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Response to Intervention

Response to Intervention Assignment (100 points)

Each student will select a topic relevant to School Social Work practice for an issue impacting students in grades PreK-12 (Bullying).  The student will examine the topic of bullying using critical thinking skills and consider all aspects of the issue.  After conducting a comprehensive literature review the student will defend, through their writing, an effective evidence-based intervention for the identified problem. After completing the rational for using the identified intervention for the identified area of need, the student will complete a fictitious graphic display of data showing how the intervention would be monitored through an RtI model.  The student will also attempt to identify from the data collected what tier the student would fall in prior to and after the intervention. An RtI model is a system of monitoring student academic success through the use of single subject assessment (collect student information in baseline (without intervention), identify an intervention to use, implement the intervention and continue data collection- graphing data while in the intervention, if success is not noted in the intervention then the intervention is changed/modified, and data collection is continued until success is noted).  The RtI model is now being utilized for behavioral needs of student’s not just academic needs.  The new School Social Work standards include RtI for social-behavioral needs of students.

Paper must be typed and double-spaced. APA formatting is required.  Not to exceed 8 pages (12 point font).  This does not include Bibliography or sample intervention hand-outs if included.


Part 1: The Position Paper will include the following: (50 points)

In-depth description of the topic bullying and a summary defining the issue (literature review)

Description of current and relevant research on the topic of bullying

Description of how the issue impacts education (specify effects on individuals or groups)

Identify what tier the student falls in before and after the intervention

Select an evidence-based intervention for the issue or topic (citations)

Describe how you would determine if intervention is working and how you would gather needed data on targeted issue (evaluation)


Part II: RtI Graph/ Evidence-Based Intervention (graphic display of data) (50 points)

Each student will provide a graph that shows how the identified evidence-based intervention would be monitored and evaluated to ensure successful outcomes for the student.  The graph can display fictitious data about the target client showing how the RtI process would be utilized in monitoring academic/behavioral success of that student.  Also remember that you want to see if your intervention is working by viewing the graphic display.  Your graph should include a baseline, an intervention, a second intervention if the first intervention was unsuccessful, all axis should be labeled appropriately, and there should be a title on your graph. An article that explains how to use excel to format a graph and appropriately label all parts of the graph can be found in attached documents.


School Bullying


Bullying is a problem that nearly every child faces at some point in their lifetime. The majority of these children live in constant fear of harassment and are not able to live their lives as themselves. Bullying is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involve a real or perceived power imbalance. This behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Students who are bullied and who bully other may have serious, lasting problems. There are four main types of bullying in the world today (Smokowski & Kopasz, 2005). The four types of bullying are physical, verbal, social and emotional, and cyber. Physical bullying involves hurting someone’s body or belongings. It includes kicking, pinching, hitting, tripping, pushing, making mean or rude hand gestures, or damaging property. Verbal is writing or saying mean things. It includes intimidation, name-calling, teasing, homophobic or racist remarks, insults, or verbal abuse. Social and emotional is also called “relational bullying”. It includes behavioral actions designed to harm a someone’s relationship, reputation or cause humiliation; for example, lying and spreading rumors, playing mean jokes to embarrass or humiliated a child, negative facial gestures, mimicking the child in a mean way, encouraging social exclusion of a child, etc. Petrosino, Guckenburg, DeVoe, and Hanson (2010) found, girls are more likely than boys to engage in relational bullying, and this behavior is often learned at an early age. This category of bullying is the most difficult to recognize because it can be done behind the child’s back, but it is one of the most harmful. Children who are frequent victims of relational bullying feel rejected, depressed and submissive, and often do not see a resolution to the situation.” Cyber-bullying is bullying that involves electronic technology; for example, cell phones, computers, and tablets. It includes taunting or humiliation through social media sites (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) or the internet, cruel websites targeting specific youth, humiliating others while playing online games, verbal or emotional bullying through chat rooms and dating sites, instant message or texting, posting photos and video of other youth on rating websites, fake profiles, and etc. Smokowski and Kopasz, (2005) noted, students who are being cyber-bullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, students who are cyber-bullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior.

