Addressing bullying in community settings

With bullying becoming more of an issue in today’s society, learn how to take preventive measures through a one-day, two-part MSU Extension workshop.

Bullying is widespread and of great concern to many of us – including young people, families, educators, youth workers and other community members. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bullying is a form of youth violence that can cause physical injury, social and emotional distress, and even death. Bullying has serious consequences which put youth at higher risk for substance abuse, academic problems, mental health issues, and violence in adolescence and adulthood.

While schools across the country have stepped up efforts to protect students from harassment, intimidation and physical violence, support is needed to help adults in a variety of youth settings learn ways to work with young people to build healthy relationships and settings. Educators, youth workers and families all have important roles to play in creating environments that foster healthy social and emotional development.

Michigan State University Extension is offering a one-day, two-part workshop on Oct. 11, 2013 that covers two bullying initiatives.

Providing adults with opportunities to explore and connect around bullying issues is the focus of ABCs of Bullying Prevention and Be SAFE Curriculum Workshop. The workshop is designed for adults who live with, care about and work with young people, including parents, caregivers and those who work in schools, youth and family agencies, youth organizations (such as 4-H, Scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs), juvenile justice, faith-based communities, recreation departments and other community groups.

During the first part of the workshop, participants will engage in ABC’s of Bullying Prevention. Participants will:

  • Share perspectives on the prevalence and types of bullying behaviors affecting their communities – and explore how these perspectives connect with recent research.
  • Examine bullying, bias and harassment through the lens of differences.
  • Explore key strategies for addressing these complex issues at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels.
  • Learn about programs and resources that can be used in community settings, including an MSU Extension initiative titled Be SAFE: Safe, Affirming and Fair Environments.

The second part of the day will be based on the new Be SAFE: Safe, Affirming and Fair Environments. The MSU Extension curriculum is designed to help young people aged 11 to 14 and adults work in partnership to create environments that are physically and emotionally safe. While the primary audiences for Be SAFE are young people and adults involved in out-of-school time settings, it also applies to middle school settings. The overall goals of the curriculum, which draws from extensive research from a variety of key disciplines as well as evidenced-based bullying prevention programs, are to:

  • Promote social and emotional learning and development.
  • Address and reduce bullying.
  • Prevent bullying behaviors by tapping the wisdom and assets of youth and adults.
  • Develop positive relationships with peers and adults.

Be SAFE includes 10 key focus areas with engaging activities as well as an extensive introduction, an evaluation component, ways to connect with families, specific recommendations from groups that have used Be SAFE, and ways to learn more about the topics. You’ll leave the workshop with a variety of strategies for using Be SAFE within your youth settings.

For more information about MSU Extension resources and events related to bullying prevention, visit

Anyone can take action to prevent and correct bullying. To register for the Oct. 11, 2013 workshop or to learn more please visit the event registration page.

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