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Thursday, January 24, 2013


My radio show, "Teach Your Children Well:  Hot topics in education" was cohosted by me and Rich Weinfeld.  We interviewed international experts on a variety of topics.  Here is our radio show about bullying.  You can listen to it or read the interview with three experts on bullying.  My husband's band provided the background and break music.  Thank you, Black Sheep Reggae Band.


Teasing, Bullying and School Violence: What can parents and schools do?

Guests:  Marlene Snyder, Richard Paul and Derek Randall

Host:  Hello everybody, this is Teach Your Children Well – Hot Topics in Education, a show dedicated to exploring issues in education.   Education can make the difference in what we are and what we could be as a society.  We believe that with high expectations and an education system that works all children can achieve.   Parents will learn how to partner with schools to powerfully and effectively advocate for their children. Educators listening to this show will advance your skills and knowledge to effect positive changes in the school communities.    Children are our best natural resource if we teach them well and create an education system that develops a future of leaders making our world a better place to be.  

We are very excited about today’s show which is focusing on bullying.  We are calling it “Teasing, Bullying and School Violence: What can parents and schools do?”  The ramifications of school age bullying are being played out each night on the TV news as we watch with horror situations involving retaliation for bullying.   If you have ever been teased or bullied on a playground you know it has a lasting effect.   School discipline problems and the procedures that address them are ineffective.  Surface interventions don’t solve the underlying problems leading to bullying and school violence.   Victims of bullying and school violence are often left feeling marginalized.    Cyber-bullying is now prominent.  Students with disabilities are often targets.   Are the current anti-bullying programs in our schools working to decrease these incidents?    How can parents, communities and educators partner to prevent these problems and effectively advocate for students.  

We are really grateful and excited today to have three very distinguished guests in our panel and we are just going to have a lot of information coming at our listeners today because these three guests are not only national and international experts in the topic for today but they all have different perspectives which we are really pleased to present to our listeners.  One of our guests is Dr. Marlene Snyder.

Marlene is the director of the development of the Olweus Bullying prevention program in the United States Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.   And she is the co-author of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program School-wide guide and teacher guide and the related programs, CD and DVD and we will give her a chance to tell you how to get those when we get into our questioning.   She served as a national and international consultant in the areas of bullying prevention and intervention education and mental health, child welfare and juvenile justice issues.   She travels extensively in her role and presents at national and international conferences.  She is a member of many different boards and I will let her expand on her qualifications and background and experience as we get further in the show.   Find out more about her here:
Also we are so pleased to have Derek Randel, Derek are you with us?

Derek: Yes, I am. 

Host: So grateful for you to be here.  Derek has created  He is a parent coach and speaks nationally on how to remove the yelling from your home and how to protect your child from bullying and school violence.  He is a national speaker on parenting and bullying.  He uses common sense simple techniques that can be used immediately.  He has been on numerous television and radio shows and he shares his over decades of experience as a high school and middle school educator and has been nominated for a Disney American Teacher award.   He is a certified Step Family coach through the Step Family Foundation in New York City and he along with his wife--I guess he made it a family affair--have authored Attacking our Educators, Parent Smarts from the Heart, Stopping School Violence, Bittersweet Moments, and the Parent Manual.  Find out more about Derek here:
Derek we will give you an opportunity to let listeners get all of those great resources a little bit later and when we get into questioning.   And last but not least, we have Richard Paul from  Richard are you with us as well? 

Richard: Yes, I am.

Host: Perfect.  Thank you.  Great to have you today, thanks so much.   Richard has spoken with over half a million business professionals, association leaders, students and educators throughout the world and Richard has a very interesting ventriloquism twist to all of this.  I have watched some of your online videos and find them very, very informative and entertaining.  And he paints a humorous yet practical down-to-earth picture of we can empower others and ourselves and he opens the mind to more ideas by combining life lessons with comedies. 
And Richard, I will let you go ahead and expand on your interest areas and different views on how we should address this issue.  You know, I think our first question should be why is this such as big problem.   What is bullying?  Is it different from just you know calling names and what, why this all of your passions.  And I think we will just take this one at a time in the order that I introduced people.  So Marlene, why is this in your view, such a very problematic issue and one that we must address as a society?

