Do you have a bullying awareness program in your local schools? More communities are creating educational programs around bullying, and cyberbullying, in response to the alarmingly high-rate of incidents that are being reported around the country.
If you don’t have a local program, there are now many online resources to check out for information. In fact, a New York University law school student and an openly gay man has launched an online program called The Bullying Academy that addresses the issues around bullying and looks into ways kids, parents and educators can stop and prevent it. The Bullying Academy was created by Walser as a free online resource designed to help parents, students and teachers deal with the dangers associated with bullying and cyber-bullying.
According to a release from the folks behind the program, the person who launched the program, Tommy Walser, has watched in shock and anger as it seems like every week a new suicide is being committed due to bullying and cyber-bullying.
“Cyber-cruelty is rapidly increasing in volume and complexity because adolescents and teens are never taught how to act responsibly and appropriately while communicating online or via other electronic devices,” said Walser.
Tommy, now 23, is proud of his sexuality, but growing up it was a different story. He admits that as an adolescent and teen, he was picked on by others for being “different.” He decided to channel his experience into something positive by creating a program to educate kids before bullying reaches a critical point.
The Bullying Academy does not require any additional software or extensive training. Schools register with the organization’s website and students immediately have access to the program. The Bullying Academy provides a professionally developed curriculum and grade appropriate content to engage students through a scavenger hunt composed of lessons and learning links, as well as utilizing quizzes which function as assessments. The program has been designed with a pre- and post-quiz so that participants can measure what was learned about bullying and its ramifications.
There are also contests for schools that participate, whereby the winning school gets a trophy, pizza party and certificate for the teacher. Any students who complete the program will also receive a diploma that ranges from gold to bronze depending on score. Students learn:
- Characteristics and risk factors common to bullies
- What bullies look for in victims
- How to recognize the short- and long-term effects of bullying on victims and bullies
- How to properly respond and report bullying
- How to avoid violence while standing up for each other
Does anyone know anything about the people/organization behind this program? I can’t seem to find too much background or a track record.
Also, is the program research based? I see it is a school based program but our district requires programs to be based on solid research that demonstrate success.
Thank you for your review and posting information for us.
Thanks for your question. The program is new, so I doubt there has been a great number of districts who have used it yet, but there is a results page on their web site that includes quiz scores before and after bullying education from some districts that I assume were used as test sites:
There is also a page with the bios of the folks behind the program:
It mentions the program is currently grant-funded for the 2011-1012 school year, so I assume you could get some information on the entity funding the program to learn more about what they are basing their grant on.
According to their web site, they are based in Florida, and the program administrator is Seema Jaipal. P.O Box 290361, Davie, FL 33329, Phone: (305) 791-4478
There is also a page where you can email them for information: