristics, anti-bullying advocates can make the first move in subduing a very old problem booming in U.S. schools.

What Makes an Ineffective Anti-bullying Program?

Schools that consider harassment and unrelenting teasing as "typical" childhood behavior produce a good climate for negative peer relationships. Ineffective programs give space for individual interpretation on "girls acting like girls" and "boys acting like boys."

Among the most harmful ambiguities in present anti-bullying practice burdens the victim with the responsibility of advocating for their needs and defending themselves against bullies. By encouraging victims to deal with bullies, educators, and even parents, are indirectly blaming the victims, as though problems with their own social abilities are the cause of bullying. Moreover, this kind of focus may actually endanger the victims.

Ineffective anti-bullying programs at focus strictly on case-to-case incidents of bullying. To go to the root of bullying, schools have to foster a school culture that is more tolerant and accepting. Add to that, most bullying incidents will happen right under the nose of school staff. It's a frightening prospect, but the inability to be omnipresent - being everywhere, seeing everything - controls options for intervening in all bullying incidents.

Educators should be firm and consistent with their anti-bullying policies. The whole institution must unite against bullying, or bullies will always find areas where they can physically and emotionally harm their victims. For more facts and information regarding anti-bullying campaign, you can go to .

What Makes an Effective Anti-bullying Program?

Effective anti-bullying programs at aim at the whole school environment instead of just particular peer interactions. Such programs do not just teach proper communication and positive social leadership styles, but even go to the extent of remodeling school hallways and classrooms in ways that encourage a sense of community and acceptance among students. Many programs are specifically designed for school climates ripe for bullying and negative behavioral influences.

An effective program uses supports and strategies at every level inside the building -- from students and classrooms to bullying-prevention teams made up of educators and students. Among the best school-based bully prevention programs are those that use a systemic method, zeroing in on all level components, starting from community to  individual, and then classroom to school. In supportive anti-bully programs, perpetrators are isolated. They have zero tolerance for bullying and harassment, with punishments clearly spelled out for those who will commit such offenses. 

One of the most vital, and typically underrepresented, pieces of the anti-bullying puzzle revolves around school and home partnerships. To eradicate bullying, parents and educators should both be consistent against negative peer interactions, and there should be increased communication with parents in the school's actions against bullying incidents.