Bullying Prevention through Schoolwide Positive Behavior Supports
What is Bullying?
Dan Olweus, provides us with this commonly accepted definition for bullying in his book, Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do:
"A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself."
This definition includes three important components:
1. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
2. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
How does SWPBS help?
- Rules help to establish structure in unstructured areas. This structure reduces the possibility for students to exhibit bullying behaviors.
- Throughout the year, students are explicitly taught how to be respectful to one another. This occurs through the use of children's literature, role-playing, Restorative circles, and assemblies.
- Social reinforcements for bullying are reduced when the entire school is working toward the same goals.
- Specific assertiveness skills are taught through school guidance lessons and school-wide programs.