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The Ineffectivemess of Anti-Bullying Programs

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Ineffectiveness of Anti-bullying Programs

For seventeen years Rachel Joy Scott filled her school with kindness no one has ever experienced before. On April 20th 1999, Rachel Scott was the first victim of the massacre at Columbine High School. In memory of Rachel Scott, a new anti-bullying program (Rachel's challenge) was introduced. During her short life, Rachel challenged her classmates to start a chain-reaction of kindness. Will Rachel's challenge finally stop the attacks? That remains to be seen. When examining the results of anti-bullying programs used in the public school system over the past decade, the research proves that they are largely ineffective.

Over the past decade, several programs such as the Olweus program have been introduced. The Olweus program was started in Norway in 1999, after a severe incident involving bullying sparked media attention. Yes many anti-bullying programs have been attempted by the public school system, however, most had very disappointing results. These did not impact bullying as much as intended. Although there were ideas to try to stop the bullying such as, The Second Step Violence Prevention Program, in many ways, the programs just did not work. The Second Step Violence Prevention Program has shown little succes in improving social competence and decreasing anti-social behavior and agression. The problem is , this program, like many others, must have the bullies label themselves as the agressors. It doesn't help that many teenagers categorize bullying as "drama".

In far too many cases, teenagers describe or label bullying as "drama". In some cases kids

will completely deny the bullying. That makes it hard for an anti-bullying program like RIPP, or

Responding in Peacefull and Positive ways, to be successfull. The bullies want to feel superior to their peers and classmates, so they bully the weaker kids, the new kids, and the kids with disabilities. So

where are the adults, and why don't they listen?

Many adults are not well trained to handle bullying. If a anti-bullying program is to be

successful, the adults must be involved. Barbara Coloroso, a nationally known anti-bullying consultant

said this about the suicide of 15 year old Phoebe Prince, " the questions to ask are: Did they follow

their own rules and did they keep Phoebe safe? Obviously not. And did they deal effectively with the

bullies? Obviously not." (Strauss)

It is not the victim's fault! The "blame the victim" approach makes



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