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School Wide Behavioral Intervention for Tackling Bullying


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Title: School Wide Behavioral Intervention for Tackling Bullying

School Wide Behavioral Intervention for Tackling
Bullying Amos Rolider, Ph.D. Department of
Behavioral Sciences, Emek Yezreel College, Israel
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Tom is in Grade 4 and having trouble in school.
He finds it hard to concentrate and doesn't
really want to be there. John is the real
problem. He started teasing Tom last year and
hasn't stopped since. Now Tom tries to stay in
for recess. When he goes out, John is always on
the look out for him - and for any teachers who
might be watching. John harasses him, to the
delight of several other boys. Sometimes the
others join in, kicking, pushing and throwing him
around. Tom tries not to cry, he tries to get
away, he has even tried telling John to stop -
John and the others just laugh. Tom's teacher
doesn't know about this, but he has told his
parents about the bullying. They are really
worried and want to tell the school, but Tom begs
them not to. John has told him that if he ever
tells, he'll really be in for trouble.
Bullying \ Harassment
Why Tackling bullying is important?
It seems like there has always been bullying in
our schools and only in the last five years have
we begun to consider it a serious threat to
school safety. Bullying actually is now being
seen by some people as the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to school violence and crime.
Almost all school violence starts with seemingly
innocent bullying or put-downs that escalates
into violence using guns or knives. The lack of
respect for another person's human rights, which
is a common factor in criminal behavior, starts
with bullying in school.
Workshop Learning Objectives
  • To provide relevant background information about
    the nature of bullying behavior.
  • To be able to operationally define the term and
    identify bullying and distinguish it from other
    forms of antisocial behaviors.
  • To know how to use observational instruments for
    data collection on bullying in all school
    settings and to analyze the triggers and
    functions of bullying.
  • To know how to establish a school-wide
    anti-bullying policy.
  • To know how to change the ecological structure of
    the various school environments in preparation
    for implementing anti-bullying intervention.
  • To know how to design and implement an effective
    school-wide behavioral intervention aimed at
    reducing bullying behavior among students.
  • To know how to evaluate the effectiveness of the
    anti bullying intervention.

  • Behavior Analysis of Bullying Behavior
  • Challenges and issues
  • The magnitude of the problem.
  • Distinction between Bullying and Violence.
  • Observing Bullying in School.
  • Collecting objective data on bullying.
  • Immediacy of providing consequences.

  • Involving all members of the school community.
  • Clarifying exactly what bullying isbuild your
  • Gaining agreement that it is an unacceptable
  • Developing clear guidelines on individual
  • Working toward staff consistent responses to
    all known cases.
  • Monitoring areas/times pupils identified as
    being unsafe.
  • Supporting victims of bullying.
  • Changing bullying behaviors.
  • Helping bully victims develop effective
    behaviors in tackling bullying.
  • Shaping and Reinforcing appropriate By- Standers

Response Definition
Bullying is a situation in which one student or
a group of students pick on a student and/or hurt
a student every once in while by using one or
more of the following means threats, taunts,
swearing , insults, terrorizing, insulting
remarks, pushing, pinching, attempts to
blackmail, steal or take others belongings
without permission, boycotting, spreading rumors,
exclusion from games, or any other act intended
to purposely hurt another pupil.  
Response Definition(cont.)
Physical Bullying Pushing, hitting, kicking,
taking or ruining the victims personal
belongings, touching his private parts and/or any
other physical injury (to the victim).  
Verbal Bullying Threats, mocking, name-calling,
insults, humiliation, frightening, racial
comments and other expressions meant to harm
Indirect Bullying Spreading nasty rumors and
lies, making kids outcasts, preventing the
participation of some in social activities of a
particular group.
  • Bullying usually has three common features
  • It is deliberate,hurtful behavior.
  • It is repeated often over a period of time.
  • It is difficult for those being bullied to
    defend themselves.

  • Myths About Bullying
  • Only boys bully
  • A Bully is born a bully and remains a bully
    (there is nothing to be done)
  • Bullies suffer from low self-esteem.
  • Bullies are usually the academically weaker
    pupils in the class.
  • Most acts of harassment are not carried out
    within the school environment.
  • Resistance to the harassment by the victim will
    prevent it from being repeated.
  • Creating empathy with the victims suffering will
    cause the bully to stop harassing him

  • " I was bullied at school and it didn't do me any
  • "He'll just have to learn to stand up for
  • "Tell him to hit back -harder"
  • "It's character-building"
  • " Sticks and stones may break your bones but
    names can never hurt you "
  • "That's not bullying! It's just kids teasing "

The Characteristics of Bullying
  • Carried out with the intention of causing harm.
    The bully enjoys mocking the victim and
    /or trying to control him and continues
    this behavior even when it is clear that the
    victim is in distress.
  • Powerful and non-ending the bullying continues
    for an extended period of time and its power
    combined with the length of time leads to
    harmful results.
  • The power of the bully the bully has an
    advantage over the victim, physically,
    mentally and/or socially. This power could
    be a result of their difference in age or
  • Social sensitivity the strong desire of the
    victim for social acceptance, special
    sensitivity to verbal harassment, ostracism,
    and not being included in group activities.

