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Second Step

Second Step and the Bullying Prevention Unit



Description: The Second Step: Social and Emotional Learning Program (SS-SEL) is a whole-school bullying prevention program designed for grades K-8. In the Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit (SS-BPU), a 30-minute interactive lesson plan is implemented each week over five lessons covering topics such as recognizing and reporting bullying, as well as bystander intervention. Descriptions of the lesson plans for grades K-3 and 4-5 can be found here. In addition, all school staff are provided with varying levels of training to implement the SS-BPU. Three training modules are completed by school staff to ensure a comprehensive and consistent understanding of bullying behaviors and intervention. All trainings are available to staff through the SS-BPU website. Module 1 of the staff training addresses implementation concerns for school principals and program coordinators, such as communicating bullying policies and procedures to staff and families. Module 2 addresses all school staff and assists in recognizing, responding to, and reporting bullying. Module 3 provides detailed training for those implementing the program (e.g., classroom teachers, counselors) to ensure understanding of the curriculum and lessons, as well as strategies for engaging families in the prevention program. In addition to activities and training directed students and school staff, the SS-BPU also includes a family component. Families are provided Home Link activities to build upon the topics discussed during that week’s school-based lessons. By including activities that address bullying knowledge and beliefs for students, families, and school staff members, the SS-BPU helps create a consistent skill base for addressing bullying across the most impactful settings for the child (i.e., school, home).

It should be stated that SS-BPU is designed to be implemented as part of the Second Step: Social and Emotional Learning Program. In addition, while there is not currently a SS-BPU for middle school students, the middle school SS-SEL program includes units on bullying prevention. Also, it should be noted that the SS-BPU was developed based on its predecessor, the Steps to Respect program. Thus, while outcome-based research on the SS-BPU is limited, the program is based on and includes all components from the evidenced-based Steps to Respect program.


Cost: For complete pricing details for the SS-BPU, and all other Community for Children curricula, download the Product and Price List. Prices below are subject to change.

  1. Recommendations:
    1. As mentioned above, the SS-BPU was designed as a supplemental curriculum to the Second Step: Social and Emotional Learning Program (SS-SEL). Thus, it is recommended that both the social and emotional learning and bullying prevention units should be purchased and implemented for each grade level. Both programs can be purchased together through the Committee for Children website for additional savings.
    2. Grades K-5 Second Step SEL and BPU
      1. $3,299
    3. Grades K-5 Second Step BPU
      1. $1,099
    4. Individual Second Step BPU lesson notebooks
      1. $199



  1. All staff trainings are included and available through online modules.
    1. Module 1: 45-60 minutes
    2. Module 2: 75-90 minutes
    3. Module 3: 45-60 minutes


Evidence: Reviews listed below detail research outcomes from the predecessor prevention program, Steps to Respect. Steps to Respect was deemed evidenced-based and rated as effective by In addition, SAMHSA rated both the program’s quality of research and dissemination highly. For example, Frey and colleagues (2009) randomized and compared treatment to control schools using a pre-post design with follow-up. Reported outcomes included declines in bullying behaviors across the pre and post-treatment time points. Other examples of research outcomes reviewed below include lower rates of non-bullying aggression and increased positive bystander behaviors when compared to control participants. For full descriptions of the evaluation studies’ methods and outcomes, see the reviews listed below.

  1. See for review: