About Bullying Prevention
Center for Safe Schools is committed to providing schools with information and resources to create and maintain safe, productive learning environments by addressing issues that interfere with the educational process. The Center’s focus on bullying prevention is significant, providing resources for effective implementation, sustainability, transfer of knowledge, and evaluation of bullying prevention programs that contribute to changes in student attitudes and behavior, and cultivate nurturing school and community environments. The Center’s approach integrates professional development trainings, web-based courses, community-learning opportunities, rigorous technical assistance, and support to school personnel in ways that are timely, easy to understand and convenient to access.
In recent years, bullying has gained national attention following research that documents its pervasive negative impact on American youth, including serious health and developmental outcomes. According to the National Education Association, on any given day, nearly 160,000 children in the U.S. miss school due to a fear of being bullied. Research suggests that the most effective way to address bullying is through schoolwide efforts that are evidence-based and comprehensively focus on changing the climate of a school.
Through a unique partnership with the Highmark Foundation; the Pennsylvania Department of Education; and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Center for Safe Schools:
Assists schools, districts and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and other successful strategies to address incidents of bullying and cyberbullying.
Coordinates the Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Network, a cadre of certified bullying prevention trainers and provides information for the Olweus Bullying Prevention program. With approximately100 active trainers, Pennsylvania’s network is recognized as the largest of its kind in the U.S. to provide strategies for establishing effective classroom rules, techniques for resolving classroom and playground conflicts, ways to strengthen peer-to-peer respect, and much more.
Delivers PA CARES (Creating an Atmosphere of Respect and Environment for Success), a bullying prevention initiative to support school personnel in the implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program; funded by the Highmark Foundation.
Delivers professional development opportunities addressing all aspects of bullying prevention through regional, state and national conferences; on a fee-for-service basis; and through live and archived web-based sessions.
Educates about cyberbullying through Protecting Kids Online, a program designed to inform parents, teachers and children about Internet safety. This partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and local law enforcement educates audiences about laws, personal responsibilities and safeguards to be taken against online victimization.
Provides bullying prevention resources including books, programs, websites, campaigns and contact information for experts in the field.
Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Network
The Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Network (PA BP Network) is a statewide professional learning community for bullying prevention consultants. The network was established in 2001 by the Center for Safe Schools (CSS), through funding provided by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The PA BP Network seeks to promote research-based practices in bullying prevention and the integration of those practices with other research-based models for improving youth outcomes. All members of the PA BP Network are Certified Trainers for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP); however, members’ areas of expertise extend beyond OBBP. Current goals of the PA BP Network are to:
- Promote best practices in bullying prevention across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through a network of highly qualified trainers
- Establish leadership systems and partnerships to advance effective bullying prevention practices statewide for the benefit of children, families, schools and communities.
- Meet the ongoing certification needs of Olweus trainers in Pennsylvania, through yearly regional meetings and regular online updates
- Engage stakeholders in identifying linkages between OBPP and other effective approaches to promoting positive school climate and social-emotional learning