August 26, 2010

Ten Strategies in School Bullying Prevention & Intervention

School bullying was the target of a two-day Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington, USA on 11-12 Aug 2010. The bullying summit, which was being attended by government officials as well as superintendents, researchers, corporate leaders and students, looked to come up with a national plan to reduce and end bullying in schools.
Dr Susan Limber presented at this summit, where she outlined 10 best strategies that represent “best practices” in bullying prevention. The following extract was taken from the website and represents Susan’s research and experience in this area. Below this extract is some information about Enough is Enough’s latest program to address bullying in our schools and the community. We invite you to share your thoughts with us.
Susan P. Limber is director of the Centre on Youth Participation and Human Rights and professor of psychology at Clemson University. Dr. Limber's research and writing have focused on legal and psychological issues related to youth violence (particularly bullying among children), child protection, and children's rights. She directed the first wide-scale implementation and evaluation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in the United States.
Bullying is aggressive behaviour that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power or strength.
Often, it is repeated over time and can take many forms. In many respects, research on bullying prevention is still in its infancy. Although researchers have documented success of some comprehensive programs in reducing bullying, we still have much to learn about which aspects of these programs are most important.
However, a review of existing bullying prevention programs and feedback from educators in the field led us to suggest ten strategies that represent “best practices” in bullying prevention and intervention.

1. Focus on the social environment of the school
To reduce bullying, it is important to change the climate of the school and the social norms with regard to bullying. It must become “uncool” to bully, “cool” to help out students who are bullied, and normative for staff and students to notice when a child is bullied or left out. This requires the efforts of everyone in the school environment–teachers, administrators, counsellors, other non-teaching staff (such as bus drivers, nurses, school resource officers, custodians, cafeteria workers, and school librarians), parents, and students.

2. Assess bullying at your school
Intuitively adults are not always very good at estimating the nature and extent of bullying at their school. Frequently we are quite surprised by the amount of bullying that students experience, the types of bullying that are most common, or the “hot spots” where bullying happens. As a result, it is often quite useful to assess bullying by administering an anonymous questionnaire to students about bullying. What are the possible benefits of conducting a survey of students?
  • Findings can help motivate adults to take action against bullying;
  •  Data can help administrators and other educators tailor a bullying prevention strategy to the particular needs of the school; and
  • Data can serve as a baseline from which administrators and other educators can measure their progress in reducing bullying.
3. Garner staff and parent support for bullying prevention
Bullying prevention should not be the sole responsibility of an administrator, counsellor, teacher–or any single individual at a school. To be most effective, bullying prevention efforts require buy-in from the majority of the staff and from parents.

4. Form a group to coordinate the school's bullying prevention activities
Bullying prevention efforts seem to work best if they are coordinated by a representative group from the school. This coordinating team (which might include an administrator, a teacher from each grade, a member of the non-teaching staff, a school counsellor or other school-based mental health professional, a school nurse, and a parent) should meet regularly to digest data from the school survey described in Strategy 2; plan bullying prevention rules, policies, and activities; motivate staff, students, and parents; and ensure that the efforts continue over time. A student advisory group also can be formed to focus on bullying prevention and provide valuable suggestions and feedback to adults.

5. Train your staff in bullying prevention
All administrators, faculty, and staff at your school should be trained in bullying prevention and intervention. In-service training can help staff to better understand the nature of bullying and its effects, how to respond if they observe bullying, and how to work with others at the school to help prevent bullying from occurring. Training should not be available only for teaching staff. Rather, administrators should make an effort to educate all adults in the school environment who interact with students (including counsellors, media specialists, school resource officers, nurses, lunchroom and recess aides, bus drivers, parent volunteers, custodians, and cafeteria workers).

6. Establish and enforce school rules and policies related to bullying
Although many school behaviour codes implicitly forbid bullying, many codes do not use the term or make explicit our expectations for student behaviour. It is important to make clear that the school not only expects students not to bully, but that it also expects them to be good citizens, not passive bystanders, if they are aware of bullying or students who appear troubled, possibly from bullying. Developing simple, clear rules about bullying can help to ensure that students are aware of adults' expectations that they refrain from bullying and help students who are bullied. 
For example, one comprehensive program, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (see resources section on the Web site) recommends that schools adopt four straightforward rules about bullying:• We will not bully others.
• We will try to help students who are bullied.
• We will make it a point to include students who are easily left out.• If we know someone is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.
School rules and policies should be posted and discussed with students and parents. Appropriate positive and negative consequences also should be developed for following or not following the school's rules.

