Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Creating Productive Learning Environments Through Safe Schools



   Clara Cáceres Contreras, M.Ed., C.P. S.
   Region One Education Service Center
                           0-13 targeted homicides
                          32 homicides
                       3523 students expelled for firearms
                     252,000 serious violent crimes
                   2,462,800 less serious crimes
                   5,000,000 alcohol/drug users
              7,000,000 bullying incidents
        Truancy: (up to 10%)                                   ++
     Suspensions/ minor offenses:(3.2 m suspended in’98
  Suicide (3rd leading cause of death for (10-14) for (15-24)
13% called hate related names, 36% reported hate-related graffiti

                                                *students 12-18

                                             Survey USDE 2001
                   Violence Impacts Life Skills &
                        Academic Success
• One in seven school children is a bully or a
• 160,000 students skip school daily because of
  bullying… impacts absenteeism
• Research shows that the effects of bullying
  persist into adulthood, with victims being at
  greater risk for depression and bullies being at
  four-times greater risk for criminal behavior
• Detracts from student learning and time spent
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder….Fight or Flight!

                      WHERE DOES BULLYING
   Location               Reported

Playground                     81%

Hallways                       57%

Classrooms                     50%

Lunchroom                      37%

After school                   35%

Bathrooms                      28%

Before school                  25%
  (Facing the Schoolyard Bully: How to Raise an
  Assertive Child in an Aggressive World, Zarzour,

Basic Human Needs

     Self -




  Physical Needs

 Violence… occurs whenever
anyone inflicts or threatens to
 inflict physical or emotional
   injury or discomfort upon
    another person’s body,
   feelings, or possessions.

  VIOLENCE…is any
mean word, look, sign,
   or act that hurts a
person’s body, feelings,
       or things.
             Violence Continuum
•Shooting Someone with a Gun
•Stabbing Someone
•Flashing a Weapon
•Hitting/Kicking             What do you tolerate?
•Shoving/Punching            Where do you draw the line?
•Sexual Harassment
•Damaging Property
•Stealing                       What do you see at your
•Name Calling                   campus?
•Writing Graffiti
•Starting Rumors/Gossiping
•Eye Rolling                                               8
Violence Continuum                                                      Murder
                                                   Hate Crimes
To Reduce & Prevent                           Vandalism
Violence                               Weapons
                    Sexual harassment
Begin            Fighting
Here          Threats
          Trash Talk
        Bullying    Reprinted by permission from CARE (Courtesy and Respect
                    Empower), Jim Bryngelson, 1144 Henry Rd., Billings, MT. 59102.
     Put Downs      Phone: (40) 252-2835 Website:
         Two Types of Violence
Peer/Victim Conflict:                  Bully/Victim Conflict:
• Disagreements, misunderstanding      • Series of negative actions
  and conflicting desires                (violence) repeated over time
• Two or more students who are         • Are unequally matched in physical
  fairly equally matched in strength     and emotional strength and power
  & power                              • Bullies..lack of connectedness and
• Lack of conflict-resolution skills     sensitivity to others
• Lack of anger management skills      • Victims..lack of assertiveness
What to Do:                              skills
• Educative Response…Teach             What To Do:
  Skills, Remediate Skills, Assign     • Re-establish Norm…it is not okay
  Practice                               to bully
• Provide Mediation & Other            • Adult Sanctions
  Assistance Only If Needed            • Consequence Plan
                       Spectrum of Violence
Verbal                    Visual                    Physical
Name calling              Eye rolling               Hitting/kicking

Teasing                   Gestures                  Spitting/pushing

Taunting                  Facial gestures           Shoving/punching

Laughing at               Body postures             Beating/slapping

Threatening/ordering      Graffiti                  Jabbing/bumping

Sexual come-ons           Invasions of space        Hair pulling

Degrading/mocking         Reading diaries           Damaging property

Rumors/gossiping          Exposing secrets          Defacing locker

Derision/ridicule         Voyeurism /               Playing “keep away”

Intimidating              Pictures/notes            Spoiling homework

Ridiculing                Exposing personal items   Tearing clothes       11
                                      Violence Behavior Chart
                                                                               Harm to another’s
         Physical          Harm to another’s         Emotional                                            Social                    Harm to another’s
                           body or property                                                                                         group acceptance
Level                                                                                nonverbal

            verbal              nonverbal            verbal                                               verbal                    nonverbal
        Taunting           Making threatening        Insulting remarks         Giving dirty looks         Gossiping                 Passively not including
        Expressing         gestures                  Calling names             Holding nose or other      Starting/spreading        in group
   1    physical           Defacing property         Teasing about             insulting gestures         rumors                    Playing mean tricks
        superiority        Pushing/shoving           possessions, clothes                                 Teasing publicly about
                           Taking small items from   Saying someone has                                   clothes, looks, etc.
                           others                    germs or is unclean

