Antioch University New England Teaches Students to Change a Culture of Bullying

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Antioch University New England has started a new program that offers schools training in bullying prevention, ultimately empowering students to create a climate of respect.

"This generation of educators is being asked to take on bullying and harassment in a way that they have not been prepared for.”

The Antioch Center for School Renewal (ACSR) at Antioch University New England (AUNE) is offering a new program, the Bullying Prevention Project, aimed at empowering students to prevent bullying. Rob Koegel, a school coach and member of ACSR’s school change faculty, has launched the project at Bellows Falls Union High School in Bellows Falls, Vermont.

Through the program, Koegel trains parents and educators to help students stop bullying in their schools. The students learn to plant seeds of safety and respect in their schools, he said. “Students are uniquely positioned to challenge cruelty and build community, yet need adult support to become effective change agents.”

Research shows that, in the United States about 160,000 schoolchildren stay home from school every day because of bullying. As for bullies, they are more likely than their peers to commit dating violence, rape, domestic violence, elder abuse, workplace harassment, alcohol and drug abuse, and other offenses throughout their lives, Koegel said. And bullying hurts bystanders as well as victims. “After years of denial, the degree of trauma to a bystander is finally being recognized,” he said.

The bullying prevention project offers a range of workshops to teachers, students, staff and parents that can run from a single workshop of two or three hours to sessions that extend over several days.

“[Prevention training] is still so sorely needed,” Koegel said. “Research has shown that a lot of commonly used strategies are based on old myths that are often counterproductive, especially the messages we give to students. This generation of educators is being asked to take on bullying and harassment in a way that they have not been prepared for.”

Koegel will present “Empowering Bystanders: Transforming a Culture of Cruelty,” a workshop for teachers, counselors, nurses, paraprofessionals and administrators, on Friday, December 2, at the Southeast Vermont Learning Collaborative, in Dummerston. For more information, contact Koegel at 802-258-4658 or email

ACSR is the service division of AUNE’s Department of Education that provides professional development for teachers in New England. Find more information about ACSR’s bullying and harassment prevention training here.

About Antioch University New England (AUNE)
Antioch University New England offers highly respected doctoral, master’s and certificate programs in education, environmental studies, management and psychology. Located in Keene, New Hampshire, this unique institution serves approximately one thousand students each year. Our graduates have gone on to be leaders of positive change, working toward a more just and sustainable society. Founded in 1964, Antioch University New England is the oldest of Antioch University’s graduate campuses. Learn more at:

About Antioch University
Antioch University serves adult students around the world and across the country, online and at its five campuses in four states. Each campus offers degree programs that meet—and often anticipate—the pressing needs of its region and the wider world. The University is also home to the landmark PhD in Leadership and Change; Antioch Education Abroad, an exceptional opportunity of immersive service and study programs; and WYSO, a leading public radio affiliate and an essential source of global news and opinion.

Antioch University is a nonprofit private 501(c) (3) organization and member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information, visit


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