The Bystander Approach
Until recently, few high school-based programs have encouraged to their students to work actively on issues of bullying in their local middle schools and community. Using a unique bystander approach to prevention, Sport in Society’s educational models view participants not as perpetrators or victims, but as leaders and bystanders who can be empowered to confront bullying, discrimination, and other forms of violence. By focusing on bystander behavior, Sport in Society reduces the defensiveness and helplessness that many often feel when discussing bullying. Participants in Project Teamwork sessions learn to serve as role models working to prevent this serious form of violence.
During lively, interactive sessions, Sport in Society trainers use creative exercises, popular culture media excerpts, and the Project Teamwork Playbook to spark discussion about the ways students, as leaders, can interrupt, confront, and prevent bullying by their peers. The Playbook is comprised of a series of real life scenarios portraying actual and potential issues of bullying. Each scenario places participants in the role of bystanders and addresses bullying in all its forms, including verbal, physical and indirect bullying. Project Teamwork trainers make it clear that all manifestations of bullying are interconnected. Participants then discuss concrete options for intervention in these difficult situations. The Sport in Society approach does not involve finger pointing, nor does it blame participants for the widespread problem of discrimination and violence; instead, it sounds a positive call for proactive, preventive behavior and leadership.
Project Teamwork’s interactive trainings engage young people in discussions about their differences before these thoughts lead to violence. After training is completed, students become part of a larger association called Human Rights Squads where they put their words into action by engaging their school or local community in service projects that raise awareness of the importance of bullying prevention. As a Human Rights Squad member, students become a part of a network of over schools and community centers. HRS members pledge to reduce the amount of bullying in their schools and communities through service learning projects.
Options for bringing Project Teamwork to your organization
Awareness Raising Session: This diversity training provides participants with a basis understanding of cultural competency. Two hours of training time. Maximum 25 participants.
Train-the-Trainer Institutes: Institutes are three-day interactive trainings designed for adults and adult educators who would like to become certified in its cultural competency, diversity and anti-bullying curriculum. Maximum 25 participants