Are you a school principal or administrator? Were you eager to have anti-bullying laws passed in the belief that they will make bullying in your school disappear, only to discover that your school has been turned into a correctional facility with you as chief warden? Are you finding that instead of the bullying decreasing, it is actually getting worse? Have you discovered that your school can’t possibly afford the expense of complying with anti-bullying laws?
Are you wondering how you are supposed to increase students’ academic standing when so much time and energy are being diverted to dealing with bullying?
Are your teachers and counselors complaining that they have to give up their free time to guard hallways, bathrooms and schoolyards?
Despite all your efforts to rid the school of bullying, are parents complaining that you are doing nothing to help their child? Even worse, are you facingby angry parents for failing to stop their children from being bullied?
If you have found that nothing you and your school are doing to make bullying stop is working, you have come to the right place! Bullies to Buddies™ has materials and services that really work!
Anti-bullying policies: an unfair assault against schools
Do you have children of your own? If so, there is a good chance they fight every day. Do you wonder how you are supposed to guarantee that 500 or 1,000 students never pick on each other when you can’t even get your own kids at home to be nice to each other? Do you have teachers who bully each other, or teachers who accuse you of bullying them? Are there teachers who bully you, and you can’t stop them because of regulations limiting how you can discipline them? How are students supposed to get along with each other all the time when intelligent, educated adults don’t know how to do it?
The truth is that school anti-bullying laws are an unfair assault against schools. They hold schools legally responsible for accomplishing what even most “experts” don’t know how to do. Rather than putting an end to bullying, anti-bullying laws have given parents ammunition to sue their children’s schools. Can your school afford to pay parents millions of dollars because all of your efforts to stop kids from bullying their child are failing? A school in Tampa, Florida was recently forced to pay $4 million dollars to parents for having failed to stop their child from being bullied. A few years earlier, a school in Anchorage, Alaska had to pay $4.5 million for the same reason. Schools throughout the country are being sued by parents, compliments of anti-bullying laws, and penalties are routinely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How to handle angry parents
Parents are so happy that schools today are held legally resonsible for stopping their children from being bullied, though they have no idea how to get their own few kids at home to stop bullying each other! Not only the media, but the mental health organizations as well, repeatedly make the absurd assertion that bullying happens because the schools aren’t doing anything to make it stop. Thus, parents feel encouraged to complain to the schools that they aren’t doing anything to protect their child from bullying. What should you do when you face these angry parents?
First of all, don’t get angry back or the hostilities will escalate. Don’t blame the parents for raising a child who doesn’t know how to get along with other kids, or they will become even angrier with you. Instead, stay calm and show sympathy for their child. Let them know that you realize how much their child is suffering. Tell them that you have been trying to help their child, but whatever you’re doing isn’t working. You can say something like the following:
“Let’s say you and I are kids in school. You bully me, and then I tell the teacher, and you get sent to the principal and/or guidance counselor for bullying me. Is that going to make you like and respect me? Of course not! It will make you hate me. You’re going to want to beat me up after school, or try to get me in trouble with the school by telling them that I am bullying you.”
If the parents have more than one child, you can ask them sincerely, “How do your kids at home get along with each other?” They will probably tell you something like, “Oh, the normal sibling rivalry. They fight every day.” Tell them, “If you can figure out how to get your own kids to stop fighting at home, I’d love to know how you did it. I promise I’ll adopt the same approach in my school.” You should find that this takes the wind out of their sails.
How to defend your school
Schools have no ammunition with which to defend themselves when they face bullying lawsuits. Virtually everyone believes that school anti-bullying laws are good. Nowhere else will you find an article casting doubt on the value of school anti-bullying programs. You will not find an “expert” from any discipline or any point on the political spectrum who says anything negative about school anti-bullying policies. Even when researchers discover that anti-bullying programs failed to reduce bullying or even made it worse, they still insist that schools have to make bullying stop. Thus, schools and school districts are practically helpless in the face of lawsuits.
So what can you do if you need to defend yourself from these unfair lawsuits? Fortunately, you can find a lot of scientific and logical support here, and I recommend you refer your legal staff to it.
You can refer to my survey of thousands of mental health professionals and educators –experts in child behavior and education. It reveals that their own kids are four times more likely to be hit every day by a sibling at home than by another student in school. They are twice as likely to be called names daily by a sibling than by a student. If one or two parents– experts in child behavior– can’t get their own few kids at home to stop bullying each other, how can a school with hundreds or even thousands of students be held legally responsible for getting rid of bullying? Your lawyers should ask the plaintiff’s lawyers, or even the judge (if s/he allows it), if they have succeeded in getting everyone in their families to be nice to each other all the time.
Then there is the scientific research. Psychology’s “dirty little secret” is that anti-bullying programs are usually worthless– or worse! Present the court with the research conducted by psychologist David Smith, PhD, and published in the Dec. 2004 issue of the School Psychology Review. He found that the great majority of anti-bullying programs either produced no benefit or made the problem worse! A more recent study published in 2007 shows similarly uninspiring findings. And even when they do have positive effects, they only mildly reduce bullying. They never even come close to getting rid of it all. So if anti-bullying programs can’t get rid of bullying, how can a school be held legally responsible for doing so?
