Friday, March 22, 2013

Continuing Bullying Prevention Training...

This past week, I had the privilege of training yet another school in our area to use the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Gallatin County Jr. High School in Southeastern Illinois has made the commitment to put an end to bullying in their school! They had a great group of committed staff that made the training days a pleasure and a guarantee for a successful implementation of the program.
Because it has been a little over a year since I last trained a school, the amazing qualities of this program had been put in memory storage, away from my everyday recall. Sharing the information once again, ignited that  original passion for how great this program really is.
I think the biggest key to its success is that it empowers teachers to feel like they really can intervene when a bullying situation arises. That may not sound like such a big thing, but it really helps to eliminate the emotional guessing game about what happened and who's responsible. There's a clear determination about what the teacher saw and how to act accordingly. It even includes a script, so that all teachers and staff are intervening in exactly the same way! And that's only the tip of the iceberg as far as this program is concerned. There is so much more!
As a past middle school teacher and high school counselor, I know how packed and overwhelming a teacher's schedule can be. It almost seems impossible to add one more "program" to your daily duties. But, the highly organized, thoroughly supported, and scripted nature of the content make this program feel like it's not a "program" at all. It becomes an overall school climate change that makes everyone feel safer without feeling a burden of another thing to do.
Bullying prevention is everyone's responsibility. It's in everything we do, every minute of the day. Doing things that are at other's expense, or that makes someone feel bad about themselves, is what we need to work towards eliminating from our daily communications -- a very hard thing to do when even children's television shows have examples of teasing/making fun that are passed off as being acceptable.
If you'd like to know more about the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, you can visit  or you can email me ( for specific Olweus publications that can help introduce the program to your school district. I look forward to hearing from you!

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