|Decision Makers:||Educators Grantmakers|
|Population Reach:||10-19% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
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School-based violence prevention programs address disruptive and antisocial behavior by teaching self-awareness, emotional self-control, self-esteem, social skills, social problem solving, conflict resolution, or team work. Such programs address general violent behavior or specific violence such as dating or bullying violence (CG-Violence). School-based bullying programs may focus on bullies, victims, peers, teachers, or the entire school. Most programs seek to reduce both bullying and victimization (being bullied) (Campbell-Farrington 2009).
There is strong evidence that school-based violence and bullying prevention programs reduce violence and victimization (CG-Violence, Campbell-Farrington 2009, RAND-Wong 2009, Jimenez Barbero 2012, Matjasko 2012). Such programs have also been shown to modestly reduce bullying in some circumstances (Campbell-Farrington 2009, Matjasko 2012).
Overall, whole-school violence prevention programs reduce violence. Programs that offer information about violence, change thought patterns associated with violence, and build social skills have been shown to reduce violence. Such programs are effective for students of various ages, socio-economic status, and ethnicity (CG-Violence); in a few cases, program effects appear greatest among boys and older students (Jimenez Barbero 2012).
Most school-based anti-bullying programs also reduce victimization (being bullied), bullying, and aggressive behavior (Campbell-Farrington 2009, Jimenez Barbero 2012). Programs implemented at the classroom level appear more effective than formal school policies against bullying or approaches that focus on specific bullies (RAND-Wong 2009), and longer, more intense programs reduce bullying more than less intense programs (Campbell-Farrington 2009). Multi-component interventions (Bradshaw 2015), including a focus on classroom management and rules, better playground supervision, and firm discipline (Campbell-Farrington 2009), as well as incentives for bullies to change their behavior, and focused attention for at-risk youth (Ferguson 2007) can also increase program effectiveness. Examples of effective anti-bullying programs include Olweus (Blueprints) and KiVa (Campbell-Farrington 2009).
School-based violence and bullying prevention programs are more likely to succeed with family education components, appropriate adaptations for the social and cultural characteristics of the school population, long program durations, and high levels of parent engagement (Jimenez Barbero 2012, Bradshaw 2015). Interventions that teach social and interpersonal skills as well as aim to modify attitudes and beliefs are more effective than those that focus on mitigating responses to provocation (Jimenez Barbero 2012).
Adopting the principles and practices of trauma-informed schools may enhance bullying prevention efforts, and address the social emotional and mental health needs of vulnerable students (Blitz 2015).
As of May 2016, all states and Washington DC have anti-bullying legislation (LawAtlas-Anti Bullying). Most states have model policies schools can use to reduce bullying. The federal government also offers bullying and violence prevention resources (US DHHS-Stop bullying, CDC-School violence).
In 2014, 63% of schools prohibited gang activity, and almost all prohibited bullying, cyber-bullying, physical fighting, and weapon possession or use. Most schools (83%) implemented bullying prevention programs, and 66% of schools provided violence prevention services in one-on-one or small group sessions (CDC-SHPPS).
Wisconsin has anti-bullying legislation, offers districts a model anti-bullying policy, and requires districts to develop and implement a policy prohibiting bullying (US DHHS-Stop bullying).
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