7. Increase adult supervision in hot spots where bullying occurs
Bullying tends to thrive in locations where adults are not present or are not vigilant. Once school personnel have identified hot spots for bullying from the student questionnaires, look for creative ways to increase adults' presence in these locations.

8. Intervene consistently and appropriately in bullying situations
All staff should be able to intervene effectively on the spot to stop bullying (i.e., in the 1–2 minutes that one frequently has to deal with bullying). Designated staff should also hold sensitive follow-up meetings with children who are bullied and (separately) with children who bully. Staff should involve parents of affected students whenever possible.

9. Focus some class time on bullying prevention
It is important that bullying prevention programs include a classroom component. Teachers (with the support of administrators) should set aside 20–30 minutes each week (or every other week) to discuss bullying and peer relations with students. These meetings help teachers to keep their fingers on the pulse of students' concerns, allow time for candid discussions about bullying and the harm that it can cause, and provide tools for students to address bullying problems. Anti-bullying themes and messages also can be incorporated throughout the school curriculum.

10. Continue these efforts over time
There should be no “end date” for bullying prevention activities. Bullying prevention should be woven into the entire school environment.

Enough is Enough has launched the new bullying resiliency program in  schools, known as Positive Solutions. 
It is a multi-session program designed to tackle bullying in and outside the school. While it targets bullying behaviour, its outcomes can extend beyond the positive classroom to develop more robust and resilient students and community citizens. Ken Rigby, one of the most famous Australian anti-bullying experts, has contributed to the content of this project. 
Ken Rigby is an Adjunct Research Professor and an educational consultant based at the University of South Australia.Over the last ten years he has become a leading authority on bullying and peer victimisation with more than 100 refereed papers and other publications. His book "Bullying in schools and what to do about it" has been published in Australia, the UK and North America and is regarded as a standard text.
The following extract from Active Education Magazine(1) outlines  Rigby's three broad approaches that schools use in responding to bullying.
Moralistic approach

 This involves an assumption that the perpetrator of aggression is doing the wrong thing deliberately. It involves confronting the aggressor with the values of the school, an insistence upon apologies, the employment of consequences and often the involvement of parents. While it can work, it does not necessarily actively engage the aggressor and can result in a bully cynically acquiescing to demands while planning to get back at the victim in more indirect ways.

Legalistic approach

 This involves a set of rules and predetermined sanctions for breaking them. It involves no moralising but simply the consistent application of a policy. Advantages include the clear communication of expectations and the relative speed with which the policy can be implemented in individual cases. Students and parents are often involved in establishing the policy and this can make the enforcement of the rules more acceptable. Some schools have taken the underlying legal philosophy further by establishing "bully courts", including mock trials involving perpetrators, victims and witnesses, and the handing down of verdicts and relevant punishments. While the legalistic approach has been very successful, critics argue that it does not necessarily engage the perpetrators, who may still seek revenge on the victim and/or witnesses.

Humanistic approach

 Humanism views peoples basically good and having the capacity to do the right thing when they are trusted, respected and encouraged. The best-known humanistic method of dealing with bullying is the Method of Shared Concern, developed by Anatol Pikas, which sees bullies and victims invited to a series of individual and group meetings to draw up a plan for behaviour change that is followed up on to ensure it is carried out. Opinion on the efficacy of this method is divided, with critics deriding it as naive and idealistic. It very much depends on the skills of the teachers involved.


Enough is Enough proudly presents:


1. Professor Larry Owens, PhD, Aggression in schools and What to do about it. Active Education Magazine, June 2010, p 20
2. Bullying Prevention Summit 2010, USA:


August 13, 2010

Not Cross the Boundaries - Effective Parenting Tools

Related articles:   How You Parent?    My Out-of-Control Teen

It is important for children to know who is in charge of the family. At the same time children need to feel that they have a voice within the family.

Getting the Balance Right

Parents often make the mistake of focussing too much on being in charge without listening to children. Others can allow children too much say in making decisions for the family when they are not ready for such responsibility. The right to discuss issues in the family naturally increases as a young person gets older, but young children can still have input.

Authority versus Democracy
The key to developing good boundaries is a balance between authority and democracy. As children grow up they are able to think things through in more detail and as a consequence might be able to contribute more to family rules and expectations. This is one of the rights that comes to children when they have the skills and responsibilities needed for the task at hand. It is the parent’s task to assess when the child is ready to make more of a contribution.

