FAQ’s about Bullying

Please note, answers here are partial and should not be construed as advice.

Q: How often does bullying happen?

A: Research shows that up to 80% of children experience relational aggression at least once in their school careers. However, up to 30% of students experience bullying at least once/school day.

Q: What is the difference between self-defense and your steps2stop?

A: Self-defense and the steps Not-the-Target teaches can both be considered ways of standing up for yourself. However, self-defense implies that physical aggression is an acceptable alternative when standing up for ones self. The steps believe that in MOST situations, physical violence is not necessary. The steps teach everyone (not just kids) safe and effective ways of being assertive without being aggressive. The steps call for us to know ourselves, and to know when we need help. Not-the-Target does not condone violence.

Q: How do you teach kids to not get physical?

A: Kids are shown ways to be assertive, without being aggressive. We believe (and research shows) that given the tools the brain can handle high conflict situations in new ways. This only works through practice and patience.

Q: Do the steps change based on the size of the school?

A: The steps are the same for all schools/people, regardless of size of school. The steps can effectively help in an estimated 85-90% of bullying situations.

Q: I have a student who is traumatized by bullying. How do I help them?

A: Normalize their feelings of shame, guilt, anger, sadness or other emotional response FIRST. Then teach them ways to stand up for themselves. Do NOT expect them to be able to do that for many many months. Otherwise, you are setting them up for failure.

Q: Students generally know who the targets are in school. Is there some way to address them specifically in your program?

A: One of the most important parts of any bullying program is to create a safe environment for bystanders to help or report incidents of bullying. This requires a cultural change at most schools.

Q: What is the best protocol for cyber-bullying?

A: Cyber-bullying is a relatively new phenomenon, so no set protocols exist. However, educating your students about the risks on-line and providing them with solutions such as immediately finding an adult to help them. Responding via text/email/chat/gchat/facebook will not help matters.

Q: How do you respond to someone who reports bullying?

A: “This isn’t your fault. You didn’t do anything to deserve this. I am going to help you, and here’s how…” Make sure to follow through on whatever you tell them you will do. It takes a lot of courage for a target to report, so follow-through by adults is critical.

Q: What is the difference between tattling and reporting?

A: Tattling is trying to get someone in trouble. Reporting is stating the facts and letting an adult handle a situation that feels out-of-control.

Q: What else can I do to help our kids? Are there preventative measures we can take to stop bullying at our school?

A: While every school is unique, there are some interventions that help remove the shroud of fear surrounding bullying.  For example: Talk about bullying weekly, create student ambassadors who are trained to spot and stop bullying on campus and empowered to get targets out of dangerous situations.

Q: I like to tease my students/kid(s). When I tease them, do others feel like they have to be ok with it, as well?

A: This is a tough question. Based on the students/kids I work with, students who are not included in verbal teasing by adults feel left out and ostracized.