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