Bullying at school has reached epidemic levels according to the National Education Association (NEA). In fact, figures from NEA show that 160,000 children miss school every day for fear of bullies. In addition, the National School Safety Center reckons that there are 2.1 million bullies in American schools.

To counter this problem, many schools have resorted to various anti bullying programs. The problem with these programs is they may be fueling bullying instead of stopping it according to a study published in the Journal of Criminology in December 2012. Results from this study show that students who attend a school with an anti bullying program are 1.2 times likely to be bullying victims.


Bullying program shortfalls

This has prompted Stuart Twemlow, an authority in the field of school violence and bullying to weigh in on the subject. Twemlow reckons that such programs fail because they rarely address issues such as the school environment, resources required to run such programs, and failure to reform the entire school culture.

Furthermore, many schools rush to roll out the latest anti bullying programs without considering whether such programs have worked elsewhere. However, Twemlow warns that one should be careful when assessing such studies because increased awareness and reports of bullying incidences may make it seem like the problem is on the rise when this is not the case.


Bullying programs need to train the individual

Instead of relying on blanket programs that put culture change ahead of training the individual, parents need to take charge in protecting their child from bullying by teaching them how to properly respond to a bully and ways to avoid becoming a victim in the first place.

Teaching them how to project confidence