Developing Values
The most resilient families develop broad boundaries that help children understand what is expected from them in the home, at school and in the community. These boundaries help children develop values about what is right and wrong. It takes a while for children to have these values internalised. That means that they don’t have to check with an adult if something is right or wrong. They understand why certain rules are in place and why it’s important to follow them.

What kind of boundaries are we talking about?

  • There are some basic principles that are helpful but obviously each family can add more to their list.
  •  Be kind and respectful to other people or property. Parents can have a discussion about what this means - don’t hit, bite, scratch others, or say things to others that will hurt them. 
  • Apologise when you are wrong or don’t deliberately or carelessly damage property or things
  • Act responsibly and as part of the family. Discuss examples such as - don’t leave things lying around, clean up your own food plates, look after pets etc depending on the child’s age and ability
  • Use problem solving and communication skills when you don’t agree with someone. Each family will have their own way of dealing with problems. Some ideas include raising it at a family meeting, discussing it with a parent/adult, taking time out and thinking about what might be the right thing to do, don’t say things you will regret later etc.
Boundaries are for Everyone
Boundaries are for all family members including parents. If parents also follow these principles, it will be much easier for children to follow them. However understand that children are NOT small sized adults. Sometimes it takes them some time to understand concepts, to self regulate their feelings and control their impulsivity. Be patient and understand where they are developmentally.

Communicating the Boundaries
It could be useful for families to have these principles written up and displayed. Many children will have experience of this in their schools, where school rules are prominently displayed in classrooms. Use a family meeting to explain what the boundaries or family rules will be. Give a short explanation of why they are important (try not to give long lectures).

Think about Consequences
Explain what will happen if boundaries are crossed. Each behaviour must have a consequence that is natural or logical. For example, if children argue about what TV program they are going to watch, then the natural solution is to turn the TV off, give the children a short time out and then help them negotiate. Another approach might be to give the children a warning “This is the first warning; do not argue over the TV”. Many times it is enough to tell them not behave in a particular way without saying much more. Parents can be very creative during this process. The most important thing that children learn is that when they break the rules, something happens that teaches them not to do it again.

  • Creating boundaries helps children learn how to behave in the world.
  • It is an opportunity for children to learn about their feelings and master a way to regulate them.
  • Be consistent with the family rules and consequences.
  • It helps children develop lifelong skills around managing their feelings and developing appropriate problem solving skills.
  • And lastly, you’re the adult, you have a lot more understanding of what are safe, acceptable, healthy and respectful ways to live. It’s OK to be the boss!

    Enough is Enough  thank you Parent Line for this article.

August 12, 2010

National Aboriginal & Islander Child Care Conference 2010

• As of 30 June 2009, there were 10,512 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Out of Home Care across Australia that is nine times the rate of other children;
• 86% of Indigenous respondents reported speaking only English at home, which is about the same as the non-Indigenous population (83%);
• In 2006, the median weekly gross individual income for Indigenous peoples was $278, this represented 59% of the median weekly gross individual income for non-Indigenous peoples ($473).
The largest and most successful national conference on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children was held on 27-29 July 2010 in Alice Spring. Nearly 1000 delegates have participated in three days of sharing stories, wisdom and experiences. Kimi Alcott, our Indigenous Programs Coordinator represented Enough is Enough at this conference. Please read Kimi’s experience at this event.
"The Conference took place in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory from the 26th to the 29th July 2010. The attendance was expected to be 800 but grew to 1000 people from across Australia.
The first workshop I attended was ‘Real kids in an unreal world'- building resilience in children. This was presented by Maggie Dent, who is a national and international author, a parenting and resilience expert with a special interest in the early years and adolescence. She is a passionate advocate for the healthy common sense raising of children that strengthens families and communities. Maggie spoke of common sense raising of children and how the raising of children has drastically changed throughout the years and not always positively. For instance the amount of educational toys given to young children is unnecessary and very daunting for such young children especially aged from 0-6months. Children are often more happy to play with a bucket and pegs or in the saucepan cupboard these activities are often unknown to many children. The elimination of monkey bars in schools and children not able to climb trees and get dirty is impacting negatively on our children. Maggie’s presentation was very interesting and well received.

Another workshop that I found interesting was remote healing work and involved the Santa Teresa horse program. This program involves an intergenerational leadership with Men’s groups. Program participants take part in a 5 day camp on Santa Teresa Property with several members of ‘Bushmob Inc’. They also run a Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation centre for young people. They have had attendees and participants from interstate and from all sources has a very positive impact on participants.