The Characteristics of Bullying(cont)
  • The victims vulnerability the victim is unable
    to defend himself sufficiently and he has
    physical and/or psychological qualities that
    make him more vulnerable.
  • Lack of support the victim feels isolated and
    exposed. He may be afraid to report the
    harassment for fear of reprisal.
  • Long term damage Continuous fear of attending
    school, learning difficulties, health
    disorders, thoughts of revenge and suicide,
    and infrequently, attempts at self-harm.

1. One-half of all violence against teenagers
occurs in school buildings, on school property or
on the street in the vicinity of the school, Most
of that began as seemingly innocent bullying or
put-downs, (Olweus, 1993Smith Sharp 1994) ) 2.
Almost 3 million crimes occur in the U. S. on or
near school property each year -one every six
seconds (Weinhold Weinhold1998). 3. The
National School Safety Center estimates that
there are over 525,000 attacks, shakedowns, and
robberies per month in public secondary schools
in this country (Weinhold Weinhold1998). 4.
The NEA estimates that 160,000 students miss
school every day or 28 million days per year, due
to fear of attack or intimidation by a bully
(Fried Fried, 1996).
5. Students receive an average of 213 verbal
put-downs per week, or 30 per day (Fried,
1996). 6. 10 of students who drop out of school
do so because of repeated bullying (Weinhold
Weinhold, 1998). 7. 75 of students from
non-urban schools report being bullied during
their school career (Hoover, Oliver Hazier,
1992). 8. 90 of all students felt that bullying
caused social, emotional, or academic problems
for those students who were bullied. (Weinhold
Weinhold,1999). 9. 69 of all students believe
that schools respond poorly to bullying and
victimization (Weinhold Weinhold,1999). 10.
20 of all high school students surveyed
report-avoiding restrooms out of fear of being
bulled. Weinhold Weinhold,1999).  
  • 79 of school students reported that they had
    been victims to verbal bullying (cursing,
    laughing, mocking and threatening) at least
    once a month.
  • 65 of students reported that they had been
    victims of physical bullying (hitting,
    kicking, pushing, pinching and touching) at
    least once a month.
  • 36 of students reported that they had been
    victims of indirect bullying (boycott and
    exclusion from group activities) at least once
    a month. ( Rolider, Lapidot Levy, 2000)

How does bullying differ from grade to grade?
  1. It occurs in every grade, but it is most
frequent in grades 4 through 8
(Olweus,1994). 2. It usually starts as teasing
and put-downs with younger bullies and then
becomes more physical and more violent as bullies
get older. (Rolider,2000) 3. Bullies can also
be easily identified in each grade by the sixth
week of the school year.(Rolider,2000)
  • How does bullying differ between boy and girls?
  • Boys use direct physical and verbal attacks to
    bully others. (Olweus,1993 ,1994)
  • Girls use more indirect, subtle and social
    methods such as exclusion, manipulation,
    spreading rumors, etc. ( Rigby ,1996)
  • 3. Boys tend to bully other boys (80) and
    girls (60) (Olweus,1993 ,1994)
  • 4. Boys are more likely than girls to be both
    perpetrators and victims of aggressive physical
    and verbal bullying by peers. ( Smith
  • 5. In Middle-School, girls who mature early
    are often bullied and sexually harassed by boys.
    ( Lane ,1989)
  • 6. Girls tend to bully only other
  • 7. Boys usually bully alone, while girls
    bully in groups (Saunders, 1997).

  • Are excited (reinforced) by their bullying
    behavior .
  • Enjoy feelings of power and control.
  • Lack of compassion and empathy for their victims.
  • Are calm and show little emotion.
  • Blame the victims.
  • Are usually average students.
  • Do not have low self-esteem.
  • Usually have a small network of friends.
  • Are successful at hiding their bullying behavior.
  • Are excited by their victims' reactions such as
    fighting back.

