Take a Stand
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bullying victimization is associated with a wide range of negative outcomes including feeling unsafe at school, school absenteeism, psychological distress, depression, suicidal ideation and repeated common health problems. Bullying behaviors are also associated with future violence including dating violence, gang membership, and delinquency. Data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2011 (YRBS) indicate that during the 2010-11 school year, 20.1% of high school students nationally and 16.5% of high school students in Texas reported having been bullied on school property during the 12 months before the survey. However, it appears that students in the Austin ISD report higher rates of bullying victimization than their peers nationally and statewide. In Austin, as well as in national surveys bullying peaks in middle school, especially 6th grade and declines as students go through high school.
The Texas legislature, through two bills (House Bill 212 and 283), mandates school districts to adopt and implement a dating violence policy and a discipline management policy. Nathan Tucker, Travis County 4-H Agent, collaborated with two Travis County ISD schools using a curriculum developed in partnership with the Texas Rural Mediation Services to address both issues. The curriculum entitled “Take a Stand” was designed for counties to pilot the curriculum, provide feedback on the curriculum and evaluate students using an outcome evaluation instrument. Third to fifth grade students at Brooke and Galindo Elementary Schools participated in the Take a Stand pilot program.
Survey results from 70 students indicated that:
- 4% learned to respect others even when they are different
- 89% learned to respect other people’s customs, religions and traditions
- 81% learned how to work with people and control their anger
This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1890 Extension Formula Program projects under Section 1444.
Nathan Tucker Extension Agent, Travis County
Rukeia Draw-Hood, Ph.D.
Program Leader (4-H)