Study: Anti-bullying programs don’t work, and may be increasing hurtful behavior

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ARLINGTON, Texas – A new study finds that anti-bullying programs not only don’t prevent bullying, they might actually be instructing wannabe bullies in the way it’s done.

Anti-BullyingThat’s the conclusion University of Texas at Arlington criminologist Seokjin Jeong reached after analyzing data collected from 7,000 students all across the U.S., reports

“(It’s) a very disappointing and a very surprising thing,” Jeong said. “Our anti-bullying programs, either intervention or prevention, do not work.”

The study also determined schools without bullying awareness programs had fewer bullying victims, while those with anti-bullying campaigns might actually see an increase in the hurtful behavior, reports.

What gives?

Jeong says anti-bullying videos might be having the perverse effect of showing kids new and different ways of hurting their peers, such as through social media and texting.

Some programs go a step further and “even teach students how to bully without leaving evidence behind,” the news site reports.

Here’s a common sense idea: Instead of explaining the ins and outs of bullying, maybe principals and teachers should just tell students that disrespectful and threatening behavior of any kind will not be tolerated  – and then follow it up with strict enforcement.

If our schools had a few more Ward Cleavers and a few less Dr. Phils, this bullying problem might just take care of itself.

By Ben Velderman at

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