Aggression. Bullies are generally aggressive
toward their peers, teachers, parents, siblings,
and others (Olweus, 1991). Bullies tend to be
assertive and easily provoked. They are attracted
to situations with aggressive content and have
positive attitudes about aggression (Stephenson
and Smith, 1989). Physical Strength. Boys who
bully are physically stronger and have a need to
dominate others (Olweus, 1987). In contrast,
girls who bully tend to be physically weaker than
other girls in their class (Roland, 1989). Lack
of empathy. Bullies have little empathy for their
victims and show little or no remorse about
bullying (Olweus,1987)
  • Physically weak, shorter sometimes physically
    handicapped.(pepler, 1998)
  • Passive behavior, anxiety, weakness and lack of
    confidence (Olweus, 1993).
  • Few close friends.
  • Recent new immigrants.
  • The victims relationships with adults (teachers,
    parents) are better than with their peers.
  • Most victims prefer not to tell parents or
    teachers about bullying.

  • Most victims prefer not to tell parents or
    teachers about bullying.
  • I am afraid of revenge.
  • I dont want to be a snitch.
  • I dont want to worry my parents.
  • Im ashamed that Im not capable of defending
  • Im afraid of losing friends.
  • I have difficulty proving it.
  • Im not sure the adult will keep the information
    to himself.
  • Im afraid of my parents reactions.
  • Im confused and embarrassed.
  • I cant change the situation.
  • I think no one will believe me.
  • I deserve it.

Gender. On surveys, boys and girls are equally
likely to report being victimized (Charach et
al., 1995 Pepler et al., 1977). Age. Children
in lower grades are more likely to be victims of
older bullies, whereas children in higher grades
are more likely to be victims of same-age
bullies. Younger students experience more direct
bullying, whereas older students experience more
indirect bullying (Olweus, 1993). Temperament.
Some victimized children have a tendency to be
anxious and withdrawn. There is more evidence of
this among preschool children than among
school-aged children. Olweus, 1993). Physical
Appearance. Research has not supported the
popular stereotype that victims have unusual
physical traits (Olweus, 1991).
60 -Observe passively 15 - Encourage the
bully 10 -Join the bully 10 -Keep their
distance 5-Attempt to stop the
  • Peers tend to give positive attention to the
    bully, rather than the victim. Their
    reinforcement of the bully may serve to
    maintain the bully's power over the victim and
    within the peer group. (Rolider,2000)
  • Peers who watch bullying may become excited and
    more likely to join in. (Rigby 1996)
  • Compared to girls, boys are more likely to be
    drawn into bullying episodes and become
    actively involved in the bullying (Craig and
    Pepler, 1997 Salmivalli et al., 1996).
  • In playground observations, peers intervened in
    significantly more episodes than adults did
    (11 of episodes versus 4) (Craig and
    Pepler, 1997).

What Role does the Family Play?
  • Bullies often come from homes that are
    neglectful, and hostile and use harsh
    punishment (Olweus, 1993).
  • Parents may inadvertently support bullying by
    accepting it as just a normal part of growing
    up and leaving children to solve their own
  • Victims often keep their problems a secret
    (Garfalo et al.,1987 Olweus, 1991).
  • When they are courageous enough to tell, victims
    talk more often to parents than to teachers.
    (Rigby, 1996)

  • Typical ineffective Reactions to Bullying by
    Educators and Parents
  • Advise the victims to ignore and not relate to
    the bullies and to the harassment.
  • Have a talk with the bully following a report of
    the harassment.
  • Recommend the victim to retaliate/pay him
    back/fight back.
  • Karate courses for the victims to strengthen them
  • Interventions based on specific treatment aimed
    at a particular victim or bully.

What Role does the School Play?
  • Principals. Principals set the tone for their
    schools. Bullying is reduced if the principal is
    committed to addressing bullying (Charach et al.,
  • School Policy ( definition \expectation ). The
    key to reducing bullying in schools is a clear
    policy regarding bullying with consistently
    applied consequences (Olweus, 1991).
  • Playground monitoring. Bullying occurs when
    there is little supervision or when large groups
    of children engage in rough-and-tumble play or
    competitive sports (Murphy et al., 1983).

