Bullying Prevention Research Paper

1397 Words 6 Pages
The Missing Counterpart to Bullying Prevention

Over the past several years, bullying has been on the rise among students. In an effort to combat this, thousands of schools across the country have adopted anti-bullying programs. Most standard programs teach students about what bullying is, how to prevent bullying, and how to stick up up for students who are being bullied. While these programs have good intentions, they have many gaps that cause bullying to continue to occur. It is clear that something else is needed to supplement existing anti-bullying programs that still allow for 3.2 million students to face harassment, intimidation, emotional abuse, violence, exclusion, and other forms of bullying every year (Bullying Facts). Recently,
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Unfortunately, many victims do not speak up because they fear it will cause even more bullying or they will be labeled as a “tattle tale” by peers or teachers. Likewise, bystanders are afraid to stand up because they do not want to put themselves in a position where they would be subject to bullying. As you can see, this cycle works in the favor of the bully because it allows him or her to target victims without facing consequences. However, this would not be the case with an anonymous reporting system because victims and bystanders would have the ability to report bullies without identifying themselves, which would make it easier to speak up. For example, Black Hawk Middle School in Warren County, Missouri decided to adopt an anonymous reporting system from the company CyberBully Hotline in response to an extreme amount of of fighting in their school district. Assistant superintendent Dr. Gregg Klinginsmith noted that one of the main reasons the program successfully reduced the amount of students disciplined for fighting by 92% is because of the fact that the program was anonymous. Klinginsmith highlights the fact that students are constantly using their cell phones, so “no one knows whether they 're texting the CyberBully Hotline or texting their mom about needing their gym clothes" (School Fighting). Since anyone can …show more content…
A common belief is that listening to an anti-bullying presentation gives students motivation not to bully because it teaches them the effects bullying can have on a victim. However, this is irrelevant information to the bully because they often already know this and want the victim to experience these effects. Because it would be much easier to be caught, bullies would have an increased motivation to be kind and not let it occur in the first place. For example, Cisco School District in Texas decided to implement the CyberBully Hotline into their school district due to many cases of gym locker thefts. After beginning the program, thefts stopped immediately and levels of bullying were reduced. Kelly Jo West, a junior high counselor with the district, attributes the program’s success to the fact that “the CyberBully Hotline has been a deterrent to bullying and other bad behavior." When people know that being involved in a certain situation would increase their risk for a consequence, they tend to stay away from that situation. As West puts it, "[w]hat little bullying we had, was decreased even more because the kids knew that anyone could now report on what they saw" (School Theft). By having both a character education program as well as an anonymous reporting system, students learn about the negative effects of bullying and have a personal incentive

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