Bully Nation: Why America's Approach to Childhood Aggression is Bad for Everyone

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9781557789044: Bully Nation: Why America's Approach to Childhood Aggression is Bad for Everyone
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The Columbine school shooting caused the United States to ramp up the national discussion of school bullying and the hasty implementation of many new anti-bullying rules and "zero-tolerance" policies. Some of these policies have led to serious unintended consequences. In this timely book, Susan Eva Porter, a seasoned and licensed school professional, explains how our current bully language, school policies, and anti-bully activists are trying to address the problem of school bullying in ways that actually make problems worse. Some policies treat children as adults and adults as children. Unnecessary strife among all parties involved, and the impeded social development of the children involved, can be a byproduct of popular policies. Especially in middle-school years, children are in a stage of development that involves testing boundaries and learning to relate to others. They need to gain resilience that will enable them to function well as adults. Bullying is often addressed in ways that arrest the social development of both the "bully" and the "victim." Porter, an expert in child development, sets a new standard for our understanding of America's approach to bullying, and how we can dramatically improve outcomes, in this easy-to-understand book. Bully Nation should be read by school administrators, counselors, policymakers, teachers, psychologists, and parents. It is a much needed analysis with common-sense solutions to one of our nation's most mis-addressed problems.

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About the Author:

Susan Eva Porter, Ph.D., LCSW, has worked in schools for over 20 years, first as a teacher and clinician, then as a consultant and trustee, and now as an administrator. Her focus has been on establishing and supporting healthy school environments, working with adults to effect positive change within school systems, and supporting students and their parents. She is the author of Relating to Adolescents: Educators in a Teenage World and numerous articles about adolescence and school culture.

Review:

Bully Nation is an absolute must-read for anyone wishing to understand why the anti-bullying movement is failing. The modern world has been intensively fighting bullying in schools for the past fourteen years, and all we have to show for our efforts is that bullying has become an epidemic. Susan Eva Porter possesses the clear vision to see what is wrong with this well-intentioned but counterproductive movement, and explains in sparkling clear terms why it is causing far more harm than good. This book is a major step in reversing this modern day witch-hunt against bullies and returning to a more rational and effective approach to reducing aggression among kids." (Izzy Kalman, Nationally Certified School Psychologist and author of Bullies to Buddies: How to Turn your Enemies into Friends Bullies2Buddies.com)

In fresh, frank terms, Sue Porter shows why our overheated approach to bullying is bad for everyone, and offers realistic, practical ways for schools and parents to cope. (Robert Evans, author of Family Matters: How School Can Cope with The Crisis in Childrearing 2013-01-01)

Child development expert Porter (Relating to Adolescents: Educators in a Teenage World) convincingly turns the antibullying boom on its head by suggesting that the popular methods and language used in preventing childhood aggression are making things worse, despite good intentions. By labeling children as bullies, we malign them rather than help them grow; just as importantly, she points out, by labeling children as victims, we undermine their authority to control their lives and chip away at their resilience. Porter uses compelling research as well as useful, pointed anecdotes to demonstrate that the modern approach to this age-old problem is not the right one. In place of destructive bully language, Porter presents the GRIT approach: a Growth mindset, Responding versus Reacting, Interventions (and knowing when to intervene), and Teaching. Porter's proposals require educators and parents to use their "adult brains" to recognize the complexity of children's interactions and to respond accordingly. The final chapter includes helpful "essential questions" to coach adults as they guide children through challenging situations. While the GRIT approach may not be as easy as using standard bully language or a zero tolerance approach, Porter makes a clear case for why it is a better way forward for creating resilient children and healthier school climates. (Publishers Weekly)

In fresh, frank terms, Sue Porter shows why our overheated approach to bullying is bad for everyone, and offers realistic, practical ways for schools and parents to cope. (Robert Evans, author of Family Matters: How School Can Cope with The Crisis in Childrearing)

Bully Nation is an absolute must-read for anyone wishing to understand why the anti-bullying movement is failing. The modern world has been intensively fighting bullying in schools for the past fourteen years, and all we have to show for our efforts is that bullying has become an epidemic. Susan Eva Porter possesses the clear vision to see what is wrong with this well-intentioned but counterproductive movement, and explains in sparkling clear terms why it is causing far more harm than good. This book is a major step in reversing this modern day witch-hunt against bullies and returning to a more rational and effective approach to reducing aggression among kids. (Izzy Kalman, Nationally Certified School Psychologist and author of Bullies to Buddies: How to Turn your Enemies into Friends Bullies2Buddies.com)

Child development expert Porter (Relating to Adolescents: Educators in a Teenage World) convincingly turns the antibullying boom on its head...[and] makes a clear case for...a better way forward for creating resilient children and healthier school climates. (Publisher's Weekly)

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