Prevention of Bullying
Prevention of Bullying
Task Force Charge

Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges, and Universities

Bullying is one of the more troubling issues in schools, colleges, and universities.  Bullying is the systematic use and abuse of power through different forms of aggression (e.g., relational, verbal, physical) by an individual or individuals against another individual that is face-to-face or through the use of technology.  Targets of bullying often have personal (e.g., disability, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion) or social characteristics (e.g., poverty, low social status, cultural practices) that contribute to their increased risk.  Research consistently documents significant adverse academic, social, and psychological short- and long-term effects for perpetrators, victims, and bystanders of bullying. 

Bullying – a form of harassment and violence – needs to be understood from a developmental perspective; the social contexts in which it occurs also need to be recognized.  The epicenter for bullying is schools, colleges, and universities.  Yet administrators, teachers, and related personnel frequently are not trained to address bullying and do not know how to intervene. 

The charge of the Task Force is to recommend educational policies pertaining to bullying that are informed by existing educational research.  The Task Force distinguishes itself from others that already have focused on psychological skills, psychological processes, and program interventions that do not always include the world of the educational organization.   The Task Force will link bullying research and intervention with the school reform, teacher education, administrator education, special education, and cultural diversity worlds within postsecondary schools, departments, and programs of education. 

The mandate of the Task Force is to prepare and present to the AERA Council practical short-term and long-term recommendations to address bullying of children and youth. These recommendations will address legislative, policy and procedural matters with pragmatic and practical strategies.  Thus, the goal of this Task Force is to develop research-based recommendations that ensure safe, respectful and productive educational environments where optimal learning occurs, while ensuring that individuals take responsibility for their own behavior and the impact that this behavior has on others.

Accordingly, this Task Force is charged with:  

(1) Identifying the causes and consequences of bullying in schools, colleges, and universities;

(2) Highlighting training and technical assistance opportunities so that faculty and staff at all types of educational institutions may effectively address bullying;

(3) Evaluating the effectiveness of current anti-bullying policies and bullying prevention programs; and

(4) Assessing the connections between bullying research and interventions and current and pending legislation.

Task Force Members
 Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dorothy L. Espelage, Ph.D. (Co-Chair)
Professor & University Scholar
Dept. of Educational Psychology
Child Development Division
University of Illinois

Ron Astor (Co-Chair)
Richard and Ann Thor Chair in Urban Social Development
Professor of Social Work and Education
School of Social Work
Rossier School of Education
University of Southern California

Dewey Cornell
Professor of Education
Programs in Clinical and School Psychology
Curry School of Education
University of Virginia

Paul Poteat
Assistant Professor
Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology
Psychology Department
Boston College

Matthew Mayer
Associate Professor
Graduate School of Education
Rutgers University

Elizabeth Meyer
Assistant Professor
School of Education
California Polytechnic State University

Brendesha Tynes
Associate Professor of Education Psychology
Rossier School of Education
University of Southern California