Conference on Bullying Prevention Opening Session


Uploaded by whitehouse on 10.03.2011

Transcript:
Valerie Jarrett: Good morning, everyone.
My name is Valerie Jarrett and I'm a senior advisor to
President Obama.
We're delighted to have you here and the outpouring and support
and interest in this very important issue.
As you just heard from the President and the First Lady,
bullying is a problem that affects us all.
And their commitment to end bullying is not just as
President and First Lady but as parents as well.
Last week, I mentioned to my daughter that we were planning
this conference.
Her immediate response was to remind me of a bullying incident
that she experienced when she was in kindergarten.
Now, we were fortunate.
My daughter told her teacher what happened.
The teacher immediately informed the principal.
The principal took swift and responsible action by explaining
to the bullies that their behavior was not acceptable
in our school community.
She informed the parents of the bullies and me the same day that
the incident occurred, and the bullies apologized to my
daughter and the parents apologized to me,
all before bedtime, the same day as the incident.
Yet, 20 years later, my daughter still vividly remembers all of
the details of that one incident,
just as though it had happened last week.
And it goes to show that when young people are bullied,
even when it's dealt with properly,
it can leave a lasting impact.
Many of you in this room have had similar experiences,
some ending far tragically.
But we're here today because we know bullying can be prevented
if we all take action together.
And luckily, we don't have to start from scratch.
The Obama administration, working with many of you here,
is already making great strides.
The Department of Education has already released two guidance
letters, one on the obligation of schools to address bullying
under civil rights laws and another on the key components of
state anti-bullying laws.
The Department Of Education is working with the Centers for
Disease Control And Prevention to conduct research on bullying.
And today, Secretary Duncan announced his intention to
establish a new technical assistance center dedicated
to bullying prevention.
(applause)
I am pleased to announce two additional resources.
First, we're collecting all of our federal responses into one
space, as the President mentioned, StopBullying.gov.
It's a website that's going to be housed in the Department of
Health and Human Services.
StopBullying.gov provides information from various
government agencies on how children and teens and young
adults and parents and educators and others in the community can
prevent or stop bullying.
The website provides information on what bullying is,
the risk factors, its warning signs, and its effects.
It also provides information on how to get help if you need it,
or if someone you know who needs it is being bullied.
Second, our Stop Bullying Now! campaign is releasing a new tool
kit developed for student leaders who want to help
prevent bullying.
But we know that the federal government can't solve this
problem alone.
Many terrific organizations and people,
several who are represented here today,
have made important contributions.
So before we continue, I would like to thank them
for their commitments.
The National PTA and the National Association of
Student Councils have made important commitments to
stopping bullying.
And we're so glad to have you join us here today.
Please join me in thanking them.
(applause)
The National Education Association is launching a
national anti-bullying campaign: Bully Free: It Starts With Me.
President Dennis Van Roekel is here today.
Thank you, Dennis, for all your help as well.
(applause)
Additionally, the American Federation of Teachers is
planning to launch a national bullying campaign called See a
Bully, Stop a Bully, Make a Difference.
And President Randi Weingarten is here with us.
Randi, thank you as well.
(applause)
Today, the National School Boards Association will launch a
series of student conversations between boards of education and
students about school climate.
Their President, Earl Rickman is here.
And let's thank him.
(applause)
We're also joined by the National Association of
Secondary Principals.
They're planning to build an online portal that will help
prevent cyberbullying.
Jane Filler, thank you.
Where are you?
Audience Member: She's right here.
(applause)
Valerie Jarrett: Key corporate leaders are here as well.
Cartoon Network is continuing its Stop Bullying:
Speak Up campaign to encourage bystanders to step in when they
see bullying.
And Stewart Snyder from Cartoon Network is here.
Welcome.
(applause)
The President mentioned MTV and their announcement that they're
launching a new coalition that will work to fight bullying and
intolerance online.
And we have Stephen Friedman from MTV here as well.
Steven, where are you?
(applause)
Coalition partners include the National Council of La Raza,
the anti-defamation league, and the American Islamic relations,
GLAAD, and others, many of who are also here.
SurveyMonkey has joined us to create a dedicated page for
bullying detection which students can adopt in order
to distribute and disseminate.
