In the first known large-scale research project that solicits students’ perceptions about strategy effectiveness to reduce peer mistreatment in our schools, Culver City Middle School has been ranked as one of the nation’s top three schools in its responsiveness to school bullying.
“We believe that students’ voices are an invaluable resource to increase our understanding of effective prevention and intervention efforts,” said Charisse L. Nixon, who conducted the Youth Voice Project through Penn State University.
The goal of this project is to compile a body of knowledge describing the most helpful interventions in order to help adults and youth reduce bullying and harassment in their own schools.
“It is our hope to use this information to guide educators, parents, and youth in applying effective interventions to reduce bullying and subsequently, optimize students’ development,” she said.
Students at CCMS joined thousands of their peers across the nation in responding to a series of questions regarding school connection, peer victimization, and adult responsiveness following documented cases of bullying.
To evaluate school responsiveness to bullying, each of the participating schools or districts was assessed in the following two areas: School Connection (i.e., “I feel close to adults at school,” “I feel valued and respected at school,” and “I feel part of my school”) and Adult Responsiveness, that is, what happened when the victimized student told an adult at school. Did adults listen? Did adults check in with the student afterward to see if the behavior stopped? Students were also asked what happened as a result of doing those things. Did things get better? Did things get worse? Did things remain the same (no change)? After aggregating these variables, each school received a total score and was rank ordered accordingly.
“At a time when many schools are struggling to connect and respond positively to students during times of stress, your school has demonstrated superior performance in these two important areas,” Nixon and Stan Davis wrote in a letter to the school. “We sincerely applaud your efforts in responding to peer victimization and promoting students’ connection. Again, congratulations on a job well done!”