Information Age Education
   Issue Number 96
August, 2012   

This free Information Age Education Newsletter is written by Dave Moursund and Bob Sylwester, and produced by Ken Loge. The newsletter is one component of the Information Age Education project. See and the end of this newsletter. All back issues of this newsletter are available free online at

Reducing School Bullying Behavior: Part 2

The previous article in this set provided basic advice for educators and parents who are beset by bullying behaviors that occur within school and/or via social media venues. It suggested that the best basic advice is to create a pleasant accepting environment in which all students feel valued. This reduces the need that some students feel to use bullying behavior to enhance their own self-esteem, and it empowers non-bullied observers to come to the defense of the bullied.

Bullying is a Worldwide Problem

Bullying comes from a combination of nature and nurture. You know about alpha male and alpha female in a variety of animal species. In a wolf pack, for example, the alpha male “earns” the right to mate with the females. The alpha female, through bullying subordinate females, works to ensure that females who are practically her equal will not use their reproductive capacity to attract the attention of the alpha male. Bullying related to sexual reproduction is inherent in many species.

Human bullying is a worldwide problem. The following special issue of the Journal of Social Sciences is devoted to bullying:

Journal of Social Sciences (2005). Peer victimization in schools: An international perspective. Special Volume: Journal of Social Sciences: Interdisciplinary Reflection of Contemporary Issues. See

Quoting from this publication:

This special issue has an international focus, with researchers providing information on bullying around the world. There has been an unprecedented increase in the study of bullying among school children worldwide. The continuous study of bullying has become necessary because in spite of public exposure, therapeutic interventions, penalties, etc., incidents of bullying are increasing at an alarming rate in the past decade. This special issue is an effort to provide increased knowledge to readers/ practitioners about bullying, and prescribe better intervention strategies for its amelioration in the school system and society at large.

The following article summarizes the worldwide concern about this problem.

AFT (5/7/2012). Students around the world stand against bullying. American Federation of Teachers. See

Quoting from the article:

Worldwide participation was promoted by Education International and the Canadian Teachers' Federation. International locations where students participated included: Abu Dhabi, Armenia, Belize, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and Wales.

Bullying in the Home

Many children live in homes where they routinely witness or participate in bullying. Here are two articles that provide an introduction to this topic:

KidsHealth (n.d.). Teaching kids not to bully. See

Menesini, E. (n.d.). Is bullying learned at home? See

Quoting from the first article:

When looking for the influences on your child's behavior, look first at what's happening at home. Kids who live with yelling, name-calling, putdowns, harsh criticism, or physical anger from a sibling or parent/caregiver may act that out in other settings.

Quoting from the second article:

We recently carried out a study of 195 children, aged 10-12 years, all of whom had a brother or sister who were up to 4 years younger or older than themselves. We found that the presence of bullying and victimization is as strong among siblings as among peers. The problem seems even more worrisome at home.
  • Children reported higher bullying and victimization at home and higher victimization by older brothers. Respectively, 38.4% and 34.4% reported bullying and victimization experiences at home, with particularly higher levels of bullying boys (48.9%). By contrast, lower levels of bullying and victimization were reported in school: 17.1% and 23.2%, respectively. Thus, we can assume that at home it is more common to reciprocate attacks and fights among siblings, as the relationship is more intimate and less affected by the risk of loosing the relationships, as compared to interactions with peers or within friendships.
  • We also found a significant correlation between sibling and school bullying and victimization, in that some children who were bullies or victims at home seemed to maintain their roles at school.

General Research on Bullying

There is a large and growing collection of research about bullying. The following references focus on the kinds of useful information available on the Internet. In most cases, the references will lead you to the sources of information, and these will lead you to specific research and advice:

American Psychological Association. School bullying is nothing new, but psychologists identify new ways to prevent it. See

Association for Middle Level Education. Bullying: NMSA Research Summary. See

Community Oriented Policing Services. US Department of Justice. Bullying in Schools. See

Cyberbullying Research Center. See Research on cyberbullying. Key findings, practical suggestions.

Education Week. Transforming learning: Finding the middle ground on bullying. See

Education Week. LA use of peer courts to deal with bullying and hate crimes. See

ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center). Research on school bullying and victimization: What have we learned, and where do we go from here? See

First Amendment Center. Harassment, bullying, and free expression: Guidelines for free and safe public schools. See

National Bullying Prevention Center. Research findings and applications. See

National Conference of State Legislatures. Research and reports. See

Practice Central. American Psychological Association. Research roundup: Cyberbullying. See

Ryan, T. and Kariuki, M. (2011). A two-year comparative analysis of cyberbullying perceptions of Canadian (Ontario) pre-service educators. Journal on the Research Center for Educational Technology (vol 7, no 2).

Professional/Parent/Student Books books: School bullying. See
. books: Cyberbullying. See

ASCD professional books: Classroom management, safe schools. See

Corwin Press professional books: Bully prevention. See

Corwin Press books: Conflict resolution. See

Halter, L. (2012 ) Marriage and your brain: A couple’s guide to stress, conflict resolution, and neuroscience. Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing. One chapter, Plays well with others, is related to the issue of bullying behavior). See

Scholastic Press books: Professional and student books on bullying. See

Teachers College Press. See

Professional Development: On-Line Resources

The ASCD Express provides a wide amount of useful information on a variety of issues. The March 13, 2011 (volume 6, issue 13) issue focused on How to stop bullying. It’s an exceptionally well-done issue. See

Initiative against bullying and violence is a Chicago church/community program that addresses the pervasive issues of violence and its impact on community children, families, teens, and seniors. Anti-bullying efforts promote awareness from school children to home-bound older adults. It equips participants with tools to resolve conflict. See

Wiredkids. Stop cyberbullying. See

Professional Development Programs

ASCD Speakers Bureau. See

Corwin Press. For speakers who focus on the topic of classroom management, bullying, and cyberbullying see

Solution Tree Press. Aaron Hansen, John Hoover, and David Levine do staff development programs on school bullying. See

Final Remarks

Bullying is a worldwide problem people face at home, at school, at work, and at play. It is a problem that can be attacked through what each of us does individually in our interactions with other people. Those of us who work with groups of people have a special opportunity to help others learn that bullying is an unacceptable form of individual and group behavior.

The above ideas and links provided in this IAE Newsletter should get you started. We’re sure that you know enough about Internet search engines to dig deeper into this increasingly useful set of tools, and to locate the specific focus on the issues of school and social bullying that concern you.

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