Marlene: Well, we could spend your whole hour answering that question I am sure, but briefly… what we know now about bullying is that has been with us for centuries.  As people sit and listen to stories about kids being bullied, with the physical and verbal and the non physical, the gestures and the cyber-bullying, they kind of think back to their school days and they remember bullies from way back.  It used to be that people would advise their children, oh just hit them harder than they hit you, and just take it and turn the other cheek.  Sticks and stones will break your bones but names are never going to harm you.  And now we know through scientific research that bullying behaviors targeted at any individual are extremely harmful.  They are harmful emotionally, to the self-esteem of the individuals would have been targeted.  We know that there is mental health and physical health impacts of being bullied and as we look closer at this we see that children, who are bullied, targeted by their peers, are much less likely to perform well in the school situation, may actually even shut down.   We know that bullying is very detrimental to the healthy development of those children who bully as well.   They go on to do more and more horrible things to people in their environment and very often will wind up pushing the boundaries of other rules and forums in expected behaviors.  

Host: That’s great.   Let me stop you there and see if we can go to Derek.   Derek, I see on your website that you have got a couple of really intriguing facts.   One is that 160,000 kids miss school every single day due to bullying and school violence and 950,000 across the United States bring weapons to school every month. Schools now report over a quarter of a million students per month are being physically attacked during the school day.  That speaks to the importance of the issue but what are your ideas on this? 

Derek: Ok, first of all the statistics, in every statistic that I seem to run into I think are probably on the low end because so many cases of bullying are not reported or they are just covered up.   And a newer thing that is going on right now is the bullying of teachers and I can’t even say it is new but it is another issue that is getting covered up where the numbers are staggering.    And as far all the kids that are bringing weapons to school, they do this for two reasons.   One is to show off and the other is for protection.  So we need to look at why do these kids feel like they need protection and what can we do about protecting them.   School is supposed to be to educate somebody.   I think there are a lot of kids in school that really just don’t belong there and that is something we need to look at.  

Host: Really great.  And Richard how about you?   What does bullying actually look like? Or why is this an important issue in our society?  Why do we have to tackle this now? 

Richard: I think it is something that should have been tackled years and years ago. And my angle to this whole thing is being born with a birth defect, been born missing three fingers and a shorter arm having to deal with the teasing, having to deal with bullies it is a personal issue for me and it is something that I feel that it has to be, I think like Derek just said it has been covered up.  A lot of people don’t say anything and sometimes when I was being bullied as a kid I didn’t say anything cause at that time bullying was a part of growing up or you know ignore it and it will go away but the fact remains is it doesn’t go away and ignoring it makes things worse.   And so the reason I feel that this issue should be brought up again and again and again is because even though we can put posters up, we can send teachers to meetings to learn about it, we can teach kids about it but to be honest with you if we don’t constantly re-enforce this we don’t open the doors and tell the kids we are there for you we are there to help you then nothing is going to happen.

Derek: Can I add to that?

Host: Absolutely.

Derek: I think something that both Richard and Marlene had said too about bullying not going away.  If you take a look, once someone graduates high school or drops out of high school whichever it doesn’t mean that they stop being a bully.   Take a look at statistics for domestic violence, for child abuse, for crime, for just bullying in the workplace this does not end.  So it is better that we start addressing it at an earlier age because it is filtered all through society.   

Host: Why are we hearing, seems we are hearing, so much more about bullying now?  Is it actually on the rise? Is it, are we getting better at identifying it.   We will get started on that answer and probably have to break but Richard do you want to start with that and we will go back through everybody. 

