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Bullying & Hate-Motivated Behavior Prevention

Provides resources for parents, administrators, and students on how bullying can be prevented and addressed. Resources include publications, sample policies, and frequently asked questions.

Bullying is a form of violence. It can be physical, verbal, psychological, or sexual. Here are some examples of bullying:

  • Physical: hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing
  • Verbal: teasing, threatening, name-calling
  • Psychological: excluding someone, spreading rumors, intimidating
  • Sexual: touching, assault, exhibitionism, and many of the actions listed above

Bullying may also occur through the Internet or other forms of technology. This is known as cyberbullying. It is sending or posting hurtful material.

Bullying is common, but it should not be viewed as a normal part of growing up. It is more damaging to children than previously thought. Bullying has a negative effect on a student’s ability to learn.

Schools are responsible for creating safe environments for all students. They must work to prevent bullying, and they must respond to it when it happens.

The California Department of Education offers information and resources for parents, administrators, and students about bullying.

A Community Responsibility

Bullying is such a long-established behavior in our society and schools that it has often been ignored as "a normal part of growing up." However, research has shown that there are severe long-term consequences for both the targets and the bullies. Further, severe reactions to bullying have been cited as one of the causes of the extremely violent incidents on school campuses that have received so much media attention in recent years.

Fortunately, well-documented research has been done which provides techniques for preventing bullying, responding to incidents of bullying, and dealing with its long term consequences. The key elements of a bullying prevention program are:

  • Raising awareness of bullying through actions such as surveys of prevalence and role-playing events at assemblies.
  • Formation of a bullying prevention committee which represents the entire school community and which is responsible for choosing and implementing a prevention program.
  • Defining bullying and making it clear to all staff and students that it is unacceptable.
  • Adapt and implement bullying prevention policies.
  • Training all members of the school community in the appropriate responses to observed incidents of bullying.
  • Providing counseling for persistent bullies, targets, and their parents/guardians.
  • Regular review of effectiveness of the anti-bullying program.

There are a number of resources available which contain detailed information about comprehensive bullying prevention programs. These research-based programs describe the elements above, and also contain:

  • Broadly conceived definitions of bullying, including behaviors such as social ostracism in addition to the traditionally-considered physical dominance behaviors.
  • Bullying prevalence questionnaires.
  • Appropriate interventions for bullying situations, and for chronic bullies and targets.

Bullying Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions based on the Bullying at School (PDF) publication.

Publications and Resources
Publications and resources, including community-based resources, for educators, parents, and community members with tools for recognizing bullying behavior and approaches for determining how to respond.

Sample Policies and Implementation Plans
Model policies and plans for the prevention of bullying and on conflict resolution that were developed by the California Department of Education as resources to help California schools address these vital school safety concerns.

Suggestions for Parents When Dealing with Bullying External link opens in new window or tab.
Available Translations of Suggestions for Parents When Dealing with Bullying
Suggestions provided by Brenda High, Director, Bullying Police USA.

Questions:   Coordinated School Health and Safety Office | 916-319-0914
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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