COPS Releases Publication to Reduce Bullying in Schools


The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is making a publication on reducing bullying in schools available at no-cost in support of renewed local efforts to prevent the consequences of bullying.

Bullying in Schools provides school administrators, teachers, counselors, and law enforcement officials with practical information on how to identify bullying behavior, reduce the incidence of bullying, and mitigate its impact. The publication also provides guidance to officials on how to determine the extent of bullying in their schools, to address its causes, and to develop effective practices that contribute to student safety.

Bullying has two key components: repeated harmful acts and an imbalance of power. It involves repeated physical, verbal, or psychological attacks or intimidation directed against victims who cannot properly defend themselves because of size or strength, or because the victim is outnumbered or less psychologically resilient.

“Bullying was once viewed by some as a relatively harmless behavior that was an expected part of adolescent interaction,” said COPS Director Bernard K. Melekian. “However, we now know that bullying can have a long-term affect on both the bully and the victim, it can lead to other forms of school-based violence, and the advent of cyber-bullying can further exacerbate consequences”.

Victims of bullying are more likely to experience health deterioration, have declining grades, contemplate suicide, skip school to avoid being bullied, and experience feelings of depression and low self esteem that can persist for years after the incidents.  Research conducted in three countries also shows that bullies themselves are much more likely to develop a criminal record.

Bullying in Schools is one volume in a series of Problem Oriented Policing Guides developed by the COPS Office. It can be downloaded from the COPS Office Web site, or it can be ordered at no-cost by contacting the U.S. Department of Justice Response Center at 800.421.6770.

USDOJ/COPS March 31 press release

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