Richard: I think it has always been here.   I think bullying is from the domestic all the way through the schools to just in the community.   I think it has always been here it is just that it has been so hush, hushed.   You know, it doesn’t happen here.   But in fact it does and I have been in schools that have told me that they have no bully problems and in fact they do.  I hear the kids talk and they tell me, you know, that they are having a bully issue or a bully problem.  So, if for some reason way back when we thought it was well, it will just go away if we just ignore it.   

Host: We are going to cut in and we will come back with also Derek and Marlene and let them address that after our break.   We’ll be right back. 

Download “Learn From Each Other” from CD baby here:

Host: Welcome back.  As we went to break Richard was addressing the question whether the bullying phenomena’s intensity new.   We know it is not new but is it growing? Is there a difference?  It seems we are hearing a lot more about it lately.   I want to give Derek and Marlene a chance at that question.   So Derek, do you want to take first crack at that.

Derek: Yeah, I do not think it is new obviously and I do believe it is growing and since Columbine it has gotten a lot more attention and because of the excellent work that Richard, Marlene and many others are doing it is getting more publicity which is good because we are letting parents and educators know that there are resources out there.   For the educators what Marlene talks about with the Olweus program that is probably the best bullying program without saying anything bad about any other one.   The research shows that it works.  But I think beforehand we never heard about these.  Columbine kind of set it in motion and people are just doing great work getting the word out that there is help available.  

Host: Maybe Columbine really raised the urgency of us to talk about that issue, Marlene?

Marlene: I agree.  We used to go out in National Conferences and sit in those rooms talking about bullying visiting with only a half a dozen people and immediately after Columbine of course those conferences rooms were standing room only.   Unfortunately, our society is one that it takes for horrible things to happen sometimes before we get in gear and realize that there are things that are shown in research that do work.  I would also like to suggest that we are living in a world where kids are growing up more separately with their video games.  We really have a violent society.  Many of our heroes that kids are watching on television and so forth they win by being violent or they win by being the smart-aleck that can talk over or humiliate and discard other people.   So we really have to talk to our kids when they are playing their video games parents really need to know what those video games are all about.  If you read many of the FBI reports they indicate that these children who went to school with these guns and aimed so accurately had never before in some cases had access to guns but they learned how to target through video games.  

Host: Let me ask the three of you, that really begs a very important question.  In the aftermath of Columbine the violent game, violent books I think have become more taboo.  Where do you stand on that?  Is that important that we eliminate access to those? Or as you were saying, Marlene is it important that we just have a dialogue with our children about them?   I will let Marlene start on that.

Marlene: I don’t know about your children but any time I told my child that there was something he was not allow to do he would find a way to either share information with his friends at school or go to their homes and participate in those things.  So I took a very early stance of visiting with my child about my expectations and our family values and hoping to instill that with him.  And in today’s society with all of these things everywhere I don’t think it is realistic for a parent can say you cannot ever see or ever play these things especially as children get into the teenage years.   We just hope that the values and the visiting we can do with them and the conversations that we have about the impact of these things will take over in their personality and they’ll choose to do the right thing.

Host: Derek, would you like to comment on that.

Derek: Yeah, I believe she is 100% correct.   You cannot control everything as a parent.   You know we tell our kids, you will not smoke but they still figure out a way to smoke.   Removing the games is not really the answer.  You sit down and you go through the games with your child and you let them know what the difference between reality and what you are doing here is not real life because of kids blur those that is real important.  It is just like when you watch TV shows with them you know I always tell my kids, “Wow look at this if I was drinking this alcoholic beverage I would have all these beautiful women hanging on me.”  What is it like in real life?   You can walk into any bar and you can see that this is just advertising.   I do think the pop culture has had a tremendous effect and one of the ways parents can address that is just what Marlene said, you cannot say don’t do this.  But you sit down and you watch it with him and you tell them, do you really believe this?  Can this really happen? And you educate them.   You let them learn how to make a decision so they can tell the difference between reality and fake.  