And Phil Garland from SurveyMonkey is here.
Phil, where are you?
(applause)
And finally, Formspring, in partnership with MIT,
is announcing today the creation of a tool on their site that
identifies harassing language to help prevent bullying.
Please join me in welcoming Sarahjane Sacchetti from
Formspring and Henry Leiberman from MIT.
Where are you two?
(applause)
And to you terrific young people,
your stories are amazing.
Thank you for your leadership.
Can we thank the students?
(applause)
And now, let's get on with our panel discussion.
We have with us here today a group of people whose research
on the causes and effects of bullying is helping us better
understand how to prevent it.
I would like to invite a few of these scholars to join me on the
stage to discuss their work.
First, we have Sue Swearer, who's associate professor
of the School of Psychology at the University of Nebraska
in Lincoln.
Sue, please come up.
We're going to get some chairs for you guys.
Please join us.
Thank you, professor.
(applause)
Justin Patchin is an associate professor of criminal justice at
the University of Wisconsin and co-director of the
Cyberbullying Research Center.
Professor Patchin, please join us.
(applause)
Katherine Bradshaw is an associate professor of mental
health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and
an associate director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the
Prevention of Youth Violence.
Professor Bradshaw, welcome, welcome.
(applause)
And George Sugai, a professor of special education at the
University of Connecticut and the director of the Center of
Behavioral Education and Research.
Thank you, professor, as well.
(applause)
So let's now turn it over to the experts who will each give
a brief overview of their work.
And then we're going to answers some questions --
hear some answers to some questions that have been
submitted to them online.
And with that, we're going to start with Katherine.
Katherine Bradshaw: Great. Hello.
My name is Katherine Bradshaw, associate professor at Johns
Hopkins and the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the
Prevention of Youth Violence which is funded by the Centers
for Disease Control.
I'm delighted to be here today to talk about our program of
research at Johns Hopkins where we're engaging in collaborative
research efforts with multiple stakeholders,
including the Maryland State Department Of Education,
several school districts in the area,
as well as some national organizations.
A clear aspect of our work is the link between bullying and
school climate.
This has really been a focus and a very strong passion for our
work that has driven a lot of our research to try to
understand the different ways that students perceive the
school climate, as well as school staff,
because that's a very significant predictor of
individual's likelihood of intervening in the way in
which children respond when they're actually bullied.
Parents also are very sensitive to the school climate.
And, in fact, parents who perceive the school climate
less favorably are less likely to contact the school when they
have concerns about bullying.
With regard to the intervention research,
this is an area where we're engaged in a number of different
projects to try to identify what kind of prevention strategies
are most effective and what are some critical elements of those
prevention programs.
And one that has really come out to us is the importance of
training teachers, having clear expectations for staff about how
to intervene in situations that involve bullying,
and specific strategies that they can use to talk with
students and report that to the administration in
the school building.
Similarly, students need to be taught about how to respond when
they see bullying.
And that needs to happen through direct instruction,
as well as certain kinds of curricula that can promote
social/emotional skills and development that will affect a
range of their behaviors as well as their academic performance.
I'm very pleased to be here as part of the panel and look
forward to some additional questions and comments about
the role of parents and community members as it
relates to bullying prevention.
Valerie Jarrett: Justin?
Justin Patchin: Hi, I'm Justin Patchin, and I'm at the University of Wisconsin
in Eau Claire.
And with my colleague, Samer Hinduja,
we at the Cyberbullying Research Center have been
exploring how teens have been using and misusing technology
for about the last ten years.
And even though we have to focus on the negative aspects
of technology and what teens are doing to get themselves
in trouble online, I do have to point out right at the beginning
that the vast majority of teens are doing great things online.
They're responsible, they're safe.
But there are some teens that do get into trouble.
And we've been working, for the last five or six years,
to try to empower teens to be safe online.
We've been studying sort of the prevalence of cyberbullying.
We know that about one in five teens has experienced
cyberbullying online.
That ranges from very minor things to very
serious death threats.
And as the President mentioned this morning,
we shouldn't just dismiss those things because they're only
online and not physical.
The thing with cyberbullying is it really is all encompassing
and it follows you everywhere.
When I was bullied in middle school, you know,
I would go home and I could forget about it for a while.
