Anti-Bullying Videos

Does showing anti-bullying videos encourage or discourage bullying?  This is the question that police and school officials in Sparks, Nevada are trying to determine.  An anti-bullying video that includes a dramatization of a child taking a gun on a school bus to scare aggressors was shown in the school. The video, which uses the scene as an illustration of the wrong way to respond, was being studied as students and faculty members prepared to return to Sparks Middle School, where a boy fatally shot a teacher, wounded two classmates and killed himself Monday. Reno’s KRNV-TV reported that some students said they watched the video, entitled “Bully,” earlier this month. It wasn’t clear if the video had been seen by the young gunman.

A study published in the Journal of Criminology suggested that anti-bullying programs could be having the opposite effects. In an analysis of 7,000 students from 50 states, researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington found that students at schools with anti-bullying initiatives may be more likely to become a victim of bullying.

Schools need to be aware of the law of unintended consequences when showing videos or discussing things which can be used in the opposite way.