Boise State researchers tackle bullying through bystanders

Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 19:08:24-05

Professors at Boise State leading the charge to reduce bullying in local schools.

Working with a rural, mixed-race middle school, university researchers are evaluating a new bullying bystander intervention they hope to implement in schools across the Treasure Valley.

With one in four students reporting being victims of bullying, researchers at Boise State University's College of Education are tackling the issue head on.

"We also know that there's negative consequences for students who report just witnessing bullying as bystanders," said Dr. Aida Midgett, Associate Professor of Counselor Education at BSU. "...and about 80 percent of students have witnessed bullying at some point in time."

The research team found bullying to be more prevalent in mixed-race schools, among Hispanic students and students from low-income families. So, they developed "STAC."

"STAC stands for four bullying intervention strategies that we teach students at school," Midgett said. 

Those strategies include: stealing the show, turning it over, accompanying others and coaching compassion.

Right now, a grant from the National Institute on General Medical Health is allowing the team to evaluate STAC's impact in a local mixed-race middle school. 

"Our hope is that it could be used in schools across the  Treasure Valley, and even across the United States," Midgett said. 

This spring, researchers will interview the students trained using the "STAC" method and make adjustments to the model, based on their feedback. 

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