OJJDP plans to publish a bulletin series
, Bullying in Schools, that summarizes findings from OJJDP-funded research
on the impact of bullying on student engagement, attendance, and achievement. The research, conducted by the National Center for School Engagement
(NCSE), found that a caring school community, in which individual students are meaningfully challenged and supported by the adults around them, can serve as a powerful antidote to the process by which victimization distances students from learning and leads to truancy, academic failure, and other problems. School administrators and teachers can help bullied children stay engaged in school by:
- Modeling caring behavior and providing a safe, nurturing environment at school.
- Engaging students more fully in academic or extracurricular activities in middle school and high school.
- Placing a greater emphasis on the mentoring of students.
- Teaching students to care for themselves by planning for their future lives and careers, and to care for their community through community service projects.
- Assisting students with transitions from elementary school to middle school, and middle school to high school.
- Intervening to stop bullying in the early grades.
- Avoiding reliance on prefabricated antibullying curriculums, known as "bullying in a box."
NCSE researchers undertook three studies. The first, a quantitative study, surveyed 1,000 students in the fall and the spring of their 6th-grade year. The data collected were analyzed to determine the connections, if any, between being victimized, being engaged in school, and the outcomes reflected in school records of attendance and achievement (measured by grade point average). In addition, two qualitative studies explored instructional, interpersonal, and structural factors at school that affect the connection between victimization and school attendance, and teachers' experiences in attempting to ameliorate the impact of school victimization.
The forthcoming series of five OJJDP bulletins will provide an overview of the research project, a literature review, and an indepth look at the methodology and findings of each of the three studies.