Host: You know, to our panel I am wondering, you know, is there a certain type of personality profile that is either the bully or the victim.   And I am going to ask a three part question and just kind of open it up to all three of you.  That is the first part.   So, is there like a set personality characteristics or traits, I mean can we predict who may become bullies or victims.   Secondly, you know within this, what is the importance of reaching out to the peers that surround the bullies and victims? And what is the impact of group think or to put it a different way you know that having a crowd around or getting other kids involved in the bullying?   What is the effect on that?  In no particular order, Derek do you want to start out with that.

Derek: Yeah, as far as the profiling, I think that was the first question.   As far as being a victim all you have to do is have one thing and that is called a perceived difference.   If any one perceives you to be different, you can be too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, the wrong color, as Richard was saying earlier a disability.  If that makes you different that is all it takes to be a victim.   Could be if you speak with an accent or maybe you dyed your hair.   So there is no one thing that we are looking for to see if someone is a victim it really comes down to perceived differences.  And as far as the bully goes that, it used to be like Dif, in the movie Back to the Future, the big guy with other ones hanging around with.  But now with cyber-bullying anybody is a bully because they can hide behind their computer and that kind of takes away trying to profile somebody.  

Host: What kind of different forms does cyber-bullying take? 

Derek: I’ll take that.  Going through email, instant messaging, text messaging, and social networking sites.  It could be you know with the camera phones, the video phones, these are ways of just taking to a whole new level.

Host: I have seen some You Tube videos that are quite disturbing.  

Derek: Oh, absolutely.  It doesn’t count unless it gets videos now.

Richard: I was at a school, a middle school to do a program and that night before there was a cyber-bullying issue.  And apparently this student he was a dancer but the rest of the school did not know it.  It was one of those things that he did but nobody else knew so he wouldn’t have to be bullied.  Somebody videotaped it, put it up online and Walla there he was.   You know, and everybody was making fun of him that particular day.   So, it is a situation that just like Derek said, I mean anybody can be the bully there.   And who knows who did it, you know.  It is not the best character like he said; it can be anybody because they can hide behind it all.

Host: Maybe that has to do with the perceived or real increase in the actual bullying.  What about Richard the importance of education or intervention for the community that surrounds the bullies or victims?

Richard: Well, I guess the best story I can tell was I was doing a workshop for principals and this principal was telling me he had a bully situation in his school.  And this kid was just not a good kid at all.   Degrades as a person, he was just a mean kid.   So the first thing he did was you know call the parents down.   Well, he called the parents down and the parents, as he put it, to our group, were meaner than the kid.    And so he is like ok now what do I do.   And then he realized he put some thinking into it and he says you know I can’t change, unfortunately change his home life, but I can within my four walls here attempt to change him within the school.   And what he did was he put together a team.   He put together the teachers, he put together the students, whoever the kids and everybody and they worked together as a team, an anti-bully team to keep an eye on this kid.   And as he put it if this kid even sniffled funny he would be right in on his case and so needless to say because they all worked together and if you want to call it community within the school they were able to stifle this kid from bullying and put an end to it and the interesting the positive thing at the end of this when this kid graduated, now this is elementary level, when he graduated from high school he graduated with all A’s and he was voted the nicest kid in the class.  So, with that story it just tells you that if the community, if the students, if the staff and the teachers work together then they can, hey put an end to this.  But the main thing is that everything I have read is that if you don’t, have like you can say kids you got to watch the other kids, but if the adults aren’t going to be in the background and say we are there for you to step in if we needed you, the kids are not going to do it because they are going to end up being bullied or something else happening to them.

Host: Absolutely.   Marlene, how about your ideas on that three part question or any of the discussion that followed.