But now kids go home, and they've got their computers,
their cell phones, their social networking website.
And the bullying really follows them home.
So I think for many kids it can really be much worse than
traditional bullying.
It's not about me, so I'm going to move on so we can get into
the meat of trying to figure out a great way
to solve this problem.
So thanks a lot.
I do appreciate being here.
Valerie Jarrett: Thanks, Justin. Sue?
Sue Swearer: Hi. I'm Sue Swearer, associate professor of school psychology
at the University of Nebraska -- my N pin.
It's an honor to be here.
I've been studying bullying for about a decade.
And as a licensed psychologist, I'm very interested in the
psychological experiences of kids involved in bullying,
both as a bully perpetrator, as a victim.
And in a lot of our research at Nebraska,
is the kids who are both involved in bullying as a
bully and as a victim.
So we have found that often kids who are bullied at home or in
the neighborhood then go to school and also
bully other kids.
So it's a very complex dynamic.
And that's what I hope will come out of this conference,
is an understanding of the complexity and the social
ecology in which bullying unfolds.
And we have to understand that complexity in order to develop
effective intervention and prevention strategies.
So it's an honor to be here.
Valerie Jarrett: Thanks, Sue. And George?
George Sugai: Thank you very much.
It's really an honor to be here, and I would really like to thank
President Obama for creating this opportunity for us to have
a chance to talk about this important issue.
I would like to also extend our appreciation to the family
members that are here and community members who are also
very interested in trying to solve this particular challenge
and respond to the call to action.
I am at the University of Connecticut.
I'm in the Neag School of Education.
I'm a professor there.
And I also co-direct the National Center on Positive
Behavioral Interventions and supports that's funded by the
U.S. Department Of Education.
And what we do is spend quite a bit of our time focusing on what
is needed to support all kids inside the school.
We've learned that by creating larger school-like climates that
are positive, supportive, and respectful,
we can do a better job of responding to the needs of
individual kids as well as groups of students.
So I come to this event more as a school-wide climate person for
which the bullying challenge is being contextualized.
And it's very important for us to think about
what that looks like.
I was also asked in this brief comment to give one message.
And I think I have a three-part message that I would like to
share with you.
And one is, you know, what can you do?
What's the smallest number of things you can do to have the
biggest impact?
And one of the things I like to ask all of you to do,
which was already mentioned by Mrs. Obama,
which is actively supervise your children or your students or
your community, because active supervision is one of the most
powerful tools we have.
The second thing I would like you to think about is that we
need to teach what we want.
And we need to recognize kids for doing a good job.
We're spending quite a bit of our time punishing and
acknowledging kids who are engaged in
inappropriate behaviors.
And I would really like us to think about how we acknowledge
the kids who are doing a good job and the kids who have
challenges who are really struggling to do a good
job as well.
And the last piece I think I would like to have you think
about is academic success is probably one of our best tools
for creating environments that are successful,
as well as supporting individual students.
So if each one of us in this room could think about actively
supervising, thinking about acknowledging kids for doing a
good job and, third, thinking about maximizing academic
success as a context for supporting kids with some
challenges, I think we could adjourn now.
No, I think we could continue this discussion.
So thank you very much.
Valerie Jarrett: Thank you, George.
And now for our questions that have come in online.
The first question actually, George,
leads off of your second piece of advice.
And this comes from Jessie Rome in Bloomington, Indiana.
And he says, in what ways can we balance the needs of all of our
students by providing effective bullying prevention while also
not isolating our students with emotional and behavioral
disorders who may be more likely to participate in
bullying behavior?
How could we focus on prevention without focusing
too much on the punishment?
So I'll start with you, George, and then open it up to anyone
else who would like to answer as well.
George Sugai: Again, I'm going to speak from a larger
school climate perspective.
I think we have experts to my left who can address the
individual kid thing.
Our research indicates that the best interventions out there
that can support individual students, it's effectiveness,
its implementation fidelity, is linked to how well the school
climate is operating.
If you're a student or if you're a teacher or if you're a parent
visiting a school and you notice that the school is working well,
climate is positive, adults are welcoming children,
kids are being successful, then these interventions that others
have addressed and identified are going
to be much more effective.
