The latest tool for ending bullying in schools is a DOG!
This year, a growing number of schools are using dogs in classrooms to encourage kids to be less violent and more compassionate. For example: 80 schools in Kansas City have signed up for a dog program called No More Bullies. And Yale University created a new program called Mutt-i-grees, that’s already being used in 900 schools in 28 states. In that one, volunteers basically use dogs as “props” to talk to kids about the consequences of bullying. So, for example, they’ll ask kids to think about how an animal would feel if it was treated poorly, and then ask kids to consider how a classmate would feel if they were treated the same way.
Believe it or not, talking to kids that way really works. In fact, studies show that in schools where dogs were used to talk about bullying, acts of violence dropped 62 percent, while acts of empathy increased 42 percent! Psychologists say it’s because children can easily identify with animals. So, when they see dogs in the classroom, they pay more attention, and the message about bullying sinks in.