The U.S. Department of Education recently held its first summit on bullying prevention in Washington, D.C., as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to coordinate the federal government’s strategies to end bullying. I like the idea of better coordination and collaboration, but do hope this will be more effective than the National Director of Intelligence—remember the position that is supposed to improve coordination/collaboration between our “intelligence” agencies? The position which has had 3+ people rotate through it, with little real power or money?
Well, there will be some big names at this summit: U.S. Surgeon General, Assistant Education Secretary for Civil Rights, Turner Broadcasting, and Facebook representatives. They’ve established some good websites (Find Youth Info, Stop Bullying Now, and Facebook Safety) with helpful resources. The tip sheets look good, with practical advice like needing a whole school approach to altering the social environment; most importantly for kids on the spectrum, increasing supervision in areas where bullying often occurs: unstructured/unsupervised places.
Let’s hope this all translates into some action, with recommendations on evidence-based interventions/programs that schools can afford, that parents can support, and that truly protect our children.
P.S. The Autism Bookstore has several books to help with bullying issues. Here are just a few:Bullying, School Violence