So I really am interested in having us think about what
the larger school climate looks like.
How are all kids being treated?
Because what we've learned is you can actually minimize the
impact of bullying behaviors, minimize the number of kids who
need active support, by putting in place a larger school-wide
system, and become much more efficient in the
work that we do.
So it's not to minimize the individual work.
We need to do that.
But to make it more appropriate and acceptable,
it's about looking at the larger school climate.
Valerie Jarrett: Thanks, George. Other comments?
Katherine? Sue?
Sue Swearer: I can start.
You know, there's certainly some very important research that has
looked at the connection between kids who are identified in
special education and involvement in bullying,
both as being bullied and also as bully perpetrators,
and a very important report that came out,
looking at bullying among students with disabilities.
So it is a huge issue, and it's a really important issue that
schools need to deal with head-on.
So kind of dovetailing from what George said,
that we need to create school climates where that's just
totally unacceptable and that it's not acceptable to treat
anybody poorly.
But we do know it's an important issue, and it is a problem.
Katherine Bradshaw: Sure. I think one thing that's very clear through the question
was recognition that children that do bully also have
emotional and behavioral problems that need to be addressed.
And this is often something that gets overlooked in the
literature when we're focused, importantly so, on the victims.
But we do also need to recognize that the perpetrators of
bullying are often struggling because of a number of risk
factors; maybe exposure to violence at home or perhaps
even a history of victimization themselves.
So we need to think in a tiered approach about how we can
intervene appropriately, layering on to those universal
or school-wide pieces that Dr. Sugai and I spoke about,
more targeted interventions for children that might be at risk
for engaging in bullying behavior.
And similarly, sometimes more intensive types of supports that
include counseling and more intensive therapy is required
for children with pretty severe forms of aggressive and
disruptive behavior problems.
So we need to think in a tiered framework as we approach this
issue of bullying to layer on to a school-wide system and a
school-wide climate the more intensive supports provided
through mental health and many of our extremely qualified
school psychologists across the country.
Valerie Jarrett: Thank you.
As I mentioned, my daughter came home and told me about her
incident, and so did -- she told her teachers as well.
But a question that we have from Kate Weaver in Lincoln,
Nebraska is, how can schools empower their students and
parents and faculty and staff to report incidents of bullying,
because oftentimes students are hesitant to report incidents due
to fear of abuse or retaliation or mistrust,
or feel that their reports will be ignored.
How can we do a better job of empowering them?
And I would open this also up to everybody.
Katherine Bradshaw: I can go ahead and start.
This question comes up a lot, especially when we're working
in some of our urban context where there's a great stigma
associated with snitching or telling on someone.
And that really gets to the issue of norms and the climate
in the school and setting a tone about what kind of behaviors and
responses to bullying are going to be acceptable.
When it comes to staff, the policies and the training that's
provided to staff are very critical.
And it's extremely important that that staff get the message
that they can't tolerate bullying behavior and that they
need to report all the incidents and intervene effectively and
efficiently and immediately when they see bullying happening.
Because quite often students will get the impression that
it's tolerated if they see teachers or rather adults
in the school turning a blind eye to this.
So that's really one critical element of this equation.
Justin Patchin: Yeah, in the first study did on cyberbullying,
less than 15% of the targets or victims told an adult about
their experience, about 10% told their parents,
and about 5% told somebody at school.
So we know this is a big issue.
And when I talk to students about this they say, well,
we don't want to get in trouble and we don't want to get blamed,
and we don't want to lose our technology,
because they are afraid their parents are going to say, well,
you're receiving mean text messages, I can solve this,
give me your cell phone, right, or let's get you off Facebook.
And that, of course, is not the solution.
You know, you've got to remember what it is that victims or
targets of bullying want.
And it's simple.
They just want the bullying to stop.
You know, they don't want the offender of the bully
to get in trouble.
They just want it to stop.
So I think as those of us who have kids and who work with
children we need to remember that and apply whatever caring
and creative and comprehensive response we think is appropriate
for that particular situation.
And when they see it work, when they see the bullying stop,
then kids, children will be more open to coming to us for help.
But so far adults have not done a really good job of convincing
students that we are going to do a good job
of stopping the bullying.
