“Students with Influence Over Peers Reduce School Bullying by 30 Percent”

Why change the method of bullying prevention?
Students who have social influence over their peers have far greater impact on spreading the message of bullying prevention than that of their teachers and administrators.

Who are “social influencers” in schools?

      Not necessarily the most popular students in school
      Students who are positive
      Students who are willing to stand up for what is right
      Students who are anti-conflict
      Students who exhibit leadership in their social circles
  • Why students encouraging anti-conflict works:
    Just as adults have social networks, students also have social networks so utilizing them is beneficial for students as well as educators and administrators.
    It is more powerful for a student with influence to give a testimony of anti-conflict than an adult who is not as relatable.
    While curriculum designed by educators and administrators can be effective, there is more of a relationship already established within peer groups and therefore, the peers will be more open-minded hearing from someone their own age.
  • After the social influencers were selected:
    They were trained and equipped in classes in dealing with conflict.
    They were given wristbands to be able to give out to other students when they were noticed trying to stop conflict or helping someone.
    They used posters and t-shirts in addition to wristbands to promote the anti-conflict message.
    They held giveaways.
    They had students sign a petition encouraging them to do something nice for another student at school.

“On average, schools participating in the program saw a 30 percent reduction in disciplinary reports.” (Statistic from ScienceDaily.com)

Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. “Students with influence over peers reduce school bullying by 30 percent.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160104163206.htm>.