        Threatening        Damaging property         Insulting family          Defacing schoolwork        Insulting race, gender    Making someone look
        physical harm      Stealing                  Harassing with phone      Falsifying schoolwork      Increasing                foolish
        Blaming targeted   Initiating fights         calls                     Defacing personal          gossip/rumors             Excluding from the
        student            Scratching                Insulting intelligence,   property, clothing, etc.   Undermining other         group
                           Tripping or causing a     athletic ability, etc.                               relationships
   2                       fall

        Making repeated    Destroying property       Frightening with phone    Ostracizing                Threatening total group   Arranging public
        and/or graphic     Setting fires             calls                     Destroying personal        exclusion                 humiliation
   3    threats                                      Challenging in public     property or clothing                                 Total group
        Practicing         Physical cruelty                                                                                         rejection/ostracizing
                           Making repeated,
        Making threats     violent, threatening
        to secure          gestures
        silence: “If you
        tell, I will…”     Assaulting with a

                           Bullying and Bullies

    Definition                Spectrum              Behaviors      Characteristics
•The willful,
conscious desire to       Verbal                Parent Pamphlet   Aggression is
      –Hurt                                                       modeled;
      –Threaten, or       Physical
      –Frighten                                                   Control;
      someone             Emotional
•Targeting someone                                                No Empathy;
for repetitive negative   Social
actions                                                           Justified;
•An imbalance of          Sexual                                  Manipulative;
•A pattern of             Visual/Nonverbal                        Small, select
                                                                  group of
Intentional                                                      friends;
                                                                  Good self-

Yesterday’s Bullies
   • Threatened by name-calling
   • Ignored someone
   • Damaged their victim’s

Today’s Bullies
   • More violent
   • Humiliate and manipulate
   • Isolate and ostracize their

• Physical Bullying – is action oriented. This type of
  bullying includes hitting or kicking a victim, or taking or
  damaging a victim’s property
• Emotional Bullying – uses words to hurt or
  humiliate another person. This includes name-calling,
  insults, making racist comments, and constant teasing
• Social Bullying – causes harm to one’s group
  acceptance. This includes spreading rumors and gossiping
  and Cyberbullying -(same intent to harm…distinguish
  between “put down” and “get back”. (Sexting-sex
• Sexual Bullying – causes harm to female or male by
  forcing one to engage in sexual activity. This includes
  unwanted kissing, touching, or sex

• Most researchers believe that bullying
  involves an IMBALANCE of physical or
  psychological power, with the bully being
  stronger (or perceived to be stronger)
  than the victim
• “School bullying is when a Student or Staff
  member keeps doing or saying things to have
  power over another person”
  National School Safety Center, 1996


• In the most extreme
  cases, concerned victims
  fight back with firepower,
  killing their tormentor or
  committing suicide
(Adapted from Bully Free for
 Me! Action Plan, 2002)

                     Where are these

   Kip Kinkel
 Springfield, OR                             T.J. Solomon
                                             Conyers, GA

                      COLUMBINE H.S.

Charles Williams                          Luke Woodham
  Santee, CA                                 Pearl, MS
•Slightly bothered
•More aware of a problem             Stages of Anger
•Wishing the problem would stop
•Thinking of ways to get out of
the situation
•Arousal and activity increases
•Defensive/aggressive stance and
•Taking steps to gain superiority                         Violence
•Believing a full commitment is                    Rage
necessary                                      Anger
•Rage with both emotional and       Conflict
physical responses
                                     MENNIGER TRIAD

                                    1. The wish to die


          3. They wish to be killed                      2. They wish to kill
              (Suicide-by-Cop)                               (Homicide)

Source: FBI Behavioral Science Unit & Dr. Menniger

• ANYONE can be a VICTIM, children are
  victimized because of:
  • Physical appearance, mannerisms, or because
    they don’t fit in
  • A disability or chronic illness
  • A perception of being different
  • A sensitive nature
  • Poor social skills
  • Being gay
  • Talents/intelligence

• Blaming the victim is a very common
  reaction among children
• Like many adults, children believe bad
  things don’t happen to good people, so
  the victim must be doing something
  wrong to deserve the abuse


• Most victims are either passive (anxious,
  insecure, etc.) or provocative (hot
  tempered, restless, etc.)
• Most victims are more likely to “reward”
  bullies physically or emotionally (by giving
  up their lunch money or bursting into tears)
  and are less likely to fight back
• In the short term… victims may feel afraid
  and lonely and often attempt to avoid
  situations in which they may be bullied
• In the long term… victimized children begin
  to see themselves as unworthy or inferior,
  and their academic performance suffers
               “The Real Stories”
  Billy has a thyroid disorder; no matter how fun-loving he is, the other
                kids cannot see past his being overweight.

