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Anti-bullying programs not very effective, forum told

Forget about any magic solution to bullying.

The average reduction in school bullying from any program tried so far is about 20 per cent, University of British Columbia education Prof. Shelley Hymel told a provincial forum on safe and caring schools this morning.

"Currently, we do not know what is the best method for dealing with bullying," Hymel told about 300 school division officials and students.

Hymel said that researchers are learning that bullying peaks around the end of elementary school, and is far worse when students are in groups.

"Our brains are wired to conform" to the group, said Hymel, who urged teachers to have entire classrooms see themselves as a unit rather than "splinter into cliques".

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Updated on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 1:34 PM CDT: adds photo

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