Why dont anti bullying campaigns work?

(Excerpt from Taking the Bully by the Horns EBook by Faith Wood)

Why don’t anti-bullying campaigns work? We certainly hear about them frequently within the educational system, but when push comes to shove, the current campaigns are ineffective.  And, what about the workplace? Bullying is prevalent throughout corporate environments and all businesses, although you may not be aware of it unless you are experiencing bullying yourself.

To be honest, the levels of bullying behavior are complex (that’s putting it mildly!) and I can imagine it’s tough for you to wrap your head around all of the concepts that comprise the ‘bully personality.’   However, before we can begin to address how to fix the bullying problem in schools and within the workplace, you need to understand why programs currently in place aren’t effective.

Several years ago, Canadian psychologist J. David Smith, Ph.D. of the University of Ottawa, penned a paper entitled, The Effectiveness of Whole School Anti-Bullying Programs: a Synthesis of Evaluation Research.  Whew!  That’s a big title and, if you’re not a psychologist, you may shy away from reading it! Nonetheless, Dr. Smith’s findings were staggering and anyone can understand them – 86% of victim outcomes (reports by victims of program benefits) were negligible and negative, while 14% reported a small benefit from the anti-bulling program.  For victims who ‘self-reported’ bullying incidents, 100% reported the anti-bullying school campaign to be ineffectual.  (1 J. David Smith, Ph.D., The Effectiveness of Whole School Anti- Bullying Programs: a Synthesis of Evaluation Research)

When I first read those numbers, I had to read them again to make certain I understood them correctly.  If Dr. Smith’s figures are even close to being correct (and, I must conclude they are), the anti-bullying programs offered don’t mean squat.  He believes no one cares.

Can you believe it? No one cares.

This is where Dr. Smith and I part company. I care.

If we take the attitude that ‘bullying cannot be stopped’ and, therefore, a ‘why should we bother to try’ attitude, then Dr. Smith is correct.  I believe, however, that we, through the power of our intellect and spirit, can achieve great success in all that we do. I believe in our inherent ability to find a path to success.