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since June 19, 2001


Dr. Shelley Hymel, speaker invited to the Alberta FV Roundtable pre-meeting, May 6th, 2004

Dr. Shelley Hymel - Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia.  Dr. Hymel has published several articles on peer rejection, harassment and bullying, and school-based intervention strategies.  She is currently co-writing a book on bullying, and co-leading a 3-year Canadian Initiative for the Prevention to Bullying funded by National Crime Prevention.


During the fall of 2003, Headlines Theatre, under the direction of David Diamond, worked with students from two secondary schools within the Vancouver School District to explore a drama-based approach to raising awareness regarding harassment, bullying and discrimination difficulties in school....

In one participating secondary school, we had the unique opportunity to formally evaluate the impact of this theatre-based "intervention" on students in grades 8-12 using the results of an extensive student survey on bullying, harassment and discrimination that was completed anonymously by all students as part of a school-based evaluation just two weeks after the Headlines Theatre performances....

...I was able to assist the school in analyzing the information collected on these surveys, with particular interest in whether or not the Headline's Theatre experience made any difference in how students viewed the problem [of bullying and harassment]....

Our goal was to compare students who participated in the Anti-Bullying Forum with those who did not....

Comparisons(1) of the responses of students who had participated in the Anti-Bullying Forum (as cast or audience members) with those who had not participated revealed that involvement in the Anti-Bullying Forum served to increase awareness about bullying, harassment, and discrimination, especially among males. This was evident in the higher reports of many different forms of harassment by students who had participated in the theatre event relative to those who had not participated at all....

Did greater awareness of harassment, bullying and discrimination lead students to feel less safe at school? Although participation in the Anti-Bullying Forum did not affect students' overall feelings of safety at school(7), male (but not female) participants expressed significantly greater concern or fear that they might be "physically attacked by other students" and "physically hurt by a group of other kids from school", as compared with students who did not participate at all(8).

Source: Letter from Shelley Hymel, Faculty of Education, UBC to David Diamond, Headlines Theatre, 4 April, 2003, RE: Impact of Headlines Anti-Bullying Forum on Secondary Students

If the intention of the program was to create greater fear in students "that they might be 'physically attacked by other students' and 'physically hurt by a group of other kids from school', as compared with students who did not participate at all," then the program was a great success.
   However, nothing is being said in Dr. Hymel's evaluation of the program as to what impact it had in real terms on trends (i.e. reduction of incidents of bullying and harassment over time).  But then, that was not the purpose of the program.  The purpose was to raise awareness and fear, right?  Nothing was said by Dr. Hymel in her letter about what the incident rates of harassment and bullying were in real terms before and after the program.  That would have been an objective assessment of whether the program had a beneficial impact in real terms.

Going by what Dr. Hymel reported in her survey of the impact of the program, in real terms the program served well to increase the number of reported incidents.

That was primarily evident in increased student awareness of the problem, as reflected in higher reports of such behavior by both self and others in multiple forms, as well as greater awareness that such behaviors were often "criminal offenses". (Ibid.)

It appears that how real incidents can and should be measured in absolute and objective terms is not as important as raising subjective awareness and perceptions.

Dr. Hymel should fit in well with the FV Roundtable, whose objective it is to raise awareness and fear about the relatively trivial "problem" of family violence, thereby to maintain the flow of funding for the women's shelter industry and related programs for women.

A search of the Internet for <"Shelley Hymel" abuse women> will provide you with about 16 search returns containing links to articles, and quotes by Shelley Hymel that show men as abusers of women or children.
   A search of the Internet for <"Shelley Hymel" abuse "men"> will provide you with about 15 search returns containing links to articles and quotes by Shelley Hymel that provide information on men as abusers of women and children and on what needs to be done to end men being such bad people.

That cannot under the best of circumstances be considered a balanced approach to social research pertaining to family violence, but it is without a doubt an approach that is profitable for Shelley Hymel.

Full list of invited speakers, including background information

Index to pages for Alberta FV round-table discussions

See also:

whiterose.gif (6796 bytes)The White Rose
Thoughts are Free

Posted 2004 04 18
2006 03 04 (added link to Feminism for Male College Students)
2007 12 23 (reformated)