Bullying and school violence are critical issues facing 21st century educational leaders. U.S. public schools have been scrambling to develop and implement anti-bullying programs with varying degrees of success. Bullying leads to disruption of learning, and its lasting effects of anxiety, depression, anger, and actual brain damage follow victims into adulthood. This paper explores two communication theories (Social Learning and Cultivation) to consider how the over-exposure to violent media messages may contribute to aggressive behavior. Furthermore, the proposal considers research that suggests a response to school bullying needs to be based on a model of communication that describes a process of dialogue, information sharing, mutual understanding, and collective action (Figueroa, Kincaid, Lewis, & Rani, 2002). In response to this research, this proposal will explore the Time Dollar Youth Court (TDYC) model as an alternative to traditional anti-bullying programs. TDYC is part of TimeBanks USA, a nonprofit model of community time-based exchange. TDYC not only provides opportunities for non-profit and community collaboration but promotes social justice by empowering students to solve their own problems through a constructive and meaningful approach.
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