Bullying reports have gone down since the Sioux Falls School District implemented a bully prevention model two years ago, but the program has not yet fulfilled its promise of empowering students to stick up for their peers, school officials say.
Patrick Henry Middle School was the first in the school district to use the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. In two years, the percentage of students there who said they wanted to help victims of bullying grew from 63 percent to 86 percent. That gain was a key reason a committee recommended that all elementary and middle schools adopt the Olweus curriculum in fall 2011.
But while fewer students say they have participated in or been victims of bullying, they are no more likely to intervene when another student is getting picked on.