Military-connected youths experience stressful life events, including deployments and multiple school transitions, that make them vulnerable to bullying. Social workers have highlighted the power of grassroots school community initiatives that address risk issues among youths while empowering the community (see http://www.thecommunityguide.org). However, researchers have focused on evidence-based programs implemented in a top-down, prescriptive manner. Often, when programs are implemented across entire cities, some schools may not have the need for such programs or the ability to implement them effectively. This study presents a grassroots process in which a military-connected school used a data-driven approach to assess its needs and devise a school- and communitywide antibullying initiative, Because Nice Matters (BNM). The results, drawn from local data on bullying rates from one military-connected high school, suggested a decrease in various forms of bullying during the course of BNM. In addition, results from a survey of parents and teachers showed that BNM had enhanced bullying awareness. Overall, the study findings indicate the value of grassroots efforts and a whole-school mind-set in antibullying efforts, in which parents, teachers, and other school stakeholders work together to address bullying among all students, both military and non-military.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 National Association of Social Workers.
- military youths
- whole-school reform