Liz has been dubbed “trailer trash” by the local kids because she lives
                     on the “wrong side of town.”

Eleven year old Matt came home with black and blue marks, the result
   of a classmate convincing others to have a punching contest on the
                            “new kid’s” arm.

For 2 years, Sam a quiet 13-year-old, was a human plaything for some
    of his classmates. The teenagers badgered Sam for money, forced
       him to swallow weeds and drink sour milk, beat him up in the
   restroom, and tied a string around his neck and led him around as a
  “pet.” When Sam’s torturers were asked about the bullying, they said
               they pursued their victim because” it was fun.”       24
               Group Bullying
Bullying may also be a group phenomenon with particular
  characteristics. This means that there are a number of
 children and young people who may at times be involved
 in bullying, but who would NOT usually take the initiative
     themselves. These are called PASSIVE BULLIES,
  HENCHMEN OR BYSTANDERS. The group of passive
      bullies is quite mixed an may include uncertain or
                        anxious students.

• Children who watch other children being bullied are afraid to
  speak out…(Bystander)
• Children are afraid of rejection, being treated like they have a
• “Most students are not involved in bullying. They are neither a
  bully nor a target of bullying. They know it’s wrong, but
  unless they are made to feel they have a genuine
  responsibility or duty to act, they will silently collude with the
• An atmosphere where children worry “who will be next”
  encourages absences, truancy, and dropping out altogether.”

       How We Fuel the Violence
• Denial – We don’t have a problem of violence here. That
  just happens in the large cities.
• Minimizing – We do have some name calling and playing
  around, but nothing really serious.
• Rationalizing – Once in a while I see a kid push another
  kid around. Anyway, that’s life.
• Justifying – It’s easy to understand why kids get away
  with things around here. If we had smaller classes or
  didn’t have to spend so much time preparing for TAKS.
• Blaming –The parents have lost control of their kids.
• Avoiding – Sorry, but I was hired to teach (____). That’s
  the principal’s job.
                                Respect and Protect, Hazelden
                 Do You Enable Violence?
1.    I lack clear, definite standards of performance and conduct for students while in school.
2.    I have gradually lowered my expectations for acceptable student performance in my
      classroom, bus, etc.
3.    I believe it makes sense to teach victims of violence to fight back against bullies.
4.    I avoid confronting students who are bullying other or involved in other acts of violence
      because I am afraid for my own safety.
5.    I avoid places in the building or grounds where I know violence is more likely to occur.
6.    I have ignored the violent or bully behaviors of some staff
7.    I have avoided holding certain students accountable because
8.    I have worried that it will only further erode their self-esteem or that it will ruin their
      academic or athletic status.
9.    I hesitate to refer violent students because I fear that the student or situation will be
10.   I hesitate to take action with violent students, because I fear school district or
      administration will not back me up.
11.   I hesitate to take action with violent students, because I am afraid the victim will be
      mistreated again.
12.   I am afraid of parental or community reactions if I hold students accountable.
13.   I have difficulty resolving conflicts without “blowing up” or threatening.
14.   I believe it is best to let students who are bullied learn how to fight their own battles.
15.   I fail to admit the extent of violence to protect the image of the school.
16.   I hesitate to confront certain student’s behavior for fear of jeopardizing my relationship
      with them.
17.   I believe some violent behaviors are just normal behavior for boys.
18.   As long as no one is physically hurt, I ignore name calling, put downs, or teasing among
      students.                                                                                   28
19.   I believe that dealing with violence is the administrator’s job.
                                                        The belief in the right to use
     How                                               violence or threats of violence
                                                          to express feelings, meet
                                 Entitlement               needs, or satisfy wants.

