A Unique Bullying Prevention Model for Students with Disabilities
Download the 32-page step-by step-booklet that looks at how to address bullying of students with disabilities by engaging, educating, and empowering their peers with advocacy skills.
Activist Inspired by Son with Down syndrome, CNN.com Blog—Stop Bullying, Speak Up
By Julie Hertzog, Special to CNN
Grace Burckhard (13) and her mother, Paula, presented a new peer advocacy project, PAVE, in Minot, North Dakota, to over 800 Jim Hill Middle School students.
Most students don’t like to see bullying, but they may not know what to do when it happens. Peer advocacy—speaking out on the behalf of others — is a unique approach that empowers students to protect those targeted by bullying. It works for two reasons: Students are more likely than adults to see what is happening with their peers, and peer influence is powerful. A student telling someone to stop bullying has much more impact than an adult giving that same advice.
In exploring a peer advocacy model in your school, consider who the adult leader should be, which students could benefit from peer intervention, and which students could be catalysts for change. The peer advocates should be educated on:
- the dynamics of bullying behavior
- the characteristics, traits, and circumstances of the students for whom they are advocating
- the options of how to intervene
Intervention strategies can be tailored for each situation. Some advocates will feel comfortable with direct interventions, such as telling the person bullying to stop. Others may want to approach indirectly, such as supporting the person after an incident or reporting it to the adult leader.
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Learn more about peer advocacy on PACERTeensAgainstBullying.org/#/act/peer-advocacy
For more information on how to create a peer advocacy group in your school, please contact Julie Hertzog at Julie.Hertzog@PACER.org .