Anti-bullying classes found ineffective

Dec. 18, 2011 at 10:37 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Generic, cookie-cutter, anti-bullying curriculums are an ineffective substitute for student-focused engagement strategies, U.S. officials say.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, part of the U.S. Department of Justice, has issued a report in which bullying in schools is examined and recommendations are made for the best ways schools can provide support to bullying victims.

The report is the product of a study conducted by the National Center for School Engagement in 2007 that found bullying does not directly cause truancy.

"Parents and schools across the country worry about the devastating harm bullying can cause, and we share this concern for our nation's children," Jeff Slowikowski, acting administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, said in a statement.

"This new study highlights the impact of bullying and recommends effective anti-bullying strategies that schools can implement to keep students safe."

The report, "Bullying in Schools: An Overview," recommends schools:

-- Offer mentoring programs.

-- Provide students with opportunities for community service.

-- Address the difficult transition between elementary and middle school.

-- Start prevention programs early.

A caring school community where students are challenged academically and adults support them can serve as a powerful antidote to bullying, while victimization often distances students from learning and contributes to a myriad of other problems, including truancy and academic failure, Slowikowski said.

The report is available at: www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=256074.

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