Most anti-bullying programs focus on prevention. This is important but it is incomplete. We need a more comprehensive approach.
As part of a coalition effort, I put together a 5 point strategy to comprehensively combat bullying in the schools. we need to be working towards as a community, pulling together all the necessary resources to address bullying holistically instead of in the peicemeal fashion we have been.
See: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0L27xd7NclMVG9vb0dNbXpuUmc/ to read it and or download it.
We have to teach kids who are being bullied right now how to get it to stop. The only method known is to use the extinguishing a behavior protocol from operant conditioning – which is what I teach.
We also need to make sure there is proper bystander training – which helps with both prevention and elimination.
We need to focus on our youngest grades to teach bullying elimination techniques so that when this behavior first emerges, it is stopped so kids who would otherwise learn to bully, don’t. This will reduce and/or eliminate the flow of new bullies.
We need to provide assistance and care for individuals who are bullying maladaptively and/or as a result of mental illness.
And we have to create new protocols that increase the speed of response time with a focus on elimination rather than conflict mediation because conflict mediation protocols strengthen bullying. You have to set up your processes with the extinction protocol in mind, otherwise you make things worse. For this to happen, schools and administrators responsible for setting up policies need to have a better understanding of EXACTLY what is required to extinguish bullying behavior.