Frequently asked questions

Isn’t punishment the best way to stop bullying?

Although many schools still respond to bullying with punishment (typically in-school consequences for the bully followed by suspension and expulsion) research shows that punishment is generally not an effective way of changing student behavior. The student who is in the principal’s office receiving punishment in sixth grade is more likely to be back there in eighth grade. And students who are punished for bullying are more than likely to retaliate against the target.

Isn’t it better to go in hard and use zero tolerance?

Zero tolerance policies prescribe a series of automatic consequences for specified acts of bullying. They give the appearance of being tough on bullying. However, research conducted in 2007 by the American Psychological Association showed that zero-tolerance polices were largely ineffectual to stop student violence or bullying, and that schools that subscribe to a zero-tolerance policy tend to experience higher levels of student aggression and lower levels of academic performance. Additionally, schools that rely on suspensions disproportionately target students of color and create harsh school environments that contribute to a school-to-prison pipeline.

Why not just talk to the bully and the target?

Bullying is a group phenomenon through which students are given low social status or excluded entirely by their peers. Attempting to solve the problem by focusing solely on the bully and the target does not generally change the target’s position. Real change is only achieved by intervening with the wider peer group to address the culture of bullying and to change peer-group dynamics.

Doesn’t Solution Team® just let students get away with bullying?

Schools that use Solution Team® hold bullying students accountable by asking them to take action to stop the bullying. Students remain on the Solution Team® until they have created change. The experience of hearing how they hurt another student and of being part of the remedy is far more likely to turn a bullying student around than any amount of punishment.

Does the No Bully System work with students at every grade level?

Schools are successfully running Solution Team® in Elementary, Middle and High School. Adjustments come in the language that Solution Coaches® use with different age levels. In first grade we are more likely to talk about friendship. In middle and high school, Solution Coaches® need to be transparent and willing to get into hard conversations with their students about diversity. With older students we talk about the research on bullying (e.g., a student cannot learn if they feel unsafe—under that stress their ability to pay attention shuts down).

What do we do when our school only has time for one training?

A single staff workshop is never enough to make your school bully-free. The No Bully training series provides mutually reinforcing learning experiences to ensure your school can sustain a system capable of stopping any incident of student bullying and harassment. Think of it this way: When you need a series of vaccinations, would you really feel safe taking just the first one?  

Isn't it expensive to address bullying when budgets are so tight?

The costs of doing nothing considerably outweigh the costs of implementing the No Bully System® at your school.

  • Students often suffer irreparable harm and, in extreme cases, take their own lives because of bullying.
  • Bullying can cause schools to lose revenue through suspensions and absenteeism. Students that transfer from your school represent a permanent drop in school enrollment income.
  • Schools have a legal responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for their students.  Claims against school districts for student bullying and harassment are often six figures and on the rise.

Will No Bully help us get grant funding?

Schools are sometimes eligible for federal funding for teacher trainings under Title II. No Bully is sometimes able to connect schools to funders willing to underwrite the costs of schools implementing the No Bully System. Funding is easier to obtain for whole school districts. If you are interested in exploring this possibility, talk to us.