  • Typical Signs at Home
  • Arrives home with torn clothes, bruises refuses
    to complain
  • Arrives home with bruises, scratches with no
  • Doesnt bring friends home and doesnt initiate
    inviting friends home
  • Isnt invited to parties or class social events
  • Occasionally refuses to go to school with no
    logical reason
  • Complains of headaches or stomach aches
    especially in the morning
  • Chooses an illogical, unlikely route to walk to
  • Refuses to go to school by public transportation.
  • Loses interest in studies and grades are lower
    than potential
  • Steals or asks for extra money from parents with
    no logical explanation

School Wide Behavioral Intervention for Tackling
Principles for Anti-Bullying Systemic
  • Implementing an anti-bullying program is a
    complex and a prolonged process
  • Change must occur with the bully, victim, peers,
    school staff, parents, and community.
  • Recognizes the roles and responsibilities of
    bullies, victims, peers, teachers, counselor,
    principal, community.
  • Unless the adults in the school change their
    attitudes and behaviors, the students will
  • Establishing leadership to address bullying
    problems is essential for change.

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Intervention Components
  • School wide Comprehensive data collection
  • Providing relevant information about the
    phenomenon to parents, students and teachers.
  • Working toward school comprehensive mission
    statement re Bullying.
  • Class activity on Bullying.
  • Developing and providing clear class and school
    expectations and rules.

Intervention Components (cont)
  • Ecological reorganization of school environment.
  • Reinforcing Students Telling Behaviors.
  • School adult monitoring system in all school
  • Implementing package intervention aimed at
    reducing bullying behaviors and increasing
    alternative and incompatible behaviors
    ( DRO , DRL ALT-R , Public
    posting) .

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Can we behavior analysts really trust
questionnaire information?
  • we recognize that individual students may
    sometimes provide misleading written
    responses .
  • Students normally do take the questionnaires
  • There is also close agreement between the results
    obtained in experiments in which students have
    been asked to nominate others in their class who
    are victims of peer abuse (or are bullies) and
    self-reports obtained directly from the students
    who have been so nominated. ( Smith, Sharp,

Survey How do I feel with/towards my friends at
Dear Student, This questionnaire deals with
bullying at school. Bullying is a situation where
a strong student picks at other students and/or
tries to hurt them every once in a while.
Bullying includes one or more of the following
threats, taunts, insults, terrorizing, insulting
remarks, pushing, kicking, boycott, taking or
stealing peoples belongings, exclusion of others
from games, and other hurtful activities. We are
interested to know how safe you feel at your
school and what causes you to feel the way that
you do. The information obtained will assist us
to deal with bullying in a more effective way,
and to plan for an improved atmosphere at school.
Directions Take every question seriously. Place
an X in the box which best describes your
feelings/experience. The questionnaire is
anonymous (there is no need to write your
How many times have these things happened to you
in the last month?
How often do you
When I am being bullied, I More than one box
can be marked.
How often do you see students doing the following
at school?
How safe do you feel in the following places?
What grade/class are the students who bully you
in? More than one box can be marked.
If you were bullied, what happened after you told
How often do you see bullying in the following
What do you do when you are being hit, threatened
or bullied?
Who are the students who usually bully others?
More than one box can be marked.
What grade/class are the bullies in?
Percentage of students who reported being bullied
at least once in the last month in Israel
(Rolider,Lapidot Levy 2000) .
Percentage of Israeli students who bully at least
once a month ((Rolider,Lapidot Levy 2000) .
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  • Prevalence of Bullying in the School.
  • Types of bullying.
  • Why is it important to combat bullying?
  • Signs to look for at home and school.
  • Description of school anti bullying program.
  • Other relevant information.

Policy Development A small group should draft a
policy statement on bullying and to obtain the
support of all school personnel . Three
fundamental questions need to be answered a)What
is bullying? b)What will we to prevent it from
occurring? c)What will we do when it does
  • Working toward school comprehensive mission
    statement (cont.).

School comprehensive mission statement may
look something like the following
  • We recognize Bullying as any word, look, Sign,
    or act that inflicts or threatens to inflict
    physical or emotional injury or discomfort upon
    another person's body, feelings, or possessions.
    We also recognize bullying as a type of violence
    that occurs whenever a student intentionally,
    repeatedly, and over time inflicts or threatens
    to inflict physical or emotional injury or
    discomfort on another's body, feelings, or
  • To make our school violence-free and safe from
    bullying, we should
  • Tolerate no bullying in our school
  • Intervene in bullying behaviors and strictly
    enforce rules against bullying
  • Empower students to report bullying behavior and
    to treat one another with respect.

