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Education Dept. helps teachers combat bullying

In recognition of Bullying Prevention Month this October, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released a free, two-part training toolkit designed to reduce incidents of bullying, for use by classroom educators.

Teachers care about bullying in the classroom, but many don’t know how to intervene and prevent it effectively, according to data from the National Education Association (NEA). The toolkit is designed to give teachers the knowledge and skills to intervene in bullying behavior and to de-escalate threatening behaviors at school. It includes two modules: “Understanding and Intervening in Bullying Behavior” and “Creating a Supportive Classroom Climate.”

“These modules are based on the best available research and practices to give teachers effective tools to not only respond to bullying, but also to stop it before it starts,” said ED’s bullying prevention coordinator, Deborah Temkin.

The training modules build on the success of training materials previously released for school bus drivers in June 2011. Since that time, the school bus training materials have been used to train more than 100,000 of the nation’s bus drivers.

More than a third of students who are bullied report it happening in classrooms, according to research from the National Center for Education Statistics. And the NEA reports that only 55 percent of teachers have received training on bullying policies at their schools.

The toolkit was developed by the Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center in collaboration with the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers.

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