Sue Swearer: I think also in terms of some of the consulting work that I do
with schools I'm always struck by the fact that there's a real
lack of understanding of state, federal policy, state policy,
their own school policy, and then their school disciplinary
referral forms.
And everything is very disjointed.
So I think schools have a really wonderful opportunity to try to
coordinate this effort and work and use office referrals,
office referral forms in a way in which they ought to be
constructed and to be helpful.
So in terms of this idea of how do we create mechanisms in place
for kids to feel I can report this and something will happen.
You know, so often kids will say, well,
I reported -- if they do reports it -- I reported it and nothing
happened or it got worse.
So we really teach them that reporting leads to some kind
of negative effect.
But it is I think a nice opportunity for schools and
school administrators to really look at how they sync all of
their forms and how they create opportunities for children to
report these behaviors.
George Sugai: I just have two quick comments.
One is, some of the work that we have done has indicated that the
kid has to feel like he's being listened to or she's being
listened to and that there's some relationship between the
child and the person they are reporting to.
So that tells me again that it's really important for
us as adults, teachers, parents, community members,
and so forth to build a relationship with those kids
so that the telling, the discussion,
the reporting is something that is worthwhile,
that is worth investing or telling or describing
what is happening.
The second thing I want to describe which is not research,
so Katherine will not like this because my daughter told me,
she said make it simple.
Sometimes our reporting systems are so complicated and there's
investigations and there's reporting and so forth,
that it isn't worth the effort.
In fact, it becomes worse.
So one of the things I've also learned is that you've got to,
one, build a relationship with the adult that you want to
invest in some time to trust with.
But second of all, it's got to be a simple process by which as
Justin indicated you've got to stop it quickly.
And you want to make sure that it's taken care of the fast way.
So again, I think the, you know, the government efforts
to monitoring is a good thing.
The bad thing is that we make it so complicated for kids and
family members and others to try to handle it which is somewhat
of a challenge, I think.
Valerie Jarrett: Thank you.
Justin, this one is for you.
With cyberbullying making the headlines, these days,
could you talk a little bit more about how they relate to
traditional forms of bullying?
Justin Patchin: Sure, I mean, in behavior and action they are very similar in
terms of harassment, threats, mean name calling, gossip,
rumors, whatever.
There are some unique differences.
And some of those the President touched on and some I touched on
earlier from the sense that it's harder to escape cyberbullying,
because it seems like it's everywhere.
You can be, you know, bullied at school, bullied on the way home,
bullied at home.
I mean, kids these days have cell phones with them wherever
they go.
I was at a school the other day and I was talking to third and
fourth graders and you know 40 or 50% of the third and fourth
graders had cell phones.
And you know they carry these devices with them all the time.
And so you -- they have come to expect that they have online
access 24/7, therefore the cyberbullying can really
affect them very deeply.
What's interesting in our research,
we explored a little bit the relationship between traditional
bullying and cyberbullying, and we had this theory in our mind
that, you know, the traditional bullying victim,
you think about the stereotypical victim is maybe
small and socially awkward, but they are smart, right?
So maybe they become the bully online, right?
But actually we didn't find that at all.
What we found was those who are bullied at school
are bullied online.
And those who bully at school bully online.
It's the same kids being involved in similar behaviors,
just different environments.
I could go on for another hour, I really could.
(laughter)
Valerie Jarrett: We'll give you more opportunity.
(laughter)
One thing to worry about is how they can protect their children
from bullying.
What should parents do if they find out that their child is
being bullied?
I'd open that up as well to everyone.
Katherine Bradshaw: Well, I think the first thing that's very clear is the parent
needs to talk directly to your children about the issue.
We have recently completed a study around this and we were
very pleased to see that about 95% of parents said that they
did actually talk to their children when they were bullied.
I am a bit concerned about the remaining 5% that didn't.
And the conversations that parents have with their children
about bullying are very critical.
They need to be able to support the child, not blame the child.
Recognize that the bullying is inappropriate and unjustified
and unacceptable.
But also provide some coaching to the child about how to
respond, and how to respond in a positive way and try to develop
some strategies that might help them avoid situations of
bullying, involve their peers and rely on their peer network,
continue communicating with the parents.
And we have to be very careful about not encouraging students
to fight back.