On Tuesday evening I attended the ‘Aboriginal Healing Centre’ in the centre of Alice Springs. This centre is very relaxed and has a very welcoming atmosphere. All people are welcomed and there is no arguing or alcohol on the grounds. Here bush medicines are made from plants and are prepared and distributed to the community. These are made into creams, oils and soaps. There are also bush healers in attendance to assist the sick. This organisation is run by donations and is well respected. This organisation also takes youth out on walks to collect ingredients. I really enjoyed this visit and look forward to many good stories of healing through this method.

Throughout the conference I made many contacts with different people from all works of life and different agencies. The most gratifying moments to myself was to hear our Indigenous people speaking in their true language, how awesome that was. I really appreciate the strong culture in Alice Springs and the speaking of Indigenous language because so much of our language and culture is lost, but to see and here what’s happening in other areas with our Indigenous people is inspiring."


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August 6, 2010

Think Twice, Click Once (Leading From Within, by Sid Kemp)

This morning, I received an email from my executive assistant. It said, “I thought of that right after I sent the message.” In this case, she had suggested an idea that was not in line with our plans, and I said “no,” and told her why not. She ended her message with, “lesson learned: don’t send emails when I’m tired.”
That’s a good lesson. And we can take it deeper, because a lot of people send emails that aren’t on target (to put it politely) during the day, too. How about taking the old saw from builders, “measure twice, cut once,” and apply it to the Information Age: “Think twice, click once.”
I know of a number of horror stories – including some that did serious damage to careers and opened the door to lawsuits - that resulted from someone sending something out without thinking twice.
And its not just email or texting. What about our words? There’s an ancient Chinese maxim that I’ve turned into a practice. “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” What if we listen to what we’re about to say before we open our mouths, and ask all three questions about what we’re thinking. We can revise our ideas or our choice of words, and then what we say will be much less distressing and much more effective.
And sometimes, checking twice isn’t enough. When human systems run out of control, we end up taking great risks unnecessarily. The destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger and the BP Gulf Oil Spill are both examples of this. The rule in the design of the Space Shuttle was that three different things must fail before catastrophic damage will occur. And even so, we’ve lost two shuttles and their crews. In addition to triple-checking, we need to fix systems that are running out of control.
To err is human. But, as humans, we can be aware, and catch our errors and correct them before they go too far. There’s a great movie, The Dish, that shows how everyone can make mistakes, but, as a team, still do amazing things – like go to the moon.
One way to be a leader is to accept and correct our own mistakes, and lead by example, giving others a chance to make mistakes, and also to correct them and contribute to success.

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National Strategy for Young Australians

Young people aged 12-24 make up a fifth of our population. They are valuable now and the way they develop influences the type of adults they will become. The Minister for Youth, the Hon Kate Ellis MP launched the National Strategy for Young Australians on 14 April 2010. It will be used as a guide for future Government action to encourage and help young people take charge of their own lives.  It describes what it’s like to grow up in Australia today as young Australians – the positives as well as the challenges – and outlines the eight areas in which the Australian Government will focus its attention.
Addressing New Challenges 
The challenges of growing up span generations and cultures, however every generation also faces their own specific challenges. For this current generation, being young involves tackling some unprecedented challenges including climate change, terrorism, ageing societies and infrastructure, changing job markets, technological advances, the increasing influence of popular culture and changing family and social structures.

The Priorities

The Strategy aims to:
1. Empower young people to build their own lives
2. Enable young Australians to learn to take responsibility for their actions
3. Build resilience in young Australians to navigate life’s challenges
4. Build a healthier, safer and more productive Australia

These aims recognise that there are multiple influences on young people’s lives including having supportive and healthy relationships with the important people in their lives, and being able to access and thrive in education and work. Equally influential are personal qualities and skills like confidence and optimistic thinking, enjoying stable and secure living arrangements, and feeling a sense of connection and belonging within families, communities and to the wider society.

