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Gayle Cole

Educational Leadership:Promoting Respectful Schools:Bullying-And the Power of Peers - 0 views

  • In a disturbing number of cases, aggressive boys harass girls (Berger & Rodkin, 2009; Rodkin & Berger, 2008; Veenstra et al., 2007). Sixty percent of 5th to 7th grade girls whom Olweus (1993) reported as being harassed said that they were bullied by boys
  • A colleague and I have referred to socially connected bullies as "hidden in plain sight" (Rodkin & Karimpour, 2008) because they are more socially prominent than marginalized bullies, yet less likely to be recognized as bullies or at risk. Because socially connected bullies affiliate with a wide variety of peers, there is an unhealthy potential for widespread acceptance of bullying in some classrooms and schools. This is what Debra Pepler and colleagues call the theater of bullying (Pepler, Craig, & O'Connell, 2010), which encompasses not only the bully-victim dyad, but also children who encourage and reinforce bullies (or become bullies themselves); others who silently witness harassment and abuse; and still others who intervene to support children being harassed (see also Salmivalli et al., 2010).
  • One good friend can make a crucial difference to children who are harassed. Victims who are friends with a nonvictimized peer are less likely to internalize problems as a result of the victimization—for example, being sad, depressed, or anxious
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  • . Peers who do intervene in bullying can make a real difference. These defenders may be successful in more than 50 percent of such attempts, but unfortunately they stand up in fewer than 20 percent of bullying incidents
  • Victimization was lowest in groups with a democratic atmosphere, where relationships with group leaders were more egalitarian and cohesive.
  • interventions that involve peers, such as using students as peer mediators or engaging bystanders to disapprove of bullying and support victims of harassment, were associated with increases in victimization!
  • Some of the most innovative, intensive, grassroots uses of peer relationships to reduce bullying, such as the You Have the Power! program in Montgomery County, Maryland, have not been scientifically evaluated. The final verdict awaits on some promising programs that take advantage of peer relationships to combat bullying, such as the Finnish program KiVa (Salmivalli et al., 2010), which has a strong emphasis on influencing onlookers to support the victim rather than encourage the bully, and the Steps to Respect program (Frey et al., 2010), which works at the elementary school level.
  • . A strong step educators could take would be to periodically ask students about bullying and their social relationships. (See "What Teachers Can Do")
  • Consider what bullying accomplishes for a bully. Does the bully want to gain status? Does the bully use aggression to control others?
  • School staff members vary widely in their knowledge of students' relationships and tend to undere
  • Antibullying interventions can be successful, but there are significant caveats.1  Some bullies would benefit from services that go beyond bullying-reduction programs. Some programs work well in Europe, but not as well in the United States.2  Most antibullying programs have not been rigorously evaluated, so be an informed consumer when investigating claims of success. Even with a well-developed antibullying curriculum, understanding students' relationships at your school is crucial.
  • Implement an intellectually challenging character education or socioemotional learning curriculum. Teach students how to achieve their goals by being assertive rather than aggressive. Always resolve conflicts with civility among and between staff and students. Involve families.

El Niño hits California: These maps tell the story of heavy rains - LA Times - 0 views

    LA Times water/El Niño article. Good intro
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