According to Bullying and Victimization Among African American Adolescents: A Literature Review , a report in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, African American adolescents have higher rates of bullying and victimization compared to other adolescent populations. This review found strong associations among bullying involvement, substance abuse, and family factors. Bullying also had a significant impact on adolescent health, particularly psychological symptoms and school performance.
In January of this year, with a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the ILAACP began working with Hunter Perkins and South Chicago campuses of LEARN Charter School Network to help develop and implement school-wide bullying prevention policies using the internationally recognized Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) . In collaboration with a steering committee at each campus (comprised of teachers, parents, and administrators) we administered a survey to assess the prevalence of bullying in the school setting, identified each school’s current bullying prevention policy, and created a plan to build and sustain a bullying-free school environment.
Just a few weeks ago, during National Bullying Prevention Month, each campus held a Bullying Prevention Program kick-off that brought together educators, students and parents to combat bullying. “The program introduced our scholars, faculty, and administrators to a diverse range of insights on how to prevent bullying.” Marquita N. Curry, Social Worker at LEARN Hunter Perkins said. “The students are also excited about the program and are looking forward to maintaining a ‘Bully Free Zone’ and keeping the peace at Hunter Perkins.”
During the kick-off for the Bullying Prevention Program at LEARN South Chicago campus students participated in a variety of activities throughout the week including Express your differences (mismatch your clothes); Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes (wear 2 different shoes); Be a friend, help end bullying (twin day); We all ROCK! (dress like a rock star); and United Against Bullying! (wear orange for bullying prevention) .
“For the rest of the year, our scholars will participate in weekly class meetings,” said Dianna Phelps, School Counselor/Social Worker at the South Chicago Campus. “The meetings will be facilitated by their teachers, where they will learn about bullying prevention, developing character and ways to make our school community safe, respectful, kind and inclusive.”
The Goals of Olweus Bullying Prevention Program are to:
- Reduce existing bullying problems among students
- Prevent the development of new bullying problems
- Achieve better peer relations at school
What do you do to prevent bullying? Tell us about it.
To view a slide show from the Bullying Prevention Program kick-offs click here.
To learn how the ILAACP might work with your school, please contact James McCombs IV, Special Initiatives Coordinator, at 312-850-4444 Ext. 223.