• To Ronald Stephens, executive director of the National School Safety Center, bullying is "one of the most underrated but enduring problems in schools today." In the U.S., surveys show that as many as one in four kids say they've been bullied recently in school. What is bullying? It’s harassment. Bullying can be physical, but more often bullying is verbal and includes persistent threatening, teasing, ridicule, or talking badly about another person.

    The North Tonawanda City School District recognizes the importance of Bully Prevention Programs for our students. STEPS TO RESPECT is an anti-bullying program designed to reach out to students in grades 3-6. The curriculum includes direct instruction in what bullying is, how to identify bullying, and how to protect yourself from being bullied both physically and emotionally. Children learn and practice bullying prevention skills, including how to recognize, refuse, and report bullying, and how to make friends. A study published in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Educational Psychology found a 31 percent decrease in bullying and victimization in schools that participated in the STEPS TO RESPECT program for two years. It also found dramatic decreases in destructive bystander behavior, which can encourage bullying.  We are proud to include this valuable program in our schools.