Traditional Anti-Bullying Programs
There are three anti-bullying programs that best represent the traditional take on school-based program to combat bullying. The Olweus model is what many traditional anti-bullying program are designed by. The Olweus Bully Prevention Program (Olweus et al., 1999) was originally implemented in Norway in response to a severe bullying-related incident ignited national attention of the bullying problem. This program is designed to help identify and help bullies for ages those 6-18, as well as help their victims cope with the effects of this type of school violence.
The Second Step Violence Prevention Program is also a traditional classroom-based program that has shown improvement in social competence and reducing anti-social behaviors (Taub, 2001), as well as decreasing aggression (Van Schoiack-Edstrom, Frey, & Beland, 2002). Finally, Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP) is designed to teach students social skills and conflict management (Farrell, Meyer, Sullivan, & Kung, 2003; Farrell, Meyer, & White, 2001).
Some of the more recent programs have approached anti-bullying programs with more of a restorative justice model, which tries to restore the relationship between the victim and the offender. This is done by using the reintegrative shaming techniques proposed by Braithwaite (1989), as well as forgiveness and reconciliation, to reduce the prevalence of bullying (Ahmed & Braithwaite, 2006).
Other recent programs have focused on the individual coping mechanisms. Specifically, this program focuses on how children and adolescents process information and interpret situational cues, and how they use their past experiences to cope with aggression (Gini, 2006). This literature addresses the the specific characteristics of bullies and victims. Thus, these programs focus on the cognitive and emotional dimensions of bullying, as well as moral sensitivity and appropriate empathic reactivity (Jolliffe & Farrington, 2006).
The Bullying Project Program
Anti-bullying programs range from conflict-resolution within the school system to individual accountability for the behavior, which can involve the juvenile justice system (Phillips, 2007). Phillips (2007) suggests successful anti-bullying programs need to hold society accountable for bullying. Because “masculinity and male violence are primarily socially constructed . . . we should hold society accountable both for the production of unhealthy norms and for the violent practices that affirm them” (p. 176).
Although there are many other types of programs, it is difficult to discern which are most effective. Researchers have done a extensive review of current anti-bully programs (see Nansel et al., 2001; Olweus, 1995; Olweus et al., 1999) for individual effectiveness. However, due to the significant differences between programs, it is not realistic to compare them.
The Bullying Project Anti-Bullying Program takes the important and effective pieces of a variety of programs in order to best target bullying in a school enviornment. This program encompasses components of traditional, group and individual-focused programs. This unique format sets this program aside from other, more constrained programs, and offers a more effective anti-bullying program for implementation by school teachers and administrators.