Past Press Releases

August 18, 2006

Bullying has found increased notoriety with new video games and mainstream movies, but teachers have a new resource to help them keep bullying from taking center stage. Linking Bullyproof: Teaching About Bullying and Harassment Using National Standards for School Counseling and Health Education (Coe-Sullivan & Stein, 2006) integrates the topics of bullying and harassment into the classroom curriculum of fourth and fifth grade students."

Because students experience bullying both in and out of the classroom, in ways that adults know about and never know about, every opportunity for integrating anti-bullying education across the curriculum provides yet another window for a young person to get support or help, or to reconsider her or his actions,” says Eric Pliner, Coordinator of Curriculum and Assessment, Office of Fitness and Physical Education, New York City Department of Education. “I think the [manual] is really exciting and will have clear, practical implications for teachers and students across the country.”

Linking Bullyproof is a supplement to Bullyproof: A Teacher’s Guide on Teasing and Bullying for Use with Fourth and Fifth Grade Students (Sjostrom & Stein, 1996), a nationally recognized curriculum that was evaluated in a scientific, independent three-year study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Linking Bullyproof, each lesson from Bullyproof has been aligned with national performance standards for School Counseling and Health Education for fourth and fifth grades, and in many cases, the standards for sixth grade have also been included. This manual is flexible, cross- and inter-disciplinary and can be used, in whole or in part, by teachers, health educators, and school counselors.

“This curriculum will make planning easier for the elementary classroom teacher for the lessons are user-friendly and are connected to the National Health Education Standards,” states Mary Connolly, health educator and retired director of Health Education & Elementary Physical Education for the public schools in Plymouth, MA. “Once students learn, practice, and adopt these skills, the classroom environment will be more peaceful. The teacher will be able to spend less time on classroom management and more time on instruction.”

The CDC evaluation study of Bullyproof was conducted by SafePlace, a combined sexual assault/domestic violence center, the Austin, Texas Independent School District, and the University of Texas, School of Social Work. Results from the evaluation showed that students in schools that used Bullyproof showed greater accuracy over time in identifying behaviors that constituted sexual harassment. In addition, the intervention may have influenced girls’ attitudes about bullies. Moreover, the use of Bullyproof as an intervention tool was demonstrated to be successful in increasing student and staff knowledge about sexual harassment.

“The College of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa uses Bullyproof as an essential part of our Promoting Peace and Preventing Violence among Hawaii's Youth program,” reports Beth Pateman, Professor and Elementary Co-director, Institute for Teacher Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa. “Bullyproof is the cornerstone curriculum in this important outreach for teachers, counselors, and administrators in Hawaii's schools. The response of our educators to this curriculum is tremendously positive. Bullyproof is a highly engaging, hand-on guide for helping students understand and analyze the issues involved in bullying prevention and, more importantly, what they and their friends can do to stop it.”

“School counselors will find that the activities in Bullyproof are handy tools for bullying prevention and intervention,” says Judy Boykin-McCarthy, Guidance Counselor at the West Tisbury School, West Tisbury, MA. “They are easy to use with large or small groups of students. Students look at bullying from different perspectives and learn to change their behavior, how to get help, and how to support other students. The curriculum can be used in one grade or across several for continuity.”

Linking Bullyproof: Teaching About Bullying and Harassment Using National Standards for School Counseling and Health Education is a joint publication of the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and the National Education Association (NEA) Professional Library. The manual can be purchased via the WCW Publications Office at 781-283-2510 or online.

Co-author Nan Stein, Ed.D., is a senior research scientist at WCW, where she directs several national research projects on sexual harassment, gender violence, and teasing and bullying in schools. She frequently gives lectures and keynote addresses, and provides training to school personnel, and has served as an expert witness in lawsuits concerning sexual harassment and child sexual abuse in K-12 schools. She was co-principal investigator and lead author of the Seventeen magazine (September 1992) survey on sexual harassment in the schools, Secrets in Public: Sexual Harassment in Our Schools. In addition to Linking Bullyproof, Dr. Stein co-authored three teaching guides, Flirting or Hurting? A Teacher’s Guide on Student-to-Student Sexual Harassment in Schools for Grades 6 through 12 (1994); Bullyproof (1996) that explores teasing and bullying in elementary grades as the antecedents of sexual harassment; and Gender Violence/Gender Justice: an Interdisciplinary Teaching Guide for Teachers of English, Literature, Social Studies, Psychology, Health, Peer Counseling, and Family and Consumer Sciences (grades 7-12), published in 1999.

Emily Coe-Sullivan, Ed.M., is a project associate at WCW, where she works alongside Dr. Stein. In addition to the development of the Linking Bullyproof manual, she has helped prepare background reports for litigation involving sexual harassment in K-12 schools. Prior to her work at WCW, Coe-Sullivan served as a consultant to the Girls’ Coalition of Greater Boston, creating an online research directory and coordinating professional development events and trainings. Coe-Sullivan’s research interests include investigating gender violence and sexual harassment in schools and examining the ways in which race, class, gender, and sexual orientation shape identity and human experience.

For more than 30 years, WCW has been a driving force – both behind the scenes and in the spotlight – promoting positive change for women and men, girls and boys. WCW brings together an interdisciplinary community of scholars engaged in research, training, analysis, and action. The Centers’ groundbreaking work is dedicated to looking at the world through the eyes of women with the goal of shaping a better world for all.

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