Report: Bullying is a public health threat, not a rite of passage

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a book-length report outlining the problem of bullying and the best practices for preventing it, ultimately concluding that bullying is a serious public health problem.

The report, titled "Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy and Practice," recommends continued study of the health effects experienced by those who are bullied and those who bully, and they suggest broad intervention focused on positive social and emotional skills rather than on "zero-tolerance" punishment models.

Sunset Ridge Middle School in West Jordan has been recognized as a model of intervention, helping students who might otherwise be victims or bullies.

"We have a culture in this building where everybody is allowed to be who they are, and everyone should be recognized for their individual preferences without any kind of retaliation," said Amber Zdunich, Assistant Principal at Sunset Ridge.

Zdunich said the program focuses on encouraging empathy by the following: training a team of "Student Ambassadors" who help introduce new students to the school and intervene on behalf of students who may be bullied; pairing struggling students with mentors who share similar interests; checking in weekly with students who are having social or emotional trouble.

6 comments

  • west Martin

    Bully will end when victim allow to teach criminal a lesson she/he will never forget. The fact is victim are being made even more victim by the police and judges a something that promotes criminal to act more beyond because she/he didn’t get punishment she /he deserves therefore how would one learned she /he have made a mistake? People should understand the fact that people are all equal.

    • Please, no more Bobs

      Wow! That might be your most coherent comment ever. I think I actually understood what you were trying to say.

  • MIke Lee

    What a crock. There is an enormous, overblown industry out there – making a fortune, and usurping educational dollars to do it, by turning out schools into sensitivity training camps. The loss of educational time and money is staggering. At our colorado school, 2 1/2 hours per week (100 hours per week) are taken away from academics (in spite of the horrible parcc scores) and used for “health”, “social and emotional wellness”, or “positive behavior intervention” to the detriment of the majority of students who are not bullies, come from good homes, and would simply like to receive the education th
    eir parents are paying for. And, make no mistake, this training is loaded with special interest messaging from the LGBT lobby.

    Why not expell the bullies and let everybody else move on with learning… or would that put too many fancy pants “bully experts” and LGBT activists out of a job?

  • Howard Winn

    I hope it works. I would like to see those bullied make it to prestigious colleges and great careers, rather than feeling so lost and abandoned they turn to Columbine tactics. You need not ask I am sure the Columbine instance if they weren’t bullied.

  • Lyn Chapman

    I can’t help but notice the overt bullying behavior displayed on a daily basis on national “news” stations and on the campaign trail for president. Everyone is doing it, and yet we complain about the same thing in our schools and wonder why it is so rampant among our children. All we have to do is look in the mirror. Aside from everyone being exposed to accepted, outright bullying in the media, we as adults are not setting a very good example by what we say in our homes and share on social media. If we want to stop kids from bullying in our schools, we need first set the example as adults. It doesn’t matter what we say about this “public health threat,” it’s what we are doing that the kids see and are emulating!!

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