Second Steps

Second Steps: Bullying Prevention Program

Bullying: How and Why We Should Prevent It

We can train adults to respond to bullying quickly and effectively. When adults lead anti-bullying efforts in schools, the results are reductions in bullying and more positive student attitudes toward school, increased student willingness to seek help, and less tolerant attitudes toward bullying.

We can teach friendship skills to lessen both the likelihood of victimization and its impact. Studies show that students who have at least one friend are less likely to be bullied, and when they are, those who have a good friend have fewer behavioral problems as a result.

We can teach social skills so that students know how to respond to bullying. If students are passive, they are more likely to be a target of bullying, but if they are aggressive, the bullying can escalate. The middle ground is being assertive by standing up for themselves and their peers.

We can teach responsible bystander skills so that bullying is not encouraged. Since children look to others for how to respond to bullying, their peers’ reactions can make or break a bullying situation. Stand around and watch or laugh, and the bullying is prolonged; intervene appropriately, and the bullying tends to stop.


Social-emotional skills—like math skills—build on each other. Our universal, classroom-based program is designed to teach children how to understand and manage their emotions, control their reactions, be aware of others’ feelings, and have the skills to problem-solve and make responsible decisions. Each grade-level kit includes easy-to-teach, short weekly lessons, engaging songs and games, and daily activities and take-home materials to reinforce learning

Early Learning

Your youngest learners will benefit more from preschool and be better prepared for kindergarten with self-regulation and executive-function skills that help them pay attention, remember directions, and control their behavior.


Students in grades K–5 continue developing their social-emotional skills—including making friends, managing emotions, and solving problems—to set them on the path for social success and academic readiness.

Middle School

Middle-schoolers are better prepared to navigate adolescence with communication, coping, and decision-making skills that help them make good choices and avoid pitfalls, such as peer pressure, substance abuse, and bullying.