Research clearly demonstrates that positive school climate and culture is an essential component to bully prevention and intervention (Stop Bullying Now, 2011). In order for specific bully prevention or intervention practices, strategies, or programs to work efficiently and effectively schools must start with a school climate that is safe, equitable, and positive for staff and students alike.
U.S. Government Recommendations:
The United States federal government has put forth recommendations for best practices in bully prevention and intervention:
- Commit to creating and sustaining a positive school environment in your school.
- Form or identify existing team to coordinate bully prevention efforts
- Regularly assess and monitor prevention efforts (e.g. climate survey and behavioral incident data)
- Garner student, staff, parent, and community support and build partnerships
- Establish or revise and enforce school policies and procedures related to best practices in bullying prevention and intervention
- Increase active adult supervision in “hot spots” where bullying occurs
- Intervene immediately, consistently, equitably, and appropriately when bullying behavior occurs
- Dedicate class time to teaching and empowering students in bullying awareness and skills in prevention, appropriate intervention, and reporting
- Utilize culturally responsive strategies, and skills that are inclusive and enhance communication and relationship building.
- Continue to implement, update, and monitor these efforts over time.
Evidence-Based Best Practice Intervention and Support Programs
Research demonstrates that in addition of having a positive school climate and culture, schools must also address bully prevention and intervention specifically (Ross and Horner, 2009). The following is a chart describing the best practices vetted by the Colorado Department of Education.
If you have evidence-based programs that you would like added to this list, please contact the Office of Learning Supports at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assessment - Climate Surveys
Research and Colorado legislation (HB 11-1254) explicitly name that measuring perceptions of the stakeholders regarding school climate and culture is essential in the continuous improvement process. The following link provides information on climate surveys that meet these requirements.