This is an area that we encounter a lot with parents
because parents certainly want to defend their children and
they want the best for their children.
But we as adults have to be very clear about your communication
in that we don't want the situation to escalate.
So we have to be thinking creatively about how we can
support children and giving them effective strategies.
There also are going to be students that are going to need
more intensive intervention that might environmental health
support, either through the community or through the school,
and parents can serve as real advocates and resources for
their children around that issue.
Justin Patchin: Just a quick comment from the cyberbullying side.
I think it's important that parents are online, you know.
I mean, one of the questions asked to me often is: What can a
parent do to prevent cyberbullying?
And the first thing is they need to be in the picture.
If your child is on Facebook, you need to be on Facebook.
You need to be friends with them.
They might not like that, but I actually try to convince the
child, the youth, that it's in their best interest to be
friends with their parents on Facebook or whatever social
networking website it is, because they hear all the
problems in the media about teens getting in trouble and
doing bad things.
I say, it's your responsibility to show your parents that you're
not doing those things.
You are safe, you're responsible, you're smart.
Now the parents might not know the technology,
but they certainly know it's dangerous perhaps to be friends
with people you don't know in real life or to put your cell
phone number up there for anybody to see it.
And so, they can key in.
The parents can on some of the potential risk factors for
problematic, behavior, whether or not it's bullying or
something much worse.
So it's just important for all adults and parents especially to
be online and be involved in what teens are doing online.
Sue Swearer: Our data are not as positive as Katherine's data.
In our data, typically only about 40 to 50% of kids say that
they tell their parents about the bullying,
and so that obviously is very concerning.
And so I'm a huge advocate of schools collecting data on this
issue, the issue of bullying, every year.
And one of the questions ought to be: Did you tell your parents
about the bullying that happened to you?
So that then the schools and the adults have a sense of what is
going on in terms of the communication between kids
and parents about the bullying.
And so, I think it's certainly important that schools collect
data annually to address some of these questions and get a sense
of what is going on in their community.
George Sugai: I have two quick comments about it.
One is I think it's really that if you establish a bullying
policy or procedures that it is taught and actively engaged in
throughout the school year.
It's too late after the bullying event has happened.
And we want parents, teachers and others to know what that
process is by which they can communicate with the school.
The second point that I think is important is that every single
kid inside the school should have at least one adult who they
believe they can talk to.
It can be parent, it can be teacher, it can be custodian.
But we want to make sure that every adult has someone that
they feel free to talk to, because without that,
we have got the problem that was described earlier where only 40%
of the kids feel like they are comfortable talking to.
We don't want the 40%.
We want 100% of the kids saying they have at least one adult
they can communicate with.
So in much of our work it's about building that relationship
with those kids, having at least one adult who can connect to at
least one kid so they feel trusting to be able to talk.
And also before it becomes a major event,
we deal with teasing early before it becomes
something more tragic.
Valerie Jarrett: Thank you, George.
Following up a bit on what you just said,
we have many teachers of administrators who
are here today.
So the final question we have is really what more could we do to
make sure that teaching our young folks about bullying
is incorporated into the curriculum of our schools.
Who would like to answer that?
Justin Patchin: I can start with cyberbullying.
I think, you know, because technology is becoming such an
important part of the educational process,
but I see a lot of schools really fighting it.
And you know, it's -- it's a concern because there are a lot
of problems that students can bring into the schools with
their technological devices, but there are a lot of great
things too.
So I think we need to work through some of those issues
and really focus on the negative behavior instead
of the technology.
It's not the cell phone's fault that mean text messages are
being sent, right?
So from an education standpoint, certainly administrators,
teachers, everybody in the school environment needs to have
a clear sense of, you know, what cyberbullying is and what they
as a school can do about it.
A lot of times I think schools don't know what they can do
especially when the behaviors originate away from school.
But as we all know, those of us who work with students know
eventually it ends up on the teacher's lap or the assistant
principal's lap.
And so, I think it's important for all schools to be prepared
for those kinds of instances.
So whether it's training of the counselors, the teachers,
the staff, and how do we respond to these issues effectively?
And again, it's not rocket science.
It's just -- it's the same way we have been dealing with
problematic relationships among adolescents for generations.