And you can present plain logic to the court. There’s a simple reason why anti-bullying policies are so ineffective. You can use the same explanation I recommended earlier that you give to parents, about what actually results from adult intervention.
For a more detailed explanation of why typical adult interventions to stop bullying between kids doesn’t work, read my website manual, A Revolutionary Guide to Reducing Aggression between Children.
Ask the court if schools are allowed to deny education to children who have the potential of being involved in bullying (which is virtually all of them)? If schools are going to be held legally responsible for making sure no kid bullies another in school, they should be allowed to screen prospective students by giving them tests for bullying prone-ness and refuse to enroll them. Since schools, of course, are not permitted to do such psychological screening, how can they be held responsible for the bullying commited by students they are legally required to accept into their schools?
For more ideas how to defend yourself in court, refer your legal staff to the following articles on this website:
- Why Anti-Bullying Laws Are Doomed to Fail
- The Insanity of Workplace Anti-Bullying Laws
- The Insanity of School Anti-Bullying Laws
- Japan Devastated by Western Anti-Bully Virus
- James Garbarino (Unwittingly) Declares the Failure of Psychology to Deal With Bullying
- School Responsibility for Teasing and Bullying?
- A Victory for Lawyers in New Jersey
How to reduce bullying in your school
So what is a school to do if it wants to reduce bullying? The single most important thing is to stop making the bullying escalate. The strange truth is that most bullying between kids is actually caused by adults. The very things we do to try to make kids get along with each other actually make them fight even more. Parents make this mistake at home with their own kids. Then the kids go to school where the staff makes the same mistakes. The free manual on this website, A Revolutionary Guide to Reducing Aggression between Children, explains how adult intervention causes most of the bullying between kids, and how to dramatically reduce it by using two “magic” responses. You can also refer parents to this manual so they can learn how to get their kids to fight less at home. If they end up using it, they will be very grateful to you. We also sell a printed and bound updated version of this manual for $10.
Next is getting your students to learn how to deal with bullying, because ultimately the only one who can reliably get a child to stop being bullied is the child him/herself. Bullying happens throughout life, and it happens most severely right at home. So the sooner your students learn how to deal with bullying, the better their chances will be for living happy, harmonious lives. To help your students, Bullies to Buddies™ has both free materials as well as materials and programs for a fee.
There is a free manual on this website called How to Stop Being Teased and Bullied without Really Trying. It has helped many kids throughout the world, and we hope it will help your students, too. For bullying over the Internet, there is an article on Cyberbullying. There is another important article on How to Be a Good Sport.
The website manual, How to Stop Being Teased and Bullied without Really Trying, is available on CD so your students can listen to it instead of reading. It also contains a recording of me doing an exercise with a kid that shows why people pick on us and how to make them stop. Many teachers have had the entire class listen to the CD together, and before long bullying decreased dramatically. We also have a book, longer and more detailed than the website manual, called Bullies to Buddies: How to turn your enemies into friends. If you can find a better instruction manual for victims of bullying, we will refund your money.
Here is a terrific way to help kids learn how to stop being insulted while teaching an essential lesson in civics. Does your school hold a science fair, or do science teachers have their students conduct experiments? Encourage a student to do the following experiment on as many students as possible. The more kids that participate as Subjects, the more you will see a reduction in verbal bullying. You can access it here: https://bullies2buddies.com/social-science-experiment-is-freedom-of-speech-a-solution-to-verbal-bullying
Reading a manual or listening to a CD is not always enough. Some kids need to be helped by an expert they can actually talk to. Bullies to Buddies™ offers a counseling program for a fee, with a money-back guarantee. If you have students you think really need this service, you may want to refer parents to it.
If you want to help the entire school, possibly the most cost-effective way is to purchase our comprehensive bullying reduction program, Victim-Proof Your School. It contains a DVD for students, one for school staff, and a printed Trainer’s Manual. With this program, staff members can learn to use my methods for teaching kids to stop being bullied. At no extra charge, we will also give you access to an Online survey form that will enable you to actually measure the results of the program in your school.
Even better, you may want to have a faculty member become a Certified Bullies to Buddies™ Trainer, so you can have an expert right on the premises.
I am also available to come to your school or district to conduct trainings.
Another inexpensive way to reduce bullying in your school is to have your staff take an online course for teachers (approximately 5 hours of study) I offer via the Professional Learning Board called Bullying: The Golden Rule Solution. The cost is only $39 per teacher. If you would like to have the entire staff take the course, you can negotiate a special price with Professional Learning Board. You can contact them at: http://k12teacherstaffdevelopment.com/tlb/contact-us/ Make sure that in the message you tell them that I referred you to them for a special package price for the school.
Feel free to read my eye-opening, unconventional articles on bullying and related subjects in my newsletters. And why not sign up to be on our mailing list so you can receive my newsletters as soon they are sent?