Name It 2 Change It: Community Bullying Prevention

Bullying Unplugged archives a bullying prevention festival in 2008.  Bullying is externalized and discussed by the youth. Click here to download.

NI2CI was administered through Haldimand Norfolk REACH and stood on partnership and collaboration between many agencies, organizations and community members. 

The Name It 2 Change It Community Bullying Prevention Project was unique in several ways.  Drawing from narrative therapy we adopted an externalized understanding of the problem of Bullying. Secondly it involved a youth engagement approach seeking local knowledge that can be activated to inform contextually specific preventative proposals for action within communities. This is important in several ways. 

  • In understanding the problem is the problem not the person there is opportunity to join together (those who use bullying and those who see it and/or experience it) to work to undermine and address the problem.  This moves away from "Us vs. Them" side taking.
  • It invites a significant language shift from the traditional "Bully, Bystander, Victim" to  people who 'use' bullying, 'experience' bullying and 'see' bullying happen. This is significant in assisting to move away from stock plot characterizations of youth/people/families that serve to totalize them as only engaging in one relationship style.
  • A youth engagement approach seeks to elicit the local knowledge of the youth.  That knowledge will be contextually and culturally relevant in informing next steps toward bullying prevention.  It is a move away from cookie cutter approaches to address bullying.  
  • This externalized approach invites the naming and examination of cultural discourses that may serve to support bullying relationship styles.  Discourses under examination in Western culture include competition, personal gain, hierarchy, adultism, normalizing judgement among others.  This is not a call to problematize these discourses but rather to name and examine them as it's when they come to dominate people that Bullying takes a hold.  
  • NI2CI is a whole community approach to bullying prevention sharing responsibility to address bullying and teach respectful relationship styles with everyone everywhere. 
  • The heart of NI2CI is a collective of committed community members, organizations and agencies who form the Community Bullying Prevention Committee.  

One of the exciting developments from this inititaive was the  creation of the book We Want You To Know by Debrah Ellis.  This book collects the voices of the youth- those who experience bullying and those who use bullying.  It makes visible the tactics and tricks as well as effects of Bullying.  A great resource for discussion at home or in the classroom!

© Scot J. Cooper Inc. 2023