It's just involving another environment.
So, making sure that everybody in the school is on the same
page in terms of how to respond to those behaviors
is really important.
Katherine Bradshaw: There are also a number of curricula that have been
developed to try to address this issue.
And our approach is always to be more holistic as Justin was just
mentioning, rather than focusing just on one particular forum or
even just bullying, specifically, thinking about a range of pro-social
behaviors that you want to foster in all children, and
helping them develop those skills through say, for example,
of behavior modification type of intervention, school wide
climate promoting activities, and social/emotional learning curricula.
So that way you give children the competencies and the skills
to be able to navigate a range of interactions that they will
have with others, including bullying.
But we do need to be able to have some specific strategies
and training that's provided to students about how to
deal with that.
The trick is finding the time to do all of this.
We researchers come up with all of these programs and say, oh,
this is a good package program or why don't you spend minutes
doing that?
And we know there's incredible burden on teachers and school
staff to be able to demonstrate academic gains,
and that's why it's important to recognize the link between
bullying and a negative school climate and academic performance
that we anticipate that teachers spending time dedicating to
these activities to promote positive outcomes for students
and to prevent bullying is actually going to save some time
for them on the back end and promote more positive outcomes
for students, including achievement.
George Sugai: Just a couple of quick comments.
And again, it goes back to what I just said in
my introductory comments.
I think there's a lot of good programmatic,
kind of options for kids in schools as a whole.
But I would argue that every teacher, every principal,
every playground monitor, and so forth should have those three
basics in place -- supervise, teach what you want,
let kids know they are doing a good job and so forth.
We know that that will capture many of the students, not all.
But many of the students.
I'm a researcher.
But I also followed the advice of my wife which is the smart
thing to do.
She's a principal of a school.
You walk into her building and the first thing you'll notice is
that there are three core values that are taught to all of the
kids on the first day of school.
And those three core values serve as the communication
means for the rest of the kids across the classrooms.
The other thing you should know about that is that it is also
being taught in nonclassroom settings.
And when you're worried about the issue we are worried about,
it's not necessarily in the classroom.
It's hallways, bathrooms, sporting events, dances,
on the bus where we have our big issues where act of supervision,
teaching routines and so forth is so important.
So if you think about schools as a whole and what can we do,
I teach courses on classroom management school discipline,
and, yeah, you can set the rules,
set the rule violation consequences,
but what's really important is establishing those critical
strategies that will capture most of the kids and provide
a respectful environment for them so that there is
a means for communication.
So to follow the wisdom of my wife and make sure that you do
kind of actively supervise and acknowledge kids are doing a
good job.
Justin Patchin: Just one final comment if I can.
From a legislative standpoint, you know there are about
45 states that have laws on bullying now.
And last I checked, about 30 of those included language about
electronic harassment.
The problem I see with those laws though is they take it
from this standpoint.
Cyberbullying is a problem.
Schools, you need to do something about it.
And that's it.
They don't say what they should do.
They don't say how they should do it.
They don't say anything about the circumstances under which
they should intervene.
And they certainly don't provide you any resources to do it.
So I think you know our laws need to be updated to provide
more tools for schools to do exactly what we have
been talking about.
And I think there's some material,
some information in the materials from the conference
today that is a step in the right direction.
So thank you.
Valerie Jarrett: Thank you, Justin.
And actually that's a nice segue into one other announcement that
I wanted to make.
Facebook has come up a couple of times since
we have been talking.
And Facebook will be unveiling two new safety features in the
coming weeks.
The first one is a revamp of their multimedia safety center
to incorporate multimedia, external sources from renown
experts and downloading information for teens.
So we are glad that Facebook will be doing that.
And additionally, they will create a new social reporting
system to enable people to report content that violates
the Facebook policies so that they can be removed as soon as
possible while notifying parents and teachers of its content so
that the reasons for its posting can be addressed.
So we really want to commend Facebook for taking those two
important steps as well.
So this concludes our panel.
Please join me in thank you George and Justin
and Sue and Katherine.
(applause)
We are so pleased that you could all join us.
And now we are going to put everybody else to work and
we are going to have break-out sessions.
And Will Jawando is going to come up and walk us through
where we go from here.
Will? Thank you, everyone.