According to a survey released by the Rhode Island (RI) Department of Education in 2017, 25% of all RI students (3rd grade and older) reported being bullied on school grounds. Among the elementary school respondents, close to one in three reported they’d been bullied within the last year. Rhode Island schools are keen to adopt a solution that can bring the bullying epidemic to an end.
As part of Hasbro’s ongoing efforts and partnership with No Bully to end bullying and ignite kindness, Hasbro is generously sponsoring our program with City Year Providence, Providence Schools and Pawtucket Schools.
Recently, No Bully began training 60 AmeriCorps members deployed by City Year Providence. On January 12, 2018, AmeriCorps members from each City Year school attended No Bully’s Solution Coach Training program at Roger Williams Middle School and learned how to run Solution Teams. They are excited to bring Solution Teams to the other schools served by City Year in Providence. More trainings are scheduled throughout the year.
Here’s how Solution Team works. When a student is the target of bullying, a Solution Coach convenes a Solution Team comprised of the bully, bully-followers and positive peer leaders; assures them they are not in trouble; walks them into the shoes of the target so that they feel what the target is feeling; and asks the students what they can do or stop doing to end the bullying. Research demonstrates that educators trained as Solution Coaches are solving 90% of incidents of bullying.
The response from the AmeriCorps members who attended the Solution Coach Training was very positive. Participants appreciated learning “very specific action steps on how to end a cycle of bullying” within a clear framework that ensures “manageable meeting times with students during sessions.” One participant noted, “I’ve struggled with ways to intervene on bullying and this training really helped.”
A common theme that emerged in the participants’ evaluations was appreciation for how Solution Teams place students front and center in resolving bullying at their schools. One participated said, “I love the student involvement process.” Another observed that, “this is a more positive and productive response than what our school did before,” while one simply said, “I’m so excited about this program!”
We are looking forward to continuing our work with these dedicated young AmeriCorps members to spread Solution Teams across Providence and give every student in the city a way to escape the torment that bullying creates.