Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs

Author: Lori Ernsperger

Format: Paperback, 208 pages, 7.0 x 10.0
ISBN: 9781598579079
Price: $26.95

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Bullying in schools is a national problem that affects a high percentage of students with special needs. This ready-to-use guidebook gives K–12 educators, administrators, and school counselors the research-based interventions they need to stop bullying in its tracks—and prevent it before it starts.

Using a simple framework of 3 Rs (Recognize, Respond, and Report), you'll master the core components of preventing and addressing bullying and disability-based harassment at the district level, classroom level, and individual level. Practical, proven strategies and tools blend with heartfelt, real-world advice from students who've experienced bullying themselves. An easy fit with your existing initiatives, whether you use PBIS or a commercial anti-bullying program, this essential resource will help you create a safe and secure learning environment for all students to reach their full potential.


  • distinguish bullying from normal childhood conflicts
  • develop effective anti-bullying interventions for victims, bystanders, and students who exhibit bullying behaviors
  • address the current legal ramifications of disability-based harassment
  • weave social-emotional learning into your existing curriculum
  • establish a positive and welcoming school climate where respect and acceptance are the norm
  • collect and analyze data on bullying for data-based decision making and results-driven accountability
  • involve parents addressing the issues surrounding bullying, at home and at school
  • understand how teachers and staff may unwittingly contribute to a culture of bullying—and how to stop it

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Helpful implementation checklists for each chapter, plus practical tools such as a planning matrix, student and staff surveys, needs assessments, school improvement plans, and bullying reporting forms.

Watch a webinar to get an inside look!


Review by: Chad Rose, University of Missouri
“Offers a comprehensive evaluation of the state of bullying involvement among students with disabilities, and provides practical guidance ... I would recommend this book to any school that is attempting to establish or expand their bully prevention efforts.”
Review by: Mara Sapon-Shevin, Syracuse University
“A valuable addition to the anti-bullying literature will be immediately useful for all those who work with marginalized students and those targeted for mistreatment.”
Review by: Randy Sprick, Director, Safe & Civil Schools
“A logical and user-friendly approach for school-based practitioners to be more aware of and be able to prevent and intervene with bulliying situations.”
Review by: Nicole Eredics, Inclusion Specialist, The Inclusive Class
“Look no further for solutions and strategies to prevent and address bullying of special needs students. Using a multi-tiered approach, this book outlines effective, practical ways to create bully-free environments for some of our most vulnerable students. A must-read for parents and professionals!”

Table of Contents

About the Author

I. Recognize: Bullying and Disability-based Harassment in Schools

  1. Prevalence and Definition of Bullying and Disability Harassment
    • Definition of Bullying
      • Bullying Vs. Normal Childhood Conflict
      • Disability-Based Harassment
      • Implementation Checklist
  2. Types of Bullying
    • Cyberbullying
    • Bully-Victim Dynamic
    • Staff Mistreatment of Students with Disabilities
    • Implementation Checklist
  3. Impact of Bullying and Harassment
    • Impact on Academic Achievement
    • Impact of Parental Involvement
    • Impact on School Safety
    • Impact of Zero Tolerance Policies
    • Core Components for Preventing Bullying and Harassment
    • Implementation Checklist

II. Respond to Bullying and Disability-Based Harassment in Schools

  1. Research Based Interventions to Prevent Bullying in Schools
    • Nine Core Components for Bullying Prevention
    • Multitiered Framework
    • District and School-Wide Interventions
    • Creating a Positive School Climate
      • Social Emotional Learning
      • School Safety Teams
      • Parental Involvement
      • Staff Training
      • Bullying Prevention
      • Staff Training Methods
    • Additional District and School Level Interventions
    • Implementation Checklist
  2. Classroom Level Interventions
    • Role of the Teacher
      • Positive Learning Environment
    • Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom
      • Teaching Bullying Prevention Skills
      • Class Meetings
      • Implementation Checklist
  3. Individual Level Interventions
    • The Bystander
      • Bystander Training
      • Bystander Protocol
      • Peer Mentoring
    • Student who Exhibits Bullying Behaviors (The Bully)
      • Graduated Consequences
    • The Victim
      • Educational (Individualized Education Program) Planning
      • Teaching Appropriate Skills
    • What NOT to Do
    • Implementation Checklist

III. Report Bullying and Disability-Based Harassment in Schools

  1. Results Driven Accountability
    • Assessment Data
      • School Surveys
    • Focus Groups
    • Implementation Checklist
  2. Bullying and Harassment Report and Investigation
    • The Report Form
    • Investigating Bullying
    • Determining Disability Based Harassment
    • Implementation Checklist
  3. Data Analysis and Future Planning
    • Organizing the Data
    • Annual Report to Stakeholders
    • Transparency
    • Implementation Standards
    • Accountability Standards
    • Sustainability
    • Implementation Checklist


  • Appendix A: Planning Matrix
  • Appendix B: Additional Classroom Management Interventions
  • Appendix C: Sample Dear Abbey Letters
  • Appendix D: Sample Social Narrative
  • Appendix E: Sample Bullying and Harassment Report Form
  • Appendix F: Bullying and Harassment Auditing Checklist

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