Monday, February 28, 2011

Bullying Prompts Parental Action in Phoenix Arizona

You may have read the Phoenix papers headlines...

"Alleged bullying prompts parents pull kids from parochial school" -Phoenix News,

"Former education secretary hosts Phoenix cyberbullying forum" -The Arizona Republic

"New Arizona bill would aim to stop bullying at schools" -

"Arizona school officials address bullying"

"Bullying has been thrust again into national headlines with the suicide of a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl after months of threats and harassment." 

Every day, 160,000 students skip school because they fear being bullied, according to the PACER Center, a parent training and information center for families of children. According to the National Association of School Psychologists,
  • 1 in 7 schoolchildren is a bully or victim
  • Bullying affects 5 million school children in U.S.
A private Arizona statewide initiative by a local bodyguard security and law enforcement trainer provides resources, training and unconventional advice to parents, teachers and children to handle bullies without fighting.

Bad Bullying Advice
Unlike other programs this Bully Target Proofing Method trains children to learn how to solve bullying problems in unconventional ways.  There is a lot of bad, although well-intentioned, advice going around. Most often we're seeing prescription without diagnosis, a common problem in self defense advice.  

Zero Tolerance Bully Policies
Vilifying children as "bullies" and developing politically motivated, "zero tolerance" policies can create more problems and may increase bullying. Crippling children by allowing them to be labeled "victims" and seeking to blame others is problematic on several levels.  This approach only addresses the symptom and does little to solve the problem or give the child effective coping skills.  The AZ Bullying Intervention Initiative uses Bodyguard trainer John Nottingham's 5 Step Approach on How to Handle a Bully Without Fighting equips individuals to problem solve, demystify the bullying cycle and treats the problem at its core.

Unique Training on How To Deal With Bullies
The Bullies To Buddies Program Offers Clever Tips on Handling a Bully Without Fighting such as:
  • Stay calm. Fear and stress management tools to learn to act rather than react.
  • Prevent sending "Bully Me -I'm an Easy Target" signals
  • Acting brave and projecting confidence. Developing strong social skills and leadership confidence and tools such as humor with a fun approach to role playing.
  • Turn the bully into a buddy. Children are taught the person with the most friends almost always wins.
In addition to these skills this 3 pronged bully solutions approach develops parents, teachers and other advocacy.  
Treating the:
1. Child demonstrating bullying behavior - sometimes targets of bullying themselves
2. The targeted child of bullying 
3. The social environment that enables the bullying behavior, peers, environment, timing, etc.

Bullying Advocate Intervention
Parental and Teacher Skills: Leading Verbal Judo and role play with empowering body language.
  • Be a Buddy, Protector Pal or a Hallway Hero.  Standing by and saying nothing encourages a bully.  
  • Stepping up and standing up for someone is the right thing to do. 
Through using a series of Verbal Judo skills they teach to Law Enforcement and deflection techniques for bodyguards, the AZ Bully Intervention Initiative - Bullying Prevention Project trains individuals and groups how to:
  • Recognize what makes a child a likely target for bullying and other early danger signs
  • Prevent the motive, opportunity or ability for a bullying situation to form
  • Know to to intervene and thwart bullying behavior 
  • To recognize and avoid the HOT ZONES where bullying usually takes place
Parents learn How To Recognize Signs That Your Child is Being Bullied
Teachers learn where, how and when most bullying situations take place for students. Other material covered is cyber bullying, emotional bullying, physical bullying and more.

Research on Bullies 

National Association of School Psychologists

1 in 7 schoolchildren is a bully or victim

Bullying affects 5 million school children in U.S. 

British Medical Journal, September, 1999 Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino

Survey of 16,410 students ages 14-16 in Finland found:

1/3 of children who admitted to bullying frequently said they were also victims of bullying

Depression was as common among bullies as victims

Severe suicidal thoughts were more prevalent in bullies than victims

British Medical Journal, September, 1999 Chris Rissel

Survey of 3,918 Australian children ages 11-15 found:

Half of bullies were also targets of bullying, most were boys

Bullies who also were bullied had poorest psychosocial profile

These youth reported high rates of smoking as well as headaches, stomachaches, sadness and trouble sleeping

Victims scored highest on measures of loneliness, followed by bully/victims

The Arizona Bullying Intervention Initiative
The Bullying Prevention Project - Non-violent Bullying Self Defense Training
USA Martial Arts & Nottingham Sword & Shield Security
4731 E. Greenway Suite 9-10
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Telephone (602) 896-8721

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