Marlene: Well, first of all, Derek is absolutely right with the perceived differences.  We also see those children who are bullied by others and seeing kids who may have fewer friends or friends that are not strong enough to stand up to the peer group that is causing  all of this distress to the child who is targeted.   I think that it is important for us to take a quick look at the bully or the child who is bullying other kids.  And reminder ourselves that this is not always the biggest kid or the meanest kid.   Many times what we see in schools is that those who bully others can be very popular and be involved as cheerleaders or the star of the football team but they have an awful lot of social power.   Social capital over other kids.   And they feel entitled to decide who is in and who is out and who they can discourage about their linage or their clothing or their economic status whatever.  So we need to be careful not to call a child a victim or a bully and put them in that one category because we see children changing position.   A child who is being bullied one year may gain support from friends and in another year be the person who is terrorizing other kids.   It changes and the bystanders have a huge role in helping their peers who calm down all of these kinds of things we can talk about it later when we come back.

Host: We will be back at bullying and we really want to get into interventions at work.  Be right back.

Download “Learn From Each Other” from CD baby here:

Host: Hi and welcome back.  Today we have our guests Marlene Snyder, Derek Randel and Richard Paul talking about bullying and while we were off air I was making a little confession to Marlene and Host that I certainly was bullied at times in my life but I can also remember being the bully and I wanted to ask Marlene how typical is it that all of us are in both of those roles at some point in our life and how do you normalize that for kids yet work on preventing it.

Marlene: Well, I think it is important to realize that bullying is all about power, the misuse of power.   And we have all different kinds of power in our lives but we do have the power to make other human beings miserable.  And we learn how to do that from a very early age whether is it calling someone a name or pushing the teasing way over the balance point when we are making the other person uncomfortable.   So I think it is important for all of us and adults working in this field realize that we all have it within us to abuse our sense of power and that we are handling our power to make every child in the school to feel welcome and that they do belong and that we can move forward.   I really love this story that Richard heard about the young man who went from being a really bad kid to being one of the most appreciated children.   The good news about bullying is that there are things that we can do to change the trajectory and help schools educate all children without worrying about bullying.  

Host: Derek I would like you to comment on how normal is it on the one hand and then how do you deal with students to have them both understand that it may be normal yet we want to prevent it. 

Derek: I agree with about the part the bullier can also be the victim because most bullies are victims at one time or another and unfortunately this is a learned behavior and many times it comes from home whether it is a sibling or from a parent.   But I think in the schools everything that Marlene was saying is correct you want to make the kids feel wanted, successful and safe and that might mean maybe a little bit less of the math, English and science and maybe we should be teaching more them about character and citizenship and empathy and anger management and how to be a better person and take some of the stress off whether we are getting high enough test scores.   You know teachers have so many different roles now and being a parent just happens to be one of them because many kids are not getting it at home and we have to teach them the please and the thank you and the manners. 

Host: Richard, what are some of the interventions that you have found to be particularly successful. 

Richard: Well I think it is one you know what we have been talking about, what Marlene and Derek have been talking about if we bring it out in the open and I love what Marlene was talking about is opening arms for the kids and letting them know that they are there for them and I had, for example I had a principal at a school that I was at and he was just the way he handled the kids, he handled them by example versus just teaching them instead he, because at so many of the school I have been to where the teachers bully the kids or I have seen administrators bully the kids in the hallway and with this gentleman like if a child was not sitting up straight or whatever he would acknowledge that child he would acknowledge the kid and say, “Oh look at Jimmy, he is sitting up straight, oh my goodness, look he is such a good kid.” And he would do this and so that the kid that wasn’t sitting up straight would then sit up straight because he wanted to be recognized.  So a lot of it is with these kids this ego and they, if they can get it to the negative they do through the negative bullying but then you give it to the positive and what a great thing we have done because if we can teach our staff and our students the work is being more positive like Derek said to have better character you know please and thank you and being kind to one another that is a start there but also with our teachers and our staff and hopefully our parents just to try to get them to be the example of good people so that the kids then also can take that the school and take that into the community.

