According to an LAUSD internal audit on anti-bullying initiatives released Monday, 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 4 elementary school students have been bullied in the last school year.
Besides exploring demographics related to bullying, the report found inadequacies in administrative response and tracking. For example, many staff and teachers “did not receive high quality training on bullying prevention on an annual basis” and of the 23 schools visited, 22 did not maintain or use bullying complaint logs.
The district’s shift to restorative justice, which emphasizes counseling and personal responsibility rather than suspension and discipline, received some positive response from teachers, but wasn’t shown to be consistently implemented.
So what is the best way to deal with bullying, both on a staff-to-student and administrative level? Which approaches work and which don’t? What has been your experience with school bullying and effective prevention?
Judy Chiasson, LAUSD coordinator for Human Relations, Diversity and Equity
Ron Avi Astor, professor at USC’s schools of social work and education