According to Petrosino et al. (2010), Cyber-bullying is the newest of the four bullying types, and it is constantly evolving and changing as new technology and social media sites are introduced. Cyber-bullying has expanded the boundary of bullying, allowing students to be bullied 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of where they are – even in their own bedrooms. People can post messages and images anonymously and distribute them quickly to a very wide audience within a matter of minutes which makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to trace. After they have been posted or sent, it makes it very difficult to delete any inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures. Bullying can be a very damaging experience, but something that is often over looked at is how very traumatic this experience can be to some people. It is a growing problem in today’s schools. Many adults believe it is something that is not as serious and they see it as, “a normal part of growing up or even a rite of passage” (Cooper, Clements, & Holt 2012).

Bullying Research

There is research going on related to bullying. Studies have shown that 15% of students are either bullied or initiate bullying behaviors on a regular basis (Smokowski & Kopasz, 2005). Due to the overwhelming number of victims, the occurrence rate, and the steadiness of bullying behaviors there has been a lot research into the complex behaviors of bullying. These observations imply that “bullying is an unpredictable behavior that appears to strike without pattern and becomes a difficult problem for about one in six students.” Bullying occurs in all schools and is not restricted by race, gender, class, or other natural distinctions, but appears worst during early adolescence and “there is compelling evidence that the impact of bullying has lifelong debilitating consequences.” (Cleary, Sullivan, & Sullivan, 2004 p. 2). School bullying has received a massive amount of media attention recently due to an increase in school shootings in the United States. Another area of bullying that is receiving much attention is the impact of bullying on the victims. Research has found that a significant number of victims reported experiencing social and academic trauma resulting from bullying. In fact, some victims were unable to complete high school because of the extreme bullying environment the student had to endure. Additionally, the bystander’s role in bullying is beginning to be researched. Studies have shown that bystanders play a significant role on whether the bullying situation occurs and persists or stops and is inhibited (Olweus, Limber, 2010). These bystanders include other students, school staff members, and teachers. The studies suggest the need to educate all school participants on the dynamics of the bullying process in order to develop and implement an intervention model that would be successful in any school setting (Olweus, Limber, 2010). Another influence on the bystander is that they can become a bully themselves. Research has shown that students may act more aggressively after observing an aggressive behavior by another student.   Finally, researchers are looking into bullying prevention programs and interventions in order to establish some evidence-based interventions that can be duplicated in any school setting. The studies are focusing on the characteristics of an effective bullying prevention program or intervention since all schools may not may the same resources to apply to a specific intervention. By analyzing the characteristics researchers and show what aspect of a program or intervention is effective.


Effects of Bullying

Bullying can have severe physical and emotional effects on its victim. There are several ways to bully a person for example, physically, verbally or psychologically all of which are intended to cause bodily harm and or emotional damage. Some consequences of bullying can be seen and felt immediately. When a bully punches another child in the arm, a bruise might appear, or during name calling the victim might cry. While the physical effects may be temporary, some things are not visible and may cause the most damage. Perhaps the lingering effect of bullying is found on the emotional front. The emotional trauma caused by bullying can last a lifetime. One of the effects of bullying is that it can have a negative effect on a victim’s personality. Children who were normally confident, outgoing, and happy can suddenly become withdrawn, awkward, and depressed (Schuster & Bogart, 2013). Additionally, being continually bullied can cause a child to stop trusting people altogether often causing relationship problems later in life (Caravita, Gini, & Pozzoli, 2012). Once a child has been a victim of bullying, they will avoid situations where he or she might be ridiculed. Often a child who is a bullying victim will develop anxiety behavior that was not previously present. Depression in these children can become so severe it causes them to lose all sense of self-worth. Victims seeing no escape from their torment attempt and at time are successful in committing suicide. In other instances, rage fills the child and they begin to seek revenge. In some cases, the victim may resort to bringing weapons to school for either self-defense or retribution. (Petrosino et al. 2010) Furthermore, because of bullying, victims often develop eating disorders, begin to self-injure, or require extensive counseling (Schuster & Bogart, 2013). Finally, bullying can become cyclical leading to more victims. (Petrosino et al. 2010). Victims will sometimes attempt to gain their power, control, and self-esteem back, by becoming bullies themselves. The torment inflicted on these victims can lead to significant social problems with avoidance associations being the highest reported in adults who experienced bullying as a child. The effects of bullying on bullies can be just as disturbing. The aggressor in bullying, suffers from the same types of symptoms as the victims, including low self-esteem, depression, withdrawal, and the ability to trust (Schuster & Bogart, 2013). Most people who bully are or have been victims of bullying. These people develop aggressive type behaviors that carry over into adulthood (Petrosino et al. 2010). Bullies are people as well and most need some type of mental health therapy. As children, these kids usually have low self-esteem issues which they channel into their bullying. As adults, these people become the bar room brawlers, manipulative bosses, and child abusers always looking for someone to prey on (Schuster & Bogart, 2013). Although, experiences from one’s past is not an excuse for future bad behavior; in reality, such experiences are often the cause of current behavior good or bad. Bullying has many effects on the social welfare of society. It is all but impossible to treat all these effects so, it becomes imperative that bullying is stopped.

