Professor Uncovers Shocking Truth About Anti-Bullying Programs

by Samantha Watkins - Pt Loma Nazarene University on December 3, 2013

STUDY: Youth More Likely To Be Bullied At Schools With Anti-Bullying Programs

Schools across the nation have implemented anti-bullying campaigns, complete with speakers, posters, slogans and more – but a recent study hailing from the University of Texas-Arlington claims such efforts may actually cause more bullying.

Essentially researchers suggest anti-bullying campaigns, despite good intentions, teach students how to bully or may even plant the seed inside students who had not exhibited aggressive behavior previously.

“One possible reason for this is the students who are victimizing their peers have learned the language from these anti-bullying campaigns and programs,” Seokjin Jeong, an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at UT-Arlington and lead author of the study, said in a campus statement.

Jeong did not respond to requests for comment by The College Fix. His research, titled “A Multilevel Examination of Peer Victimization and Bullying Preventions in Schools,” was recently published in The Journal of Criminology.

In an interview with CBS, he said his findings were a surprise – that his hypothesis going into the research was that anti-bullying programs would help curb the problem. Instead, he said he found the opposite was true, calling it “very disappointing.”

Today, 75 percent of schools report a violent incident to the police on a weekly basis and 25 percent of schools experience bullying on a daily basis, according to stats cited in the Journal of Criminology.

“Our anti-bullying programs, either intervention or prevention does not work,” Jeong said. “There is a possibility of negative impact from anti-bullying programs.”

To conduct the research, Jeong and co-researcher Byung Hyun Lee, a doctoral student in criminology at Michigan State University, analyzed data from the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children 2005-06 survey, using a sample size of 7,001 students from nearly 200 schools. The survey is conducted every four years by the World Health Organization and administered in the United States from grades six to ten.

Some criticized the study’s results because researchers used older data, but the results still warranted alarm, as the research prompted national headlines when it was publicized this fall. The results contradicted claims that popular anti-bullying programs are highly effective.

“The schools with interventions say, ‘You shouldn’t do this,’ or ‘you shouldn’t do that.’ But through the programs, the students become highly exposed to what a bully is and they know what to do or say when questioned by parents or teachers,” Jeong stated in a campus release.

The study’s results state: “Surprisingly, bullying prevention had a negative effect on peer victimization. Contrary to our hypothesis, students attending schools with bullying prevention programs were more likely to have experienced peer victimization, compared to those attending schools without bullying prevention programs. It is possible that bullies have learned a variety of antibullying techniques but chose not to practice what they have learned from the program. Sometimes, bullies maintain their dominant social status among peers in school. As a result, the preventive strategies may become ineffective.”

According to UT-Arlington officials, the study also revealed newer anti-bullying efforts “should focus on more sophisticated strategies rather than just implementation of bullying prevention programs along with school security measures such as guards, bag and locker searches or metal detectors.”

“Furthermore, given that bullying is a relationship problem, researchers need to better identify the bully-victim dynamics in order to develop prevention policies accordingly.”

Fix contributor Samantha Watkins is a student at Point Loma Nazarene University.

IMAGE: Working Word/Flickr

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  • jumper297

    Typical… but instead of taking a step back and rationally looking at it, these same proponents of anti-bullying education will double-down and try TWICE as hard with similar results. Then, when that doesn’t work, they’ll begin aggressively stigmatizing all who they deem to be “bullies” and begin a paper trail on children as young as ten. Actually, this is already happening.

    They’re not doing the people being bullied any favors either. Talk about being unprepared for real life.

    • WORSEKarma

      Ten? I doubt they’ll wait that long. Try “kindergarten”.

  • Pepperspray137

    Anything the left puts their hands on fails. The American left OWN public schools, in policy, and in personnel. Not only do we have the most ignorant children in school, now we have the biggest jerks. The only thing anyti-bullying has done is limit free speech of those who are not interested in bullying in the least.

  • Bryan Maynard

    Of course, they say you shouldn’t do this or shouldn’t do that. Instead of teaching the victims to NOT let themselves be a victim. I was bullied as a kid, and what stopped it was when I refused to let the bullies make me a victim!!

  • Annie

    What exactly are they told is bullying behavior? Maybe the anti-bullying programs make kids think they are victims when they aren’t.

  • joshua

    War on Drugs has SAME affect….educates potential USERS and does NOTHING to prevent drug availability.

  • YelowJezamin

    I have found that, in many instances, those who implement the ‘anti-bullying campaigns’ are often themselves adult bullies. They use the ‘intervention sessions’ as subtle ‘blame the victim’ practices, and stack the ‘peer review groups’ with students who are bullies, thereby causing not only more bullying, but victims to understand that their complaints are futile and can cause worse consequences. The adults in charge often bring in the perpetrators and, at the end of the session, all leave laughing – then the victim is brought in and told that the bullies won’t do it again, and any complaints that they have are now void. This always results in increased bullying – but the victims dare not complain again, as they have been told that the problem was solved, and they are just being hypersensitive. Adults involved show favoritism toward the bullies, to ‘love them back in’, excusing lack of work and ‘minor’ cruelties while sympathizing with the bullies. Bullies quickly learn that there is no punishment – all they have to do is claim to be misunderstood.

  • Andre’ Waichulaitis

    Let kids be kids…not everyone likes everyone else…..If I dont like someone and they bother me, i have no problem telling them I dont like them….Let the kids decide who they like and who they dont, let them stand up for themselves….stop raising a generation of pussys…

  • Babylonandon

    The ONLY thing these “Anti-bullying” campaigns were ever designed to do was to protect “Offense-mongers” – mostly gays – from having someone say something disparaging about their lifestyle AND to provide a forum for Libs on either end of the classroom to psychologically beat up on kids from Christian families.

    Honestly, having spent most of my formative years as a punching bag for school bullies – who were usually some combination of football and/or wrestling goons or posses’s of rich kids – most bullying occurs with AT BEST a blind eye being turned or even the tacit or implicit approval of certain teachers.

    IF anyone really wanted to do something about bullying they’d remove most of the worst teachers AND take a real jaundiced overview of “teaching and encouraging” being by the coaches of the sports teams. It is educators from those two groups that make up the bulk of the teachers that ignore or encourage bullies to do their handiwork.