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Bully-Free Schools

Circle of Support for Learning 

Creating Safe and Caring Schools for Student Success: The Need

Bullying affects all students' ability to learn. It promotes aggressive norms and undermines feelings of emotional and physical safety in school which are so essential for learning. Even the students who are doing the bullying and harassing suffer negative consequences. They are likely to continue to use aggression into adulthood, resulting in higher rates of domestic violence and other criminal behaviors.

Making a Difference with Bully-Free Schools

One of the goals of Bully-Free Schools: Circle of Support for Learning (BFS) is to provide students with an optimal learning environment––one that promotes physical and emotional safety for all students. While it may never be possible to say a school is “free” of all bullying and other forms of peer aggression, an optimal school environment is one that 1) actively promotes physical and emotional safety, and 2) responds with effective forms of intervention when students or adults engage in disrespectful or hurtful behavior.

While curricula, assemblies, and other programmatic initiatives have an important role to play in preventing bullying and other forms of peer aggression, they are not a quick fix. Because bullying is a learned behavior that is influenced by the environment, effective bullying prevention requires a systems approach that impacts the entire school environment––the climate and culture of a school as a whole.

See the handout below for a description of an effective comprehensive system’s approach to addressing aggressive behavior in your school. 
Making a Difference with Bully Free Schools

Michigan School Health:

BFS Mentor and National expert Stan Davis’ work:

National Bullying Prevention Information and Resources:

Survey your school with the Bully-Free Schools Survey

The Bully-Free Schools Survey (BFSS), is a building-level needs assessment tool developed by Dee Lindenberger and colleagues of Strategic Alternatives in Prevention Education (SAPE). This tool was recently revised to incorporate new constructs and best practices in measuring bullying and other forms of aggression.

Bully-Free Schools Survey: Available through the MDE survey system:

A complete report of the Psychometrics of the Bully-Free Schools Survey