Derek: I think that is an excellent point because many teachers do bully the students which gives other students permission to pick on that child also and this is something again that is glossed over the administration doesn’t really seem to handle it there.   Teachers that the kids are just scared to death of and they shouldn’t be.   Kids learn best from modeling.   We have to model the behavior we want them to have. 

Richard: I totally agree with that.  We have to be the example in school, or at home and in the community.  I mean we have a situation in Detroit here that you know with their own administration the mayor’s administration that I shake my head what is this teaching the kids you know so we have to then as adults both whether we are in the limelight or whether it is just dad or mom at home we have to be the role models to demonstrate right from wrong because it is so true a lot of the bullies learn, Derek I totally agree, Marlene I agree with you, learn from home.   They, I mean when I was a kid, my older brothers if they did something I tried it, I mean my brother was out with a he tried jumping off a swing set with an umbrella trying to be Mary Poppins and guess what I did I did the same thing you know.  It works the same way with this as well, monkey see monkey do basically.   

Derek: Every parent knows their child sees everything.    I was teaching sixth grade when the Bill Clinton Monica Lewinsky issue was going down and what these kids were talking about or how they dressed for Halloween.  Nobody thinks that had an effect on the youth I think they are really mistaken.  

Richard: I totally agree.

Host: I would like to ask the three of you about bullying either prevention programs or intervention programs what do we know that works and then we would like to give all of you the opportunity to start giving the listeners some information and resources and websites and all of that.  I mean I am really getting to why should we not be telling our kids to just ignore and walk away.  This about really what we started to talk about earlier appreciating the differences between and among human beings.    What are the programs that have worked?  Marlene let’s go ahead and start with you on this one.

Marlene: Well the Olweus program has a long and proud research history.

Host: Marlene, can you spell that for us.

Marlene: It is O-L-W-E-U-S, Olweus.  The program that was started by Dr. Dan Olweus from Bergen University in Norway.  
Watch "A Conversation with Dr. Dan Olweus"
Dr. Dan Olweus is a research professor of psychology affiliated with the Research Center for Health Promotion (HEMIL) at the University of Bergen in Norway. He has worked on bullying problems among schoolchildren and youth for nearly forty years. His earliest scientific study of bullying was published in Scandinavia in 1973 and the United States in 1978 as a book titled, Aggression in the Schools: Bullies and Whipping Boys.”

He has been researching since the early 1980’s as a result of suicides of children who have committed or thought about their own deaths because they felt so helpless and that there was no future for them because of the way they were treated by their peers.   That is one of the things that we haven’t even mentioned here is on this show is the number of children who have actually ended their own lives because of that.   These are good kids coming from good families.  They have not been protected as from a victim point of view.   Dr. Olweus started this research in the 1980’s and basically the things that I heard from both Richard and from Derek are the things that he put in his program that need to be done.   We have to recognize first of all that children cannot stop the bullying themselves.   It is not enough to tell a child to just laugh it off, pretend it didn’t happen, walk away and they will leave you alone.  Usually the bullying ratchets up when you do those kinds of things.  

It takes a caring and concerned adult in the child who shows that child warmth and positive interest to help protect them and we do know from our program that has a school-wide component such as making policies and procedures and training every adult in that school system to what bullying is, what is not and what you are expected to do when they see it happening.   How they are to report it, how they are to follow up with the child who is being bullied, the one who is doing the bullying and yes we have to involve parents at every step here.  They need to be brought in if their child is being victimized by other kids.   They need to be brought in if their child is tormenting other children and there needs to be a working shoulder to shoulder with him.  We need each other to bring this to an end.   We need to have conversations with children in their classroom taking some time away, yes from some of the studies, not long usually twenty to thirty minutes once a week to talk about what is going on in their personal relationships in their schools.  

