Risk prevention resources for schools

Restorative practicesincreasingly seen as the best prevention plus intervention approach to school discipline problems, whether online or offline, as well as to growing positive school climates

Social-emotional learningSeen by psychologists and researchers as the major part of bullying (and cyberbullying) prevention, SEL is being adopted by more and more school districts as key not only to preventing anti-social behavior but also to improving academic performance as well as social literacy. Some resources: 

  • The Collaborative for Social, Emotional and Academic Learning (CASEL) in Chicago describes the competencies that SEL grows in students and the impacts of SEL, including "an 11% gain in academic achievement" and "an average benefit-cost ratio of about 11 to 1 among the six evidence-based SEL interventions studied" at Columbia University in 2015.
  • Two evidence-based SEL programs most widely used in U.S. schools are Seattle-based Committee for Children's Second Step program (pre-K-8) and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence's "RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning" (K-8)

To help youth dealing with trauma – Because we know from the research that the young people most at risk online are those most at risk offline, a book for school personnel working with vulnerable youth: A Strengths-Based Approach for Intervention with At-Risk Youth, by Dr. Kevin M. Powell, Research Press, which writes that "by focusing attention on what is right with youth rather than what is wrong with them, the strengths-based approach to intervening with youth avoids negative outcomes commonly associated with deficit- or problem-based interventions." The book offers 41 interventions across several strengths domains.

For growing students' resilience – A key source of safety online and offline, resilience can be taught. A new resource is the book Resilience Builder Program for Children and Adolescents: Enhancing Social Competence and Self-Regulation, by Dr. Mary K. Alford, et al (Research Press), details "30 group sessions designed to help youth bounce back from the challenges in their lives by increasing confidence, self-esteem, self-control, and the use of coping strategies."

Bullying prevention 

Two guides for schools in a series of documents called the "The Kinder & Braver World Project: Research Series" produced by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and the Born This Way Foundation, funded by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

  • Bullying Prevention 101 for Schools: Dos and Don’ts – a list of dos and don’ts for schools in developing anti-bullying practices and policies. Grounded in research findings on actions and activities that have been shown to help schools improve anti-bullying efforts, this document aims to provide concrete ways in which schools 1) can assess if they’re doing the right things and 2) have tactical recommendations aimed at improving their school culture, curricula, and school policies.
  • Implementing Bullying Prevention Programs in Schools: A How-To Guide – a guide for schools trying to determine how to implement effective bullying prevention and intervention programming. This document offers ideas on how to think about the process and how to identify and evaluate the right program for their community.

The International Bullying Prevention Association – To keep up on the latest in bullying and cyberbullying prevention, SEL, restorative practices and related topics, IBPA holds an international conference in a U.S. city each fall, as well as regional conferences other times of the year. These conferences feature student activists, researchers, practitioners in the public and private sectors, and people from companies providing and supporting programs for schools.

Bullying and suicideBullying and suicide are often inaccurately linked, especially in the news media. The connection is complicated, says Ellyson Stout of EDC's Suicide Prevention Resource Center in Massachusetts (SPRC). "The biggest risk factors for suicide remain mental illness, substance use disorders, previous suicide attempt, and access to lethal means." Here are some resources:

 

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