Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


Over the past 50 years, attitudes toward incidences of bullying in the schools have shifted significantly. Previously, bullying was seen as an expected and normal part of a child's development and school experience. Some even believed bullying wasn't harmful, that it assisted in character-building, and was simply "part of growing up" (Smith & Brain, 2000, p. 3). In recent decades, however, the negative effects of bullying have been more widely recognized, and there is growing acceptance that experiences of bullying often lead to negative outcomes, such as poor physical and psychological health, for those who are victimized (Due et al., 2005). Many schools are now taking a closer look at the dynamics of the school environment that contribute to bullying behavior, and are beginning to introduce anti-bullying interventions on a system level. Research has shown that bullying interventions are most successful in the school when they are implemented on an individual, class, and whole-school level (Salmivalli, Kaukiainen, & Voeten, 2005). Salmivalli et al. (2005) claimed that when the structure and aims of an intervention within the school are clear, teachers and administrators are able to implement it more faithfully, which results in a greater reduction of bullying activity. There is also growing interest in examining the characteristics of bullies and victims in order to identify which experiences and qualities are associated with increased bullying behavior, and furthermore, use this knowledge to create interventions that effectively reduce bullying incidents in schools. Thus, in addition to focusing on why kids bully, we also need to focus on how we can help kids who bully change their behavior.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.