Breaking the Code is a research-based prevention simulation that highlights the existence and harmfulness of a hidden and unchallenged bullying social structure. It incorporates social issues such as shunning, intimidation, gossiping, lies, discrimination, threats, physical abuse, and making fun of others. The purpose of Breaking the Code is to impact the beliefs and attitudes middle and high school students have about bullying. It attempts to show how bullying allows a hidden code of conduct or a 'pecking order' of power to exist in a school's social climate, and how a simple seemingly insignificant decision a bystander makes has the power to strengthen or weaken this code and structure. It encourages youth to take a stand against all behavior that treats others as inferior and change the social environment of their school and community.
Breaking the Code exposes the social hierarchy that exists when bullying is tolerated. It also teaches bystanders about the power they have to change the social climate of their school and community. This simulation can be a powerful part of a comprehensive effort to provide social, emotional and character development that not only teaches and affects individual students, but can change a whole school's environment.
BTC is a simulation activity and guided discussion. It provides youth with a visual understanding of how a social hierarchy of bulling permits a climate of inequality and harassment to continue and increase for those who are singled out as the targets of mistreatment. The simulation tells a story of high school youth faced with everyday situations where they are pressured to give in to the bully's social structure.
Breaking the Code: A Bullying Simulation equips teachers and school counselors with scenarios, research, guided discussion and evaluation tools. The scenarios help students see the affects of bullying on the victim, the bully and the social climate. As students discuss what they have just witnessed, they are empowered to identify helpful and unhelpful options for responding to bullying situations.