To achieve this vision, the Strategy focuses on eight priorities for supporting young people to succeed and build lives of their own choosing:
1. Improving the health and wellbeing of all young people
Young people’s health and wellbeing, whether physical, emotional or mental, is crucial to their later life outcomes and is vital for Australia’s future.
2. Equipping young Australians to shape their own futures through education
The Government’s Education Revolution has already begun important work in this area- setting a reform agenda to create an education system that supports all young people to maximise their opportunities.
3. Supporting young Australians within their families
Being part of a strong family unit is crucial to a young person’s self esteem, safety, development and wellbeing.
A recurrent theme was the need to educate parents on issues facing young people today. Some parents and carers expressed their frustration at not understanding the electronically-driven world in which their children were maturing. There was a call for specific education, resources and tools to help parents support their young people. Australian Government supports parents to connect with and understand their children as they get older through the $2 million Raising Children Website
4. Empowering young Australians to take part and be active in their communities
Communities are where we grow and live. Communities can also develop around shared interests that cross physical boundaries. For many young people communities exist, at least partly, in the online environment. Feeling empowered within communities will allow young people opportunities to contribute, develop a sense of achievement and develop networks and skills to support them in other areas of life.
5. Equipping young Australians with the skills and personal networks they need to gain, and be successful, in employment
Being in work is critically important for individuals as well as the broader economy. Having paid work contributes to a person’s sense of identity, connectedness and wellbeing, and is an opportunity to connect with others and participate in society. This generation of young people face some additional challenges in the current global economic conditions and the ageing population. The Government will continue to support young people to find and keep employment.
6. Enabling young Australians to participate confidently and safely online

The online environment is a place for young people to learn, connect with peers, develop networks and have fun. While it offers the opportunity for young people to access knowledge and to network, there are risks that need to be addressed to ensure the online environment is safe and accessible for all.
7. Strengthening early intervention with young Australians to help prevent any problems getting worse and to help young people get their lives back on track
Intervening early is recognised as a good practice approach to addressing a range of social problems, including educational disengagement, risk taking behaviours and mental and physical health issues. Some young people suggested that staring programs for youth from the age of 12 would help early intervention and prevention programs from being implemented too late in a young person’s lifecycle. The Australian Government will continue to support effective early intervention services for young people.
8. Establishing clear cut legal consequences for behaviours that endanger the safety of others
Young people are more likely to become victims of some violent crimes including sexual offences and assaults and almost a quarter of young people feel unsafe walking alone at night. A minority of young people endanger the safety of others through harmful, anti-social and unacceptable behaviour. The Government is working to ensure for this minority, there are clear cut legal consequences to make the community safe for everyone, and break the cycle of reoffending.

Through the Strategy the Australian Government will support young Australians. The Strategy encourages us to work together to create a society where young people are valued and encouraged and where they can look after each other, have fun, change the world and take charge of their own lives. Enough is Enough supports these strategies and encourages the Government to do more than just talk and document its direction, but to acually act in partnership with NGO's to produce the outcomes required.

The National Strategy for Young Australians  is available at
Enough is Enough proudly presents:
HSC Legal Studies - Journey Towards Justice Day
10th November 2010
Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt St, Sydney
$15.00 per attendee (not incl. transport)
Journey Towards Justice 1 day Seminar is an invaluable tool for HSC Legal studies students and teachers and is not to be missed! They will learn how the NSW Legal System works from leading professionals with first hand knowledge, contrasted with the contradictions of that system presented by those who have experienced some of the consequences including Police and Victims.
Call us for more information on 02 9542 4029

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August 5, 2010

Cultural Issues in Society

New Initiates at Enough Is Enough
At Enough Is Enough our Indigenous Programs Coordinator works in the areas of positive behavior change. Our Cultural Co-coordinator has developed two new programs and other initiatives to bring a greater understanding to local communities.

The program ‘Promise Keeper’ was developed in relation to domestic violence. Through our Indigenous Programs Coordinator’s experience and observations this program works with both victims and perpetrators using a holistic approach to domestic and family violence and focuses on taking responsibility and positive attitudes. This program is designed for couples, with a minimum of 5 couples per presentation and is also available for individuals who are wanting to change their behavioral attitudes by finding their own personal solutions and building an understanding and acceptance of other’s views and attitudes.
The ‘Silent Anger’ program is offered to Adult Correctional facilities, Juvenile Justice Centres and Community groups. This presentation is personalised to engage participants with our presenter’s personal and dramatic story of resilience and hope.
With all the talk of late in the media regarding racism, a new initiative is being set up. A planned seminar named ‘What it’s like to be an aboriginal in Australia today’ will focus on bringing indigenous speakers together from different walks of life – for example, a school principal, a sportsperson, company director, a teenager, amongst others. The day will be offered to high school students in particular those studying aboriginal studies. A day will also be offered to business people, teachers, politicians and other interested parties.
If you would like further information about these programs please call Kimi at Enough Is Enough on 9542 4029 or

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