Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Personal Responsibility in Bullying Prevention

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Personal Responsibility in Bullying Prevention

Article excerpt

Personal Responsibility in Bullying Prevention EMPOWERING BYSTANDERS IN BULLYING PREVENTION By S. Davis with J. Davis 2007, Research Press

REVIEWED BY WENDY CARRIA

This book is a great resource for those just beginning their bullying prevention efforts, and will reenergize those who have been implementing bullying prevention programs in their schools without seeing desired long-term results. Stan Davis hits all of the frequently asked questions about bullying prevention. What constitutes an effective definition of bullying? How do we teach students to tell us about bullying without reinforcing tattling behavior? How do we deal with exclusion? Davis brings common sense and practical strategies to life in this book. The anecdotal stories make this bookeasy toread and easy torciate to; the research validates its contents.

One important difference between this and other publications that address bullying prevention is the emphasis on personal responsibility of the students - all of them. Many times, school climate is referenced in discussions on bullying, but most often the responsibility for the climate is placed on the adults. Davis brings home the concept that the most important (and most powerful) stakeholders in determining school climate are the students themselves. Throughout the book, Davis prompts us to reflect on our own behaviors (which sometimes subtly perpetuate problems) and to use our insights to guide youngsters into making a difference in their world.

Davis specifically addresses the contrast between adult behavior and adult messages with the example of often-given advice to "just tell the bully to stop." His honest appraisals of his own and other adult behaviors yield the insight that not only is this advice easier given than followed, it is also placing the responsibility for stopping the behavior on the victim. Davis goes on to discuss that as long as confrontation (telling the bully to stop) is a possible solution, then other solutions are not likely to be remembered or applied. …

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