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Scene 1
Danny I saw that Ofer took your new pencil
case. Matan So what Danny Why dont you
tell the teacher? Matan It wont help. When I
told her that he took my markers, she told him to
return them to me. Later, on the way home, he
hit me and said that tattle talers get knocked
off. Danny So tell the teacher that he hit
you. Matan What will she do to him? Hit him?
Put him in jail? She cant do anything to him.
And anyway, you think you are so smart? Why dont
you tell your mother that Roy eats your
sandwiches that she makes for you and he makes
you carry his bag home. Danny If I tell my
mother, then she will tell my father who will
call me a coward. And he will ask me why I dont
hit Roy back. He doesnt understand anything.
Besides, I dont carry Roys bag anymore. Matan
Of course not. The minute the bell rings, you
fly out of the school like a rocket and hide
until everyone goes home.  
Scene 2 Insults, Threats and Ostracizing
Omri Tali, why do you tell secrets about me
to Adi and Einat? Tali I can do what I want,
my mouth is my property! Omri But you are
saying bad things about me. I saw all of you
laughing at me. Thats really not nice. Tali
You have no idea what we said. Maybe we were
not talking about you at all. And in addition, we
can laugh about whoever we want. Omri You
wouldnt want others to laugh at you like
that. Tali Why would they laugh at me. I dont
stink! Omri I dont either. Tali Yes you
do, you have a disgusting smell about you. Omri
I am going to tell the teacher that you are
saying bad things about me. Tali If you tell
on me, I will tell all the kids not to speak to
Role playing and Class Discussion of Specific
  • Danny pinches Lioras bottom every time she goes
    on the swing or passes by him.
  • A group of kids laugh at Dana because Danny said
    that he loves her.
  • Kids curse each other incessantly.
  • Rotem decides that no one will speak to Hilah.
  • Roy makes fun of and imitates the Russian face
    of Daniel.
  • Ronen runs after Noa and corners her to give her
    a kiss.
  • A group of boys do not allow Rina to leave the
    class for recess just for fun.
  • Danny takes money from Shachars wallet without
    permission, buys himself something to eat
    and returns the change to Shachar.

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  • Ecological reorganization of school environment

Ecologic Preparation of the Physical Environment
Surrounding the Students During Recess
  • Improve the aesthetic appearance of school
  • Divide the school grounds into areas where it is
    possible to take part in certain activities
    and not others in order to decrease the tension
    and conflicts among children.
  • Clearly written signs about forbidden and
    unacceptable activities and about
    safety rules.
  • Add equipment and recreational aids for
    childrens use during recess.
  • At least one preplanned activity organized by a
    teacher to serve as a safe haven for
    victims of bullying.

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  • Conduct assessment to identify hot spots.
  • Increase supervision.
  • Create organized play and supervised play areas.
  • Be aware of groups of children coming together.
  • For structured play areas, develop a rotating
  • Recess buddies.
  • Clear rules and consequences.

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  • Adult monitoring system in all school
  • The safety monitor
  • The task of the safety monitor is to enforce the
    rules of behavior in a defined area as
    indicated by the signposts. His/her job is to
    encourage appropriate behaviors of self-
    control and restraint.
  • His/her presence in the area is essential to
    prevent bullying during recess.
  • The post of safety monitor will be filled by
    members of the staff and\or paid safety
    monitors (extra paid personnel).
  • The post of assistant safety monitor will be
    filled by pupils from grades 5 and 6 who
    will be chosen by the homeroom teacher.
  • The safety monitor will be briefed by a safety

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If the students behavior requires removing him
from the area, the crisis procedure must be
carried out and the student will be sent and
accompanied to the time-out room by the safety
monitor or a member of the support team.
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  • What Happens in Time-Out?
  • The student remains in time-out until the end of
  • An adult is present in the room during the entire
  • In the event that the student refuses to go to
    time-out or remain there the entire time, a
    crisis situation is declared (the parents are
    invited in to reinforce the schools
    authority or the student is sent home).
  • If the incident that merits punishment happens
    close to the end of recess (i.e. the last 2-4
    minutes) the student must go to time-out during
    the next long recess on the following day.
    The hall monitor will ensure that the student
    arrives and stays in the time-out.

  • Additional instructions
  • In event of repeated visits to the time-out,
    the following disciplinary actions should be
  • If receives time-out 2x in a day miss the long
    recess of the same day or the next day
  • If receives time-out 3x in a day the student
    should be sent home accompanied by the parents or
    by a hall monitor to ensure he arrives home and
    leaves school grounds.
  • If receives time-out 2x in a week invite the
    parents to accompany the student during
    recess. If this is impossible, the student will
    be suspended for a day.

  • Implementing package intervention aimed at
    reducing bullying behaviors and increasing
    alternative and incompatible behaviors.

DRO DRL ATL-R Public Posting Strategies .
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Alfei Menashe Schools
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