What is working, what is not working, how can we work together so that we can all have fun here at school and move forward.   Every adult needs to be given the skill to deal with these children on an individual basis.  They need to know where to stand, who to look at, what message to give to the child who is bullying others when they hear it happening.  They need to know how to protect a child on the long term basis if they are being bullied because frankly what is driving the interest now in bullying prevention is that because it has become a risk management issue for schools.  There are many, many more lawsuits that are being brought about and our schools really financially cannot handle the multi-million dollar lawsuits that are coming at them.  Teachers need to feel supported by their administrations that they can walk into their job, holding their heads high and knowing that they are doing the very best they can for every child sitting in their classroom and that it can be done.  We have hundreds even thousands of schools throughout the country using very successful bullying prevention programming and I just wish for everyone that they could see in some of those wonderful schools you can feel the difference when you walk in the door.

Host: Absolutely.  Richard would you like to go ahead and respond to what we are talking about the prevention and/or intervention programs that might be working. 

Richard: Yes, everything that Marlene said I totally agree with and you are right I read tons of Dan’s books and I am like I bow to you people because I think thank goodness that they got he had hindsight to do something about this and it is just a shame that it took so long for it to come to the United States and that you really do I mean with Europe and those areas that really started all of this and it finally came around the globe.   The thing that I try to do when I am brought into a school to talk to the kids I try to teach them some simple techniques that they can use but at the same time, I totally agree with Marlene,  this has to be adult intervention in fact I call it the backbone.   They are the backbone of the prevention and without them it is just not going to work.  

My main thing is that I keep the kids eye contact.  I tell them that if you see that somebody is bullying you or doing something to you, you look them directly in the eyes and you keep your hands to yourself and look them directly in the eyes and you tell them to knock it off or to stop it.   But with that said they still have the sense that an adult behind them is going to be there if they don’t knock it off.  So, there are so many techniques and that I do have quite a few on my website but I am sure they have them on theirs as well, Marlene and Derek have tons of information, I know they do.   But just different technique that kids can use and parents can use and schools can use is to help the victim but it also is hopefully helps the bully as well to put an end to them thinking that, wow I am getting something out of this.  We have to take away that feeling of power. 

Host: We going to take a break and continue with interventions that work when we come back.  
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Host: Welcome back! Our three distinguished guests are talking about bullying and school violence today.  I believe that one of our guests, Richard Paul has a little bit of a time limit here to work with so Richard I am going to go right to you and then give Marlene and Derek a chance to finish up.  We were talking a little bit about bullying programs either prevention programs or intervention programs and then I would like to give you an opportunity to tell the listeners about any resources you believe might be helpful for parents, educators or kids themselves.   And please include your website and any contact information you’d like to give.

Richard: Ok, the best, I guess the best source would be just to for the interest of time would be to go to my website.   I have two websites, I have and also I have my website, and I have articles I have also my blog it is my newest thing I am really excited about because I am starting to get some parents and teachers involved in it and that is and we have discussions and information there that I put up and other people have put up and also I have free articles, I have links to other sites and I constantly everyday we are adding more and more stuff.   If you are interested in bringing me into school or a conference or something you can also get all the information at the site as well and we can share additional information on that as well.  But we have to stop it and I am so glad we have a distinguished team here and there are even more people out there doing what we do.  We have to put a stop to it.  We have to let the kids know that it is safe to go to school and you don’t have to worry about the kid next to you instead just worry about learning and that is what we need to do and get this moving forward and I just applaud my two fellow colleagues in this and all other colleagues that couldn’t be on the show or maybe even folks are listening that we have to continue this and keep this going.

Host: Richard, thanks so much for being with us and we really appreciate your time and efforts in this area.  

Host: Thank you so much Richard.  Have a great weekend. 

Richard: Thank you so much everybody.

Host: Thank you.  So Derek and Marlene are still with us. 

Host: I don’t think Derek has really had a chance to address interventions that work and also Derek if you want to go ahead and give us your contact information at the same time that would be great.

