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Program Profile: Bully-Proofing Your School

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on April 20, 2015

Program Summary

A school-based intervention program focused on reducing instances of bullying and victimization, while increasing the safety of students in grades 3–5. The program is rated Promising. In all outcomes, the treatment schools showed significant reductions in bullying, victimization, and witnessed aggression, as well as significant increases in perceptions of safety at school.

Program Description

Program Goals
Bully-Proofing Your School (BPYS) is a comprehensive, school-based intervention designed to reduce bullying and school violence, and increase knowledge about school safety for students and parents. BPYS is implemented in a classroom setting and includes three major components: 1) heightening awareness of bullying; 2) teaching protective skills for handling bullying, resisting victimization, and helping potential victims; and 3) creating a positive school climate by promoting a “caring majority” that focuses on bystander behavior.

A questionnaire is given to assess the extent of bullying in the school. Classroom expectations and rules are also created regarding bullying. Parents, students, and all members of the school community commit to a no-tolerance policy on bullying.
 
Program Components
A complete implementation of BPYS can last up to 3 years. A classroom teacher or staff member implements seven 30- to 45-minute sessions once a week during the first year of the intervention. The second and third years are focused on reinforcing the curriculum and the material that was presented in the first year.

Students are taught assertiveness and avoidance strategies. They are taught when to use each strategy as well as when and how to intervene as bystanders when they witness bullying. BPYS also incorporates classroom management and classroom rules, trainings, and the provision of information to parents. Teachers receive at least 15 hours of training in which they are given information and strategies to recognize and intervene in bullying situations. Parents are offered information through newsletters and are given a consultation if their children are victims or perpetrators of bullying.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Physical Aggression Perpetration
Menard and Grotpeter (2013) found that physical aggression perpetration was significantly lower in treatment schools that participated in Bully-Proofing Your School (BPYS) than in comparison schools, over the course of the intervention.
 
Physical Aggression Victimization
Physical aggression victimization was significantly lower in BPYS treatment schools than in comparison schools.
 
Relational Aggression Perpetration
Relational aggression perpetration was significantly lower in schools with the BPYS intervention than in control schools. 
 
Relational Aggression Victimization
Relational aggression victimization was significantly lower among students in treatment schools than in comparison schools.
 
Bullying Discouraged
Discouragement of bullying demonstrated a small, but significant increase in treatment schools.  
 
Witnessed Aggression
A minimal reduction was shown in students witnessing aggression in treatment schools in comparison to other schools.
 
Perceived School Safety
Perceptions of safety were significantly higher in BPYS treatment schools than in comparison schools.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Menard and Grotpeter (2014) evaluated the Bully-Proofing Your School (BPYS) program using a 2-group nonequivalent control pre–posttest design. The study lasted approximately 5 years in a Colorado school system. Schools in the Colorado area were offered the choice to participate in an intervention designed to meet the needs of Safe Communities, Safe Schools (SCSS). BPYS was one of several programs offered to schools. All treatment schools indicated an interest in implementing BPYS. Comparison schools did not elect to implement the intervention. The study included 3,497 students from grades 3 through 5. The majority of the students were fifth graders (N= 1,237), and 52 percent were female.

Treatment and comparison schools were chosen in the fall semester of the baseline year of the study. A total of six schools (three treatment and three comparison schools) were identified and selected to participate. Comparison schools matched treatment schools on grade levels, sociodemographic characteristics, and average student standardized test scores. At baseline data collection, the only difference found between the treatment and comparison schools was that the students in the comparison schools indicated a higher level of respect and liking for their teachers.

Technical consultants conducted 8 hours of training with school staff in the fall semester. Outcome data was collected in the spring semester over the 5-year span of the study. The final year served as the postimplementation year, in which schools had the option to continue to deliver the program if desired without technical assistance or feedback, to assess improvements that could be sustained. During this year, schools completed a school climate survey, delivered in both English and Spanish.  

Survey data measuring victimization, aggression, school safety, and perception of bullying was used to measure direct experiences with aggression and victimization. Individual-level data was used to assess interschool differences and change by examining the impact of BPYS on the targeted outcomes. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to assess the program’s impact on the outcomes in the follow-up year. 
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Cost

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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Implementation Information

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Bully-Proofing Your School (BPYS) trainers deliver consultation and discussion of training and evaluation needs. For more information on the program visit: http://schoolengagement.org/school-engagement-services/bully-proofing-your-school.  

A detailed catalog and training materials are available online through the Sopris West Educational Services website, http://www.voyagersopris.com/curriculum/subject/school-climate/bully-proofing
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Menard, Scott, and Jennifer K. Grotpeter. 2014. "Evaluation of Bully-Proofing Your School as an Elementary School Antibullying Intervention." Journal of School Violence 13(2):188–209.
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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Epstein, L., A. E. Plog, and W. Porter. 2002. "Bully Proofing Your School: Results of a Four-Year Intervention." Report on Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Youth 2(3):55–6.


Menard, Scott, Jennifer Grotpeter, Daniella Gianola, and Maura O’Neal. 2008. Evaluation of Bullyproofing your School: Final Report.  Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
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Program Snapshot

Age: 7 - 12

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Hispanic, White, Other

Geography: Rural, Suburban, Urban

Setting (Delivery): School

Program Type: Classroom Curricula, Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, School/Classroom Environment, Bullying Prevention/Intervention, Violence Prevention

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide