Northern Illinois University Gets Grant From Department of Education to Combat Bullying

At North Illinois University, the Department of Education has awarded a grant of $1.25 million to help administrators and teachers combat bullying in school. Unfortunately, bullying is still a major problem in the United States, both online and in school. How to combat this issue affecting so many of our children has been discussed widely, and solutions have been implemented to help mitigate the issue.

Bullying can lead to depression and anxiety and impact school work and family life. Parents and teachers have often struggled to address it properly. This is especially true for students with disabilities who are already struggling. That’s why hearing stories of successful programs aimed at helping stop bullying and help students with disabilities is a positive step.

Here’s what Project Prevent and Address Bullying goals are:

  • Increase the number of high-quality, specially-trained, licensed school psychologists with unique training in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to prevent and address bullying with an emphasis on students with disabilities; and
  • Improve the developmental outcomes of students with disabilities by decreasing bullying.

The project directors for this program are Michelle Demaray, Julia Ogg, Christine Malecki, who all work in the Psychology program at North Illinois University, as well as Jesse Johnson from the Department of Special and Early Education (SEED).

This grant will combine the knowledge and expertise of the psychology department and the Department of Special and Early Education so that students in both disciplines who go into education will be better equipped at helping to protect students with disabilities from bullying in schools.

Christine Malecki, one of the directors for this program spoke on the importance of this grant award:

We hope that each set of students graduates with a better understanding of what the other does so that they can collaborate more effectively and impactfully.

Special education teachers are used to working with individuals, while school psychologists focus more on the classroom or school level. If each better understands the approach of the other, we think it will make both more effective.”

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