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Anti-Bullying Program



Introduction

Growing up can be quite stressful because a person has to deal with many psychical and emotional changes related to social life, schooling and free time. Being a teenager is never easy, especially when he or she faces a lot of pressure from peers. This pressure can increase to such an extent that it can change into bullying which is a great concern for society. Bullying occurs very often, and there should come an end to it. This can be done on many levels, starting from a personal level when children and parents speak about bullying by giving pieces of advice, reading books and trying to fix the situation in its beginning stage; they can even use social networks to do that (Kaufman, 2013).

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Another level includes schools’ regulations; it means that there are local anti-bullying programs being implemented in each school. Schools can deal with the problems of bullying by organizing special lectures and providing students with the necessary information and support to stop or prevent bullying. The bullying outcomes became so important that they are reaching the highest level; they are treated carefully by states and the federal government as a very important issue (Raftery, 2010). The President himself is concerned about finding the best solutions to end bullying among teenagers which shows how important this problem is (Calmes, 2011).

Anti-Bullying Program the US Department of Education

Therefore, there are certain programs suggested by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Education. They focus on anti-bullying and divide this process into a few sections. There are few programs that are implemented in schools, universities, and kindergartens which help young people deal with bullying. They include an early childhood bullying prevention program that teaches little children that bullying is wrong; this way the possibility that children will bully somebody when they grow up is reduced. There are other programs which focus on elementary, middle, high school and college students. There is also a program dedicated to cyber-bullying.

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In this paper, the main focus is on the program which is dedicated to students of middle school and up. This program is called “Stand Up – Speak Out.” It is extremely important because bullying among teenagers who go to middle school is the most widespread. The American Psychological Association conducted research for this program, and it shows many shocking numbers. According to national research, more than seventy percent of students in middle and high school experienced bullying (Graham, n.d.). According to the same research, students of middle and high school are concerned the most about the peers’ pressure and mistreatment by fellow students. Consequently, the program “Stand Up – Speak Out” includes the entire population of middle school students, as well as those in high school. It focuses on educating students about bullying and ways to stop it; it also teaches students the importance of reacting to bullying in a proper way. It means that the students are taught to speak about their bullying experience so that adults can help them to overcome the problems. Students learn about strategies to prevent bullying; they also learn how not to be bullied themselves. The program also includes information for parents because their involvement with children is very important. Another important part is that the program includes information for educators since they play a big role in students’ lives.

The program defines bullying as acts that a person commits, which may hurt other people; it includes actions that make a person feel bad about oneself. This definition is different from other definitions of this action because it simplifies the term and makes it more general. Therefore, bullying applies to all of the kinds of negative and aggressive behavior toward people which makes them feel uncomfortable and miserable; it also unites all of the types of bullying in one term.

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This program divides bullying into a few categories. The first type of bullying is a physical one. It includes physical abuse of one person by another or by the group of people; it means hurting somebody physically and threatening to cause pain. This type of bullying is usually the easiest to deal with because it is more visible and noticeable by the rest. Teachers, as well as parents and classmates, can see whenever a student is being beaten or hurt, and it is easier to find a source of aggression. The program “Stand Up – Speak Out” deals with physical bullying by providing special training and seminars for students and educators; students are taught not to be bystanders when they see somebody being bullied, but to tell adults about it. Educators are expected to talk not only with students who are bullied but with the bullies as well to define the sources of aggression and frustration so that the bullies will not repeat their actions furthermore.

Another type of bullying is mental bullying. It means offending or insulting somebody with words, gestures, or simply with a negative treatment; it is also strongly connected to verbal bullying, only verbal one focuses specifically on words. These two types of bullying also deal with the peer pressure of fitting in, and they are especially widespread among girls. Bullying among girls usually takes mental and verbal forms instead of a physical one; girls face a lot of criticism and mistreatment from the other girls in the group. Dealing with such bullying is quite difficult because girls and students in general often do not want to speak about it. The program provides seminars that motivate students to speak to school psychologists and solve the problems from within. The program also stresses greatly on the mental side of the problem because it does not simply teach girls how to avoid bullying, but also how to overcome feelings of non-acceptance and loss.

The other type of bullying is cyber-bullying; it happens when a student is mistreated on the Internet, which includes threatening, harassing, tormenting, etc. Special computer programs exist to provide the children with the highest level of security on the Internet; they include parents’ and school control. Both parents and educators should check what websites children visit and what activities they do on the Internet. This type of bullying has become quite widespread recently due to the growing popularity of the Internet, but adults can easily put an end to bullying by simply watching what websites their children use.

The program “Stand Up – Speak Out” deals with all of these types of bullying by doing specific research. It surveys the students before and after practical pieces of training about bullying. It also organizes seminars and lectures for the students as well as for educators. It urges school psychologists to take an active part in students’ lives by speaking and listening to them and by providing students with the needed help and support. It is also connected to parents; the program aims to popularize the ideas of anti-bullying among the parents, so they know how to deal with it.

The program is on-going, and it still keeps working. The many features have been implemented, and they are quite successful because they raise awareness in society, so that people know what bullying is and how it should be eliminated.

Conclusion

This program can be easily generalized to other people and situations because it provides general information on how to deal with bullying. Not only middle and high school students face bullying, but it can also happen to every person of any age category. Consequently, all people need to know how to act while facing bullies and how to protect themselves from such happenings. This program is definitely successful and very useful because it tries to solve the problems on many different levels. Certain features of the program are still being implemented which shows how important the program is and that it is something that must be done throughout all of the states.

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