Because so much bullying behavior occurs “under the radar,” students are the most likely to have a full understanding of how much and what kind of bullying occurs in school. In the youngest grades, teachers should initiate conversations about bullying in order to glean information. Beginning in 4th or 5th grade, a simple questionnaire should be administered to all students. The results should be kept as a matter of record and used as a reference once bully prevention measures have been put into place. The same questionnaire should be administered a month or two after students have participated in the program and the results, when matched with the results of the first test, will be an effective determinant of the program’s success or failure. See the sample questionnaire below.
A questionnaire should also be administered to teachers, bus drivers, and recess and lunchroom aides regarding how frequently they notice bullying behavior on their watch, how often they intervene, and the nature of the intervention.
Students may not always speak about their trauma at school. They might feel threatened in a school environment where bullying occurs. A survey of parents regarding their children’s experience with bullying may be eye-opening and should be included in an overall assessment of school climate.
To find a sample of an excellent pre-planning assessment tool published by the Universty of Colorado click here.
The Safe Communities-Safe Schools program in Colorado has individual assessment tools for elementary, middle, and high school students as well as parents and teachers. They can be found here.
The Peace Center has been conducting pre and post tests for their programs since its founding, 30 years ago. Feel free to use us for consultation, design, development, and implementation.