Sport in Society and MIAA Team Up for Bullying Prevention


November 05, 2012

Joining forces with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, Sport in Society brought together student-athletes and educators from three Massachusetts high schools for the inaugural Bullying Prevention Institute. During the two-day experience over the summer, Sport in Society facilitators provided an interactive training for participants from Dennis-Yarmouth Regional, Assabet Valley Regional Technical, and The English High School of Boston.

The alarming rate at which bullying occurs every day in schools through the country is a major cause for concern. In order to empower student athletes and educators with the skills they need to promote a healthy and inclusive environment in their schools and communities, Sport in Society trainers outlined four goals for the institute: to raise awareness, challenge thinking, open dialogue, and inspire leadership.  Utilizing Sport in Society’s Project Teamwork curriculum, students and advisors participated in a series of exercises and real-life scenarios that sparked group dialogue.

One participant remarked that the most helpful aspect of the training was being able “to hear their [other participants] stories and advice in some situations I might go through.”

Another part of the experience lauded by participants was the skilled facilitation. “I enjoyed how relaxed the facilitators were,” explained one student-athlete, “they made it a completely comfortable experience because they mixed humor with personal stories.”

In addition to learning key strategies for bullying prevention, the participants were tasked to pass along the message to students at middle schools in their school district. To help them accomplish this initiative, participants were directed to familiarize themselves with a part of the curriculum and practice facilitating in front of their peers. For many, the opportunity to learn from Sport in Society’s feedback and practice the role of the facilitator was the highlight of their experience.

At the close of the institute participants left feeling empowered and eager to advocate for positive culture in their school systems; one participant successfully captured the thoughts of many of those who attended in stating, “I feel more than ready to spread the word. This program has opened my eyes to bullying and I’m ready to stop it in my community.”

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    The Center for the Study of Sport in Society
    360 Huntington Avenue, 42BV
    Boston, Massachusetts 02115
    Phone: 617-373-4025
    Fax: 617-373-8574
    sportinsociety@neu.edu