In an effort to prevent tragic incidents like Columbine from recurring, bully-proofing programs are being implemented with the premise that bullies should be identified and an intervention program administered while victims are taught to defend themselves against bullies. However, our survey of middle school students showed that youth could be both bullies and victims at the same time and under variable conditions. The research results call into question the likelihood of success in bully-proofing programs. Instead, the results suggest that promoting positive youth development programs and creating a sense of safety in schools and neighborhoods may be more effective approaches.

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