Fuel of Violence

                                                               Protecting a person
                                                              from the full negative
  Certain behaviors are                                           consequences of
  accepted as the norm                                         his/her own actions
   by adults or young                                         out of a sense of love,
   people who ignore,                                          compassion, fear, or
 rationalize, or minimize                                              survival
  incidents of violence.
                                                                  beliefs, feelings,
                                                              attitudes & behaviors

     Tolerance                                                      Enabling
                            Respect and Protect, Hazelden                                29
      Entitlement, Tolerance, and Enabling
             Occur… When Adults…
• Sense lack of support or follow-through from
• Don’t clearly understand how to report incidents
      of bullying/violence;
• Believe that it isn’t their job to deal with these
      types of problems;
• Believe some bullying/violence acts are done in fun;

• Feel intimidated by students and/or parents, or
      even by peers.            Respect and Protect, Hazelden
         Enabling by Adults
1. Identify behaviors by staff that may
   encourage violence problems to continue or

2. Identify behaviors by kids that encourage
   violence problems to continue or worsen?

3. Identify behaviors by other adults or
   community members which enable
 What Can I Do About Enabling
• What can I do personally to stop
  enabling violence?
• In what ways will it be difficult for me
  to stop enabling?
• What support can I expect or find to
  help me stop enabling?
• What do I expect will happen when I
  stop enabling?                        32
 Risk Factors Associated with Violence

Family factors:
• The home is the most violent
  place in the United States
• Children from violent homes
  are three to four times more
  likely to become a bully.
• The majority of violence
  directed at young children in
  the home comes from the
  mother and older siblings.

             WARNING SIGNS:
        Is Your Child Being Bullied?
• Temper outbursts, bullies siblings
• Increased absences from school
• More time spent in his/her bedroom
• Doesn’t want to go to school or take
  the bus
• Frequently loses toys or clothing
  (usually stolen by bully)
• Starving when he/she returns home
  from school (stolen lunch money or
  lunch pail)
          WARNING SIGNS:
   Is Your Child Being Bullied?
• Unexplained bruises,
  scrapes, torn clothing
• Nightmares
• Headaches, stomach aches
• Overtired,
  not sleeping, or not eating
• Sullenness or out-of-
  character behavior
                    WARNING SIGNS:
               Is Your Child Being Bullied?

• Commits acts of violence to the family pet
• Engages in conflicts that lead to violence
  with siblings or with parents
• Associates with a peer group that bullies
  (Univ. of Illinois, January 2003)

• Complains of being treated poorly by
  teachers or other kids


• Sensitive, shy, insecure

•   Lack social skills

•   Do not invite attack

•   Anxious, distressed
•   Loners, friendless, isolated

    Provocative (Reactive)
• Appears to repeatedly pester and
      irritate others
• Impulsive, quick-tempered reaction to
      intentional or unintentional physical
• Begin as victims.. become bullies as they try to retaliate

•   May look like a bully..tend to maintain the conflict
       or even taunt the bullies
•   Always lose

                            Video - Set Straight on Bullies, NSSC
              A Target Is a Target
• Whether passive or reactive, the bullying/violence
  is not their fault.

• Victims live in fear and suffer in silence.

• Victims are on the losing end of a downward
      spiral; the effects of which may last a life-time.

• Victims need and deserve help.

Who Are the Targets / Victims?


          Rarely report
          Think adults can’t
          May carry

Help the Target?
Open-door policy
Respond to minor incidents
Take it seriously and report it
Consequences to the bully


Empathic Skills Training
Anger Control
Problem-Solving Skills

 Help the Bully?                  41
            WHY DO WE TOLERATE
• Cultural ideals about gender roles
  (“Boys will be Boys”)
• Cultural ideas about respect (lack of
  respect at home and/or violence at
• School politics
• Lack of research
• Misguided notions about child abuse

    The Bully, Victim and the Accepting
     Audience Share Common Beliefs:
• Rules, law and authority
  can’t/won’t help
• This behavior is an
  inevitable “right of
• It’s unstoppable
• It’s best not to break the
  code of silence
• Bullying doesn’t really hurt

        Model for Positive School Climate
         All students need to “see and feel” a non-violent school environment and
         that school discipline is managed in a fair and consistent fashion with
         meaningful consequences.

