A Restorative Approach to the Problem of Bullying

We create a world at peace where bullying dissolves by supporting youth in their social  and emotional growth and development. We teach them to better navigate  relationships and conflicts. To mitigate the effects of trauma we use restorative vs. punitive methods of addressing harm from bullying.

A Restorative Approach

At NVCnextgen we proactively approach bullying by focusing on prevention. We  prepare youth with positive relationship and conflict resolution skills. Recognizing that  it’s typically “hurt people” who hurt people, we work with schools, organizations, and  the community at large to become informed regarding the effects of trauma. We invest  in creating Trauma Informed Universal Precautions to address and  mitigate these effects. When bullying does occur we apply restorative intervention and  postvention strategies to break the pattern of violence.

Anti-Bullying Table

Prevention

Our Akamai Relationships Skills course teaches youth the principles of  Nonviolent Communication. We teach youth the skills they need to be  empathic to their own universal human needs as well as the needs of others. We teach positive relationships where needs are met through healthy relational strategies rather than violence. 

We also partner with the organization Sources of Strength to use the power  of peer social networks and trained adult advisors to promote more healthy norms and  culture. This empowers a community of strength to self monitor and root out the  underlying needs and issues that could lead to bullying.

Intervention

When conflicts arise, we utilize the principles of Nonviolent Communication to resolve  them. We help disputants address the unresolved universal human needs that underlie all conflicts. One way we do this is to employ and empower students to mediate conflicts using Peer Mediation to resolve the conflict and further teach Akamai relationship skills.

Postvention

Postvention is what we do if our attempts at prevention and intervention come too late, and bullying does occur. At this point, our approach needs to be restorative vs.  punitive. Rather than looking to punish those who engage in bullying, we employ our  methods of restorative justice to bring together not only victims and  offenders, but also others in the community who are affected. By taking a community  approach all stakeholders come together to heal and repair the harm done. This  approach effectively supports both the one(s) who have behaved as a bully as well as  those bullied to ensure that all needs are met, and relationships are restored. 

In addition, we help build skills using a Collaborative and Proactive Solutions approach to identify any lagging skills for the youth and developing a plan to  foster the development of positive proactive relationship skills.