School Anti-Bullying Programs Ineffective (Op-Ed by Marc Brackett and Diana Divecha)

Hartford Courant– The school year has hardly started, and the first bullying-related fatality has made headlines.

On Aug. 27, 15-year-old Bart Palosz of Greenwich took his life, apparently after unrelenting bullying made the thought of another school year unbearable. Bart was reportedly gentle and kind, an immigrant from Poland with a soft accent and a little bit of acne who didn’t push back — just “different enough” to be the target that youths in many studies say is a main reason for bullying.

How can such traumatizing, systematic peer abuse happen when 49 states have anti-bullying legislation intended to prohibit it? Because, quite simply, most anti-bullying efforts are not working. Large-scale analyses show that the effect of bullying prevention programs is modest to none.

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