The Rise of Anti-Bullying Programs

Anti-bullying programs have long been a part of schools, but recently there has been a push for these programs

The documentary Bully opens in theaters Thursday, and the heated controversy over the appropriate rating for the film has frustrated many schools hoping to use it as a teaching tool.

Administrators have struggled to find effective ways to help curb bullying in their schools in recent years, and a growing number of bullying prevention programs have emerged to meet the demand

While as a classroom teacher, I know that bullying is something that we often had to address quite seriously, why are there more problems with bullying now?

Could it be because our schools are less interested in helping develop students into individuals and more interested in labeling students, schools and teachers as “needing improvement.” The labeling that inevitably comes from standardization movement can’t help increase students self esteem. Rather it is working against students and forming their identities around scores and percentiles.

Could it be that students see the way that teachers are being treated and how they are losing more and more autonomy over the content and context of their classrooms and are just repeating the behavior they see?

Maybe more effective than any anti-bullying program would be a curriculum that allows students to be themselves, to learn their strengths and weaknesses and to explore what it means to fail in a safe environment.