Evidence Based Intervention

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) prevents or reduces bullying in elementary, middle, and junior high schools (with students ages five to fifteen (Olweus & Limber 2010). OBPP is not a curriculum, but an anti-bullying program that deals with bullying on a schoolwide macro level incorporating the classroom, individual, and community. Here is what happens at each level: Schoolwide: teachers and staff will be trained to use the program and deal with bullying problems.  A schoolwide committee will oversee the program. Students; will complete a questionnaire to give us information about the amount and type of bullying at our school. All students will follow these four anti-bullying rules: 1. We will not bully others. 2. We will try to help students who are bullied. 3. We will try to include students who are left out. 4. If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home. Staff will make sure that all areas of our school where bullying is likely to occur are being watched. There may be schoolwide parent meetings and parent and student events. In the Classroom: The four anti-bullying rules will be taught in all classrooms. Class meetings will be held where students can talk about bullying. Students will learn why they should not participate in bullying. They will also learn to ask an adult for help if they see or experience bullying. Teachers will use positive and negative consequences for following and not following the four anti bullying rules. Teachers will make the classroom a positive place for students. Teachers and other staff will be trained to deal with bullying situations and the students involved. Students who bully others will be given consequences as soon as possible. Students who are bullied will get support from school staff. Teachers and other staff will meet with the parents of students who bully and students who are bullied. In the Community: Our school will be looking for ways to develop partnerships with community members and carry the anti-bullying message community-wide (Cecil & Molnar-Main 2015).

Evaluation of the Intervention

I will be able to evaluate the OBPP using a multi-baseline design and implementing the intervention at different time or each grade. The OBPP comes with a questionnaire that students fill out anonymously during the baseline observation period. The questionnaire will provide the school administrators with information such as how much bullying is occurring and what types of bullying is occurring. The questionnaire will be given at the beginning of each semester and at the end of the semesters. That way we can see if the bullying is actually decreasing or if the bullying is not being reported to staff. By tracking the number of bullying incidents, the school will be able to make adjustments to the intervention such as reeducating the teachers, staff, and students on how the program is supposed to function.



Caravita, S., Gini, G., & Pozzoli, T. (2012). Main and Moderated Effects of Moral Cognition and   Status on Bullying and Defending. Aggressive Behavior, 38(6), 456-468.

Cecil, Heather, & Molnar-Main, Stacie. (2015). Olweus Bullying Prevention Program: Components Implemented by Elementary Classroom and Specialist Teachers. Journal of School Violence, 14(4), 335-362.

Cleary, M., Sullivan, G., & Sullivan, K. (2004). Bullying in secondary school. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press Inc.

Cooper, Gregory D., Clements, Paul Thomas, & Holt, Karyn E. (2012). Examining Childhood Bullying and Adolescent Suicide: Implications for School Nurses. Journal of School Nursing, 28(4), 275-283.

Olweus, D., & Limber, S. (2010). Bullying in School: Evaluation and Dissemination of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80(1), 124-134.

Petrosino, A., Guckenburg, S., DeVoe, J., & Hanson, T. (2010). What characteristics of bullying, bullying victims, and schools are associated with increased reporting of bullying to school officials? Issues& Answers Report, REL 2010-No. 092. Retrieved from ncee/edlabs/regions/northeast/pdf/ REL_2010092.pdf

Salmivalli, C., Karhunen, J., & Lagerspetz, K. (1996). How do the victims respond to bullying? Aggressive Behavior, 22(2), 99-109.

Schuster, Mark A., & Bogart, Laura M. (2013). Did the ugly duckling have PTSD? Bullying, its effects, and the role of pediatricians. Pediatrics, 131(1), E288.

Smokowski, P. R., & Kopasz, K. H. (2005). Bullying in school: An overview of types, effects, family characteristics, and intervention strategies. Children and Schools, 27(2), 101-109.