ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Get an Attitude

Large or small, ethnically diverse or homogenous, urban or rural, primary or secondary: bullying occurs in every school and among students of all backgrounds. Yet some schools have a much higher incidence of bullying, while others have minimal problems. If demographic factors don't predict the incidence of bullying, what does?


The attitudes of adults make a tremendous difference in how frequently bullying occurs. School communities where adults are more likely to discuss bullying, actively work to prevent and manage instances of bullying, and create goals to stop bullying experience less of it. Although educating students about bullying is important, developing the understanding and skills school staff need to create a healthy, safe, and supportive environment is critical to shifting school culture.

As U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remarked at last month's Bullying Prevention Summit, "The job of teachers and principals is to help students learn and grow—and they can't do that job in schools where safety is not assured." How do we ensure our schools are safe? Get an attitude! Whether you're an educator, student, guardian, neighbor, relative, or community leader, talk about bullying with each other and the young people in your community: talk about the importance of creating a school and community where students feel safe and understand the damage caused by bullying.

Join the conversation about a whole child approach to bullying prevention this month on Start by downloading this month's Whole Child Podcast. You'll hear from Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education; Penny Bisignano, Olweus coordinator for the state of Iowa; and Rachel Cole Lawson, high school guidance counselor at the Whole Child Award–winning Malcolm Price Laboratory School. Return to the Whole Child Website throughout the month for free tools, blog posts by experts, and other resources to help you address bullying in your school and community.

Learn more and stay up to date on policies and practices, data, strategies, tools, and important actions to help ensure that each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged by subscribing to the Whole Child Newsletter.

Comments (5)

Get an Attitude « Whole Child Blog – Whole C

September 9, 2010

[...] Get an Attitude « Whole Child Blog – Whole Child Education Filed under: education — coopmike48 @ 12:50 pm   Get an Attitude « Whole Child Blog – Whole Child Education. [...]

Jacek Polubiec

September 9, 2010

Nice post on important topic but I (slightly) object to the phrase “shifting school culture”. While the forces that impact our schools are always shifting, the school cultures and the values on which they are build, must be stable and unshaken. When our learning communities are built on trust, respect and collaboration and these values are stressed regardless of the circumstances, the attitudes towards bullying (and other issues) will improve and the solutions will be obvious. As we are progressing towards the 22nd century, we will often have to change what we do but never what we stand for.

Dr. Lynnda M. Nadien

September 9, 2010

The most important aspect of bully prevention is for all school personnel to know all children by name, and at least one fact about that child. We need to treat children as ‘people’ and realize they have certain needs that cannot be ignored. This includes the bully! We cannot be afraid to discuss bullying behavior, that occurs on school grounds. We must encourage children to speak out, and defend themselves with our help. Peer mediation is a successful method, but available adults are critical to promote trust, respect and self-awareness for children.


September 10, 2010

Bullying has gotten much worse despite intiatives and minor training for teachers.  I thought it was pretty interesting that on a news broadcast last night a student was asked for his wish for the school year and his response was, “No bullies.”

Rebecca R

October 13, 2010

I’ve noticed that bullying in the elementary school I teach in has increased over the past several years.  It is very unsettling as an adult and one day parent, to hear the things that are said and see the pain these innocent students feel.  Although our school offers a lot of education on preventing bullying, there still seems to be an increase in the school.  It is hard to get through to many of these “bullies” that they are doing something wrong and hurtful. It is really disheartening when the parents come in for parent conference and do not think their child has done anything wrong.  It is hard to teach a child that bullying is wrong, when the parents don’t believe there is something wrong.

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