MAESP Launches a MO Bullying Prevention Initiative with NAESP and Hazelden
MAESP is excited to be partnering with NAESP and the Hazelden Foundation, headquartered in Center City, Minnesota, in a new effort called the Missouri Bullying Prevention Initiative. According to recent study, nearly 50% of Missouri students report bullying as a serious or somewhat serious issue. Students also report that nearly half of all bullying incidences in Missouri schools go unreported to adults. Bullying is a serious issue that affects students’ health, the school climate, academic achievement, and school liability.
The Hazelden Foundation is the leading publisher of evidence-based prevention programs and the exclusive publisher of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), the most researched and best-known program of its kind. With over thirty-five years of research and successful implementation all over the world, OBPP is a whole school program that has been proven to prevent or reduce bullying throughout a school setting. Many schools that have used the program have seen reductions in bullying behavior by 50% or more.
OBPP is used at the school, classroom, and individual levels and includes methods to reach out to parents and the community for involvement and support. School administrators, teachers, and other staff are primarily responsible for introducing and implementing the program. These efforts are designed to improve peer relations and make the school a safer and more positive place for students to learn and develop.
What Are the Goals of OBPP?
The goals of the program are:
• To reduce existing bullying problems among students
• To prevent the development of new bullying problems
• To achieve better peer relations at school
For Whom is OBPP Designed?
OBPP is designed for students in elementary, middle, and junior high schools (students age five to fifteen years old). All students participate in most aspects of the program, while students identified as bullying others, or as targets of bullying, receive additional individualized interventions. With some adaptation, the program can also be used in high schools, although research has not measured the program’s effectiveness beyond tenth grade.
Is the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program a Nationally Recognized Program?
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program has received recognition from a number of organizations including the following:
• Blueprints Model Program, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, University of Colorado at Boulder
• Model Program, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
• Effective Program, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice
• Level 2 Program, U.S. Department of Education
Note: “Level 2” programs have been scientifically demonstrated to prevent delinquency or reduce risk and enhance protection for delinquency and other child and youth problems using either an experimental or quasi-experimental research design, with a comparison group.
MAESP will be working with Hazelden to educate schools about the serious issue of bullying and other related violence issues, and will be serving as the central source in the state of Missouri for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and Hazelden’s other violence prevention programs.