New Friend2Friend Simulation Develops Key Skills in Identifying and Preventing Bullying

Bullying is a widespread issue among school-aged youth. It can be exhibited through physical and verbal behavior as well as through technology in the form of cyberbullying. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 students reported being bullied on school property and more than 1 in 6 students reported being cyberbullied.

Bullying is a form of youth violence and an adverse childhood experience (ACE), and it can be prevented. It’s proven that when students feel a sense of belonging as well as feeling safe and connected with their school community, they are more likely to come to school, engage in the classroom, and have improved academic performances. Our new product for students, Friend2Friend: Bullying Prevention, fosters a student’s sense of belonging and connectedness while also improving physical and emotional safety in schools.

Learn more about Friend2Friend: Bullying Prevention and how it helps to build safe and inclusive school climates.

How big of an issue is bullying?

CDC data states that reports of bullying are higher in middle schools, with 28% of students reporting being bullied on school property or online. This is followed by 16% of high school students and 9% of primary school students reporting being bullied. Some, unfortunately, experience more bullying than others. This includes students in the LGBTQ+ community, with 40% experiencing bullying at school or online. It has also been found that 30% of female students experienced bullying in the last year, compared to about 19% of male students.

The consequences of bullying can be detrimental. It can result in social and emotional distress, physical injuries, self-harm, or even death. Bullying can also negatively affect a student’s ability to learn. It’s not only important for educators and staff to address this widespread issue, but it’s vital for students to learn to be upstanders in situations where bullying has occurred.

In a recent interview with educator Sharon Stevens, it was discussed how students can address bullying if they witness it. “Students should not support or encourage the bully. Students should be kind and show empathy for the student being bullied. If the student who is being bullied is afraid or doesn’t feel comfortable going to their teacher or another adult, a witness can step in and inform someone of what happened,” said Sharon Stevens, educator at Cleveland Metro Schools. “Ultimately, we do not want students to be bystanders, but be more of a supportive ally for their peers being bullied.”

Everyone has a role in bullying prevention, and teaching students how to become an upstanders can help reduce violence on and off school grounds.

Read more from our interview with Sharon here.

Identifying and preventing bullying through practice conversations

Friend2Friend: Bullying Prevention offers a variety of interactive learning and conversation practice to build students ability to establish and maintain relationships with diverse individuals and to demonstrate responsible upstander behaviors in school, personal, and community environments. This product focuses on three key areas:

  1. Building relationships – students will engage in conversations with three different virtual characters and will practice motivational interviewing techniques that help the learner reach out for information and assistance.
  2. Conflict resolution – students will learn active listening skills, acknowledgement, and forgiveness.
  3. Upstander skills – students practice having conversations using the “3 D’s”: Direct, Distract, and Delegate.

The evidence-based techniques taught in this bullying prevention training for students, in addition to conversation practice, teaches learners how to:

  • Develop social awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships
  • Use communication skills to elicit the perspectives of others
  • Engage in strategies for maintaining constructive relationships including pursuing shared interests and activities, spending time together, giving and receiving help, and practicing forgiveness and apologies
  • Appreciate diversity and build relationships with diverse individuals or groups
  • Demonstrate responsible upstander behaviors in school, personal, and community environments
  • Choose appropriate strategies for responding to bullying while staying safe
  • Explain how to use upstander strategies using the 3 D’s: Direct, Distract, Delegate
  • Identify positive support people to seek out in a conflict or crisis

Experience the power of evidence-based simulations

Friend2Friend: Bullying Prevention joins our Student Bundle of products, creating a complete program that offers essential skills development for middle and high school health and social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula. This product is also included in the Violence Prevention Suite, offering a scalable, community approach to upstream violence prevention. Connect with a sales representative to learn more about this solution.

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