• To ensure the safety and well being of students and
• To reduce the severity and frequency of and eventually
  eliminate all incidents of violence from the school setting
• To promote an intrinsic social consciousness in youth
• To eliminate two pervasive attitudes that directly spawn
  and support violence in schools: Entitlement and
• To create a safe, supportive, nurturing, non-punitive
  atmosphere that is highly conducive to learning
Violence Prevention Program
• A comprehensive approach to violence
  prevention and intervention
• Everyone is obliged to respect and protect
  the rights of others
• Both adult and student-centered
• Promote a system-wide ethos: “Violence is
  NOT Tolerated”
• Everybody is Responsible!
       Programs Will Be Most Effective If…We Use a
              …Comprehensive Approach
• Assessment; Analysis of Data
• Policies and Procedures that Address Safety
       Environments/Bullying Issues
• No Bullying Signs are Posted Throughout the School
• Clear & Consistently Enforced Code of Conduct
• Staff Development/Training
• Education/Instruction of Students & Parents,
       Community Involvement & Support
• Monitor Students; Alert and Active Supervision &
       Enforced and Followed by All
•Protection & Support for Victims
•Student Assistance Programs (SAP)… Identification,
Intervention, Support and Referral of Troubled
Students                                               46
       (range from 1-5)
• Each student is connected with at least one
  caring adult at school
• Teachers treat one another with respect
• Teachers know about their students’ lives
  outside of school
• Student discipline practices & policies are
• The school environment is safe for students
  & teachers
• Teachers value what students have to say
                Staff Development

           What training and skills exist for
            addressing the problem?
•   ALL staff
•   Recognizing bullying/violence behaviors
•   Recognizing target behaviors
•   Understanding policies, procedures
•   Classroom management strategies and programs -
    structure, consistency,trust, respect, and a
    positive school climate

               Student Instruction
 Life Skills                        Character
                    Social          Education
       Peer         Skills

Conflict                           Anger
Resolution                         Management
                         Empathy Training
            Student Instruction
• Develop a class definition of violence
• Talk about violence with students:
   – “What happens to people who are bullied?”
   – “How do victims feel?” Teach Empathy Skills
   – “How do bullies feel?”
   – “ What can we do?”
• Students learn about bullying behaviors and how to
  be a part of the solution
• Distinguish between tattling & telling/reporting

     Class Norms on Behavior
•   Should conform with school policies
•   May have student input
•   Be easy to understand
•   Enforceable
•   Communicated by teachers
•   Supported by staff, students and parents
•   Our classroom is a place where:
    – We don’t have to be, look, or believe the
      same but we do have to treat each other
      with respect.

          Prevention in Classroom
         Teachers can make the difference!
Observe student behavior
Enforce rules consistently
Listen, greet students
Encourage Cooperative Learning
Teach about bullying and it’s impact
Build Relationship

                    For Parents and Staff
• Bullying has a variety of causes. We need to find
  a variety of ways to deal with it. Let’s:
   • Watch for signs of bullying
   • Take an active role in the child’s activities
   • Contact the school if a child is being bullied
   • Help children build their self-esteems
   • Keep a written record of times, dates, and
     places where bullying has occurred
   • Instruct children not to strike back
   • Set and practice the 3 R’s Rights… Rules,
     Rights, Responsibilies


• Rules – Parents and school personnel must
  demonstrate that they are in charge and won’t
  tolerate any student hurting another student
  (physically or psychologically)
• Rights – Every student has the right not to be
  hurt and the right to learn in a safe
• Responsibilities – Educators must be
  responsible for better supervision and more
  observant monitoring. Students must be
  responsible for respecting the rights of their
  classmates and themselves                        54
The process that helps young people be held
  responsible for their behavior and the
  consequences of that behavior.

Do we have systemic interventions for the bully,
 victim, the bystander?

Do we have systemic consequences for the
 bully, victim, the bystander?
(all consequences should be nonphysical & non hostile)
        Basics Principles of Intervention
1.   “You are not responsible for others, but to them.”
     (You can control yourself & your environment…your own behavior, toward, feelings
     about and decisions concerning others and you can control the environment that is
     under your care)

2.   “Every child needs a “Connector”-unconditional
     acceptance…a significant big person outside the immediate
     family whom the child can relate to and trust.”
     (can be invisible mentors and advocates)

3.   “Violence is systemic. It requires a systemic approach to deal
     effectively with it over time.”
     (Intervention demands that people stop enabling and start working
     together as a team united with a consistent message.)

                                 Action Plan
What issues     What is the      What            What             What strategies
concerning      Number One       strategies or   strategies or    or programs are
bullying need   Challenge in     programs do     programs         “realistic” to
to be           addressing the   you already     would you like   implement?
addressed at    bully / target   use in your     to implement?
your school?    violence?        classroom or
                                 on your

                                 What grade      Who              By When?
                                 level?          implements

                       Resources Internet

       gov                       Character Education
    Stop Bullying Now Curri.,
       Video, PP                 Education for Self Responsibility -
    Free magazine                Science Based Drug Abuse      Education
    Free curriculum, video, CD   Mental Health Suicide  
    Internet Safety/Cyberbully   Lessons drugs & violence
    Curriculum, CD               Red Ribbon Campaign


To top