As anti-bullying legislation becomes increasingly common across the country, many school districts are searching for resources to help staff learn how to identify bullying situations and, ultimately, how to deal with them effectively.
Many of the successful programs incorporate the bystander approach, a prevention and intervention strategy pioneered by Ron Slaby, a senior scientist at EDC and national expert on bullying prevention. (Read a recent conversation with Slaby.)
Looking for programs and interventions that use the bystander approach? Have a look at the ones listed below, which are widely used by schools, camps, and athletic teams across the country.
Eyes on Bullying
Child-care providers know they should intervene when they see a child being bullied, but the relational issues surrounding bullying can be complex. Knowing how—and when—to intervene requires effective strategies and practice. EDC’s Eyes on Bullying program offers a variety of tools that can help caregivers understand bullying in a new way, reexamine their own beliefs about bullying, and prepare and empower children to prevent bullying wherever they see it happening.
Aggressors, Victims, and Bystanders
This 12-session curriculum published by EDC explores the roles that victims and bystanders can play in bullying situations. Designed for students in middle school, Aggressors, Victims, and Bystanders teaches lifelong conflict-resolution skills that can help students and their peers.
Voices Against Violence
EDC’s Voices Against Violence is a video-based program that addresses the critical role bystanders can play in preventing school violence. Through a series of dramatic vignettes, the 26-minute video explores real dilemmas that bystanders face and calls on viewers to consider ways their school community can encourage and support positive bystander intervention. The program delves into the complexity of the bystander role, and shows how bystanders struggle with such complex issues as loyalty, fear of reprisal, and lack of clarity about whom to approach for help.
Stop Bullying: Speak Up
In 2010, CNN and Cartoon Network partnered to create Stop Bullying: Speak Up, a bullying awareness and prevention campaign that taught students how to identify and react to bullying behavior. The campaign returns this year and includes public service announcements airing on both networks, special coverage about bullying on the CNN website, and a week-long series on bullying on Anderson Cooper 360º. Even Facebook has joined the effort, promoting a special Stop Bullying: Speak Up application that encourages users to take a no-bullying pledge. EDC’s Slaby was a key member of the campaign’s advisory board.
Based in San Francisco, No Bully offers professional development workshops for teachers, parents, and anyone else working with young children. The program seeks to help organizations build a culture where students learn to relate to each other with respect and acceptance, thus largely eliminating bullying. Nine EDC staff members were recently trained in the No Bully approach.
Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP)
MVP began in the early 1990s as a program designed for college athletes, but it has enjoyed a wide application since then, including high schools, colleges and universities, Americorps, and even the U.S. armed forces. The program uses a discussion-intensive, case study model where participants learn about the bystander approach and consider ways that bystanders can actively help someone who is experiencing abuse. The program’s success is cited in Violence Prevention: The Evidence, a publication from the World Health Organization.
Stand Up 2011
At Stand Up 2011, young people learned to promote positive social change in their schools and communities and to take a stand against all forms of bullying. Watch an archive broadcast of the 2011 conference and learn more about plans for future Stand Up conferences.
Updated May 2012: description of Stand Up 2011
Originally published on October 24, 2011