Derek: I just wanted to comment on Marlene’s comments before.  It definitely takes the community, the parents, the administration, the students, the staff working together and until that happens no one is going to able to handle this by themselves.  When I talk to parents it is very important I keep pushing that when you come into the school you want to say we have a problem how can we work together.   You do not want to come into the school and start attacking the staff and expect, you know, to get the results that you want.   She had mentioned the lawsuits, there are so many crazy lawsuits going on out there.  It is not the answer.  Working together is the answer.  As far as another intervention program, there is a really good one by a company called Anonymous Communication.  The program is called Let’s Talk About It and it is a way for the bystanders to let staff know about what is going on and they can do it anonymously.   And that is what is really important about getting bystander involvement.  They are worried about being retaliated against and being humiliated.   So if they can come forward and not worry, you know, about someone is going to find out it is them the program has done wonders and I thought wow this is really great for bullying.   The kids have written in about being suicidal.  They have written in about problems at home.  It has addressed so many other issues so I think that is a really good program also. 

Host: What about the anti-bullying legislation?  Isn’t there and both you and Marlene can talk about that and then unfortunately our time is going to be up in just a minute.   But what about some anti-bullying legislation.  How far has that gone?
Derek: I think has gone a long way but I don’t like politician getting involved in this.   I still think it comes down to the schools, the parents, and the community.   When politicians get involved I am not sure how much better things are going to be.  

Host: Before we switch to Marlene do you have a website or any contact information you want to give us?

Derek: My website is and on there it gives like Richard said a whole bunch of information about my talks and my books.   My latest thing is teachers who are being bullied by the students and parents.   I just came out with a book called, Attacking our Educators,  that gives over 80 solutions for the schools to look at because beside the students not feeling safe teachers don’t feel safe so that needs to be addressed.  So and all the contact information is on the website. 

Host: I would like to encourage listeners to go there.   You’ve got a lot of articles there for in the home, what signs to look for, why child is a victim in the community and in the school, how to approach the school? The things that you touched on here I think are in your articles on your site.  It is really a nice site.   Derek, thanks so much for being with us and all your efforts in this regard and we will give Marlene the last words.

Marlene: It is always nice to have to the last word isn’t it.   (laughing) I guess there are a couple of things.  First of all I hope that all the folks that are listening realize that any anti-bullying program or work that you do has to be ongoing it cannot be look at as a one year project or something that, oh let’s write a grant for this and we will do it for the three years with the grant and when the money runs out then we will just stop it.   We can actually make the school environment more dangerous for children if we start bullying intervention programming and then give the children that kind of support and then drop it within a year.   So I really caution them to think about doing bullying group intervention and support from now until forever.  When you stop with the efforts the bullying comes back.   It is something that you have to keep after year after year.   The second comment would be on the state laws.  I think that Pennsylvania and Florida are the two latest states that have added legislation just following Utah and Nebraska this summer bringing our total up to 38 different states.  Each one of them has different policies and procedures that are requires of school districts in those laws.   Every state law is different.   Some just require schools to pay attention to it and write policies that indicate that they are going to protect children.  They don’t require training some do.   So there are some state laws that are better than others.

Host: Marlene, I don’t want the time to get away from us without people hearing all of your contact information so if you can just do that.

Marlene: Our contact information if you Google Olweus, O-L-W-E-U-S you will find us.  We are at for the official website.   Our distributor is Hazelton Publishing.  You can see all the program materials at   And then I would also like to make listeners well aware that we do have a national anti-bullying campaign that has wonderful, free resources for parents, you can go there to www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa and that stands for Health, Resources Services Administration,   And if you go the adult section, the website is built for 9 to 13 year old kids, there is a lot of fun stuff there, there is web episodes there games, there is information for children who feel that they are being victimized or they are concerned about bullying in their own schools.   

Host:  We are going to, Marlene, we are going have to wrap up.   We really applaud all of your efforts and the work you are doing.  I know our listeners will want to be in touch to find out more.  We hope to be speaking with all of you in the future!  

Music—End of Program

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