The Schools Board of Broward County, Florida expressly prohibits bullying, cyberbullying, by or towards any student or employee. The Office of Prevention Programs has developed workshops, seminars, and events to enhance our awareness. We would like to invite everyone to join in making our schools a better and safer learning environment for our children. With continued efforts from administrators, teachers, students, and parents, our schools will be a place EVERYONE can call home.
See also our related webpages on:
- Anti-Bullying Classroom Activites
- Anti-Bullying Links and Resources
- Anti-Bullying Policy 5.9
- Choose Peace Stop Violence
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Resources
- Support Group Method
- Violence Prevention Resources
Anti-Bullying = Positive School Culture
Human connection is the key to violence prevention, and therefore, so is positive school culture. It has been studied time and time again, and research has proven human connection is the tool that creates and sustains our developmental assets, helps build resiliency to distress, and molds our character. With a sense of connection or belonging in this world, we are much safer and happier. The experience of being in a family is our childrens’ first opportunity to feel connected, another key opportunity happens at school. The social experience of belonging at school becomes the foundation for children to assume future social roles and responsibilities as well as to care and feel connected enough to others to refrain from violence.
“Successfully dealing with bullying involves building a genuine community within the school. Everyone accepts they have the right to be free from harassment and that they have the responsibility to support their weaker and more vulnerable peers.” Cleary
Fundamental to every school environment that promotes this social connection are respect and trust from both peers and adults. Without respect and trust, there can be no sense of safety, thus enabling violence to flourish. Although much attention is placed on the academic curriculum, the human curriculum that is practiced daily through thought, word, and action cannot be ignored. Many schools have formalized this curriculum through classroom instruction in anger management, conflict resolution,bullying prevention, and leadership training. Personal and social skills training beginning in the early years of a child’s education and articulated throughout his/her school experience can provide an integrated, holistic foundation for building trust and mutual respect and preventing social alienation. This is the Office of Prevention’s goal.
TWO GROUPS play key roles in ensuring violence prevention:
1) STUDENTS: are the key to shaping peer norms. Student bystanders (not the bully or the target of bullying) make up a majority of the student body in any school. This population must understand that it has the power to create and promote a school where cruelty, bullying, and violence are not tolerated. Students are the most authentic voice for the cause and are capable of helping to tailor and refine prevention and intervention programs and materials that meet the needs of their school.
2) ADULTS: their behavior is critical because the adults at school and home must be aware of the extent of respect, safety, bullying, and violence in their childrens’ lives and be clearly committed to participating in changing the situation. They hold the power to protect and become an ally for their students and control the climate and culture of their school.
Thank you for your interest in the Office of Prevention Program’s anti-bullying and positive school culture efforts. We offer a number of avenues for schools to enhance their efforts toward creating safer and more respectful schools. The effectiveness of the type of intervention often relates to its comprehensiveness and the amount of time and/or effort the school is able to dedicate into incorporating them into already existing structures.
The School Board of Broward County has approved the District’s comprehensive Anti-Bullying Policy 5.9. The policy, which was adopted on July 22, was designed by the District’s Office of Prevention Programs and Student Support Services, under the Safe Schools Healthy Students Grant initiative to help ensure all of our students and staff can feel safe and respected while attending school. To learn more about Broward County’s Anti-Bully Policy, CLICK HERE.
OPP Anti-Bullying Services Available
In brief, some anti-bullying, positive school culture services available to you from the Office of Prevention for violence are:
1) Research based materials for classroom presentations
a. Get Real About Violence – an 8-12 week elementary, middle and high school anger management/violence prevention series that can be utilized by school based personnel or presented by outside agencies.
b. Discovery Health curriculum
2) Classroom Presentations and Exercises
a. Stop Bullying Now – an elementary series of 12 cartoon videos to be utilized in the classroom by home school teachers or guidance personnel.
b. Reality Avenue – a series of ½ hour prevention programs using Broward County students. The bullying episode is titled, “Bullying – Who Holds the REAL Power?” Webcast and corresponding classroom exercises at www.BrowardPrevention.org
c. iSafe – Internet Safety; Internet Bullying/Harassment (for staff or students)
3) Assemblies – we rarely conduct assemblies and do not recommend them unless the proper groundwork has been laid through prior staff training and the establishment of schoolwide reporting methods (anonymous reporting boxes, No Blame Approach, etc).
a. Staff Trainings – Highly recommend! Minimum 1 hour, minimum attendees 30, for a comprehensive training, we prefer 2-3 hours. Staff trainings can also be provided which focus on creating school based intervention systems such as:
i. Peer Counseling/Mediation
ii. Peer Support Approach (formerly The No Blame Approach) – (www.luckyduck.co.uk) A seven step non-punitive, support group style of intervention that seeks to change the behavior of students involved in bullying by increasing empathy and peer ownership.
iii. The Power of One – (Wayne Sakamoto) Youth intervention and empowerment through the informal facilitation of clique/gang leaders.
b. Parent trainings – The minimum time is 1 hour, the minimum attendees is 30.
c. CHAMPs – classroom management is a huge part of bullying prevention and CHAMPs trainings are available through the Office of Prevention.
5) Schoolwide Comprehensive Initiatives
a. Positive School Culture Initiative – The Office of Prevention helps provide the outline and tools to help a school establish schoolwide, classroom and individual interventions. Each year, the school train their staff, then the students receive an assembly followed the next day by classroom interventions; approximately 2 months later this process is repeated; finally at the end of the year there is a celebration assembly. These trainings paired with surveys and data collection set the stage for a schoolwide cultural shift of increased respect and safety.
b. Foundations – a comprehensive, multimedia program (Randy Sprick’s Safe and Civil Schools) that guides schools through the process of designing a positive and proactive school-wide discipline plan over 3 years.
c. Olweus Bullying Prevention Program – OBPP is recognized by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence as one of only eleven Blueprints Model Programs and by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as a Model Program-two of the highest honors a prevention program can attain. OPP was awarded the Olweus Schoolwide Training award and had a staff member trained to be a trainer for two schools: Attucks Middle School, Fort Lauderdale, and Horizon Elementary School, Sunrise. Although the Florida Bullying Prevention Initiative was only able to fund two schools this year, having the Office of Prevention staff trained in the Olweus Model opens the opportunity for additional schools as funding increases.
6) Assisted determination of school’s already existing structures, data collection methods and best intervention/prevention options.