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FLL Team #1625 Cool Orange LEGO Athletes Animal Alliance 2016

“PAW”SE.  STOP BULLYING 
USING A SERVICE DOG TO STOP BULLYING PROJECT

Rover - built by the team and used in Cool Orange's presentation at the FLL ExpoProblem:  Bullying is taking place at places where kids are, such as, at school, on the bus, and on the playground
 
Solution: We want to stop bullying by training a service dog to identify bullying and bark to alert a monitor.  The monitor would then handle the bullying.
 
Why are we doing this project?  Kids are being bullied and that causes kids to have problems.  Video cameras may capture the bullying on a school bus, but doesn’t stop it. On a playground, the adults may not see bullying taking place.
 
Does anyone else have the same program?
We looked online in the St. Louis area and did not see a program like ours.  We did find a program located in Kansas City called “No more bullies”.  This program brings dogs into the classroom to teach kids about fairness, compassion, and integrity for one hour a day over five days.
(Resource:  internet
Another story is Evan who is seeking funds for an emotional dog on GoFundMe.  Emotional support dogs are dogs that provide comfort and support in forms of affection and companionship for an individual suffering from various mental and emotional conditions. An emotional support dog is not required to perform any specific tasks for a disability like service dogs are.
(Resource:  internet
URL: usdogregistry.org/information/information-on-emotional-support-dogs/)
How will the program work?
A monitor will be trained to handle a service dog that is trained to identify bullying by recognizing the emotions of bullying, walking to where the bullying is taking place, and barking.  The monitor would then handle the bullying by following procedures, such as taking names and referring the incident to the principal.  This should not only stop the bullying in progress, but once the children know the dog can identify bullying, it will keep them from bullying in the first place.
 
What type of kids are bullied?
Targets May Be Good at What They Do
A lot of times kids will be bullied because they get a lot of positive attention for something. This could be everything from excelling in sports, making the cheerleading squad, or getting the editor’s position on the school newspaper. Bullies target these students because they either feel inferior or they worry that their abilities are being overshadowed by the target’s abilities.
 
Targets May Be Intelligent, Determined and Creative
At school, these students go that extra mile on schoolwork. Or they learn very quickly and move through projects and assignments faster than other students. For instance, gifted students are often targeted for being smart.
 
Targets May Have Personal Vulnerabilities
Children who are introverted, anxious, or submissive are more likely to be bullied than kids who are extroverted and assertive.  In fact, some researchers believe that kids who lack self-esteem may attract kids who are prone to bully. Finally, research shows that kids suffering from depression or stress-related conditions also may be more likely to be bullied.
 
Targets May Have Few or No Friends
Many victims of bullying tend to have fewer friends than children who do not experience bullying. What’s more, they may be rejected by their peers and usually spend lunch and recess alone. Parents and teachers can prevent bullying of socially-isolated students by helping them develop friendships.
 
Targets May Be Popular or Well-Liked
Sometimes bullies target popular or well-liked children because of the threat they pose to the bully. Mean girls are especially likely to target a girl who threatens her status at school or her social standing.
 
Targets Have Physical Features That Attract Attention
Whether a target is short or tall, fat or thin bullies may target them. Almost any type of physical characteristic that is different or unique can attract the attention of bullies including wearing glasses, having acne, having a large nose, or having ears that stick out.
 
Targets Have an Illness or Disability
Oftentimes, bullies target special needs children. This can include children who have Asperger’s, autism, ADHD, dyslexia, or any condition that sets them apart. What’s more, kids with conditions like food allergies, asthma, Down syndrome, and other conditions also can be targeted by bullies.
 
Targets Have a Different Sexual Orientation
More often than not, kids are bullied for being gay. In fact, some of the most brutal bullying incidents have involved children who are bullied for their sexual orientation.
 
Targets Have Different Religious or Cultural Beliefs
One example of bullying because of religious or cultural beliefs includes the treatment Muslim students received after the 9/11 tragedy. But any student can be bullied for their religious beliefs. Both Christian students and Jewish students are often ridiculed for their beliefs and practices as well.
 
Targets Belong to a Different Racial Group
Sometimes kids will bully others because they are of a different race. For instance, Caucasian students may single out African-American students and bully them. Or African-American students may single out Caucasian students and bully them. It happens with all races and in all directions. No race is exempt from being bullied, and no race is exempt from having bullies.
(Resource:  Internet
 
What happens to kids who are bullied?
Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:
1.   Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.
2.   Health complaints
3.   Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
A very small number of bullied children might retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied.
(Resource:  Internet
 
What are some statistics of bullying?
1.   22% of kids get bullied each year
2.   64% of kids don’t report it
3.  19.6% high schoolers report being cyber-bullied
4.  16% of bullying is from race
5.  55% of bullying is from looks
6.  37% of bullying is body shape or size.  Example:  obesity
(Resource:  Internet
URL:  http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/stats.asp)
 
Who will we benefit from our program?
Kids who are bullied; the school, and the bus driver
 
Who would need to be involved in the program?
Parents, teachers, monitors, our team, kids, school district, dogs, dog trainer, bus drivers, Principal
 
What is a service dog?
A service dog is a type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental illnesses (such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)), seizure disorder, mobility impairment, and diabetes.
(Resource:   Internet
URL:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_dog)
 
Why do we need a monitor to be with the service dog?
The dog would not be intervening in the bullying, just alerting.  The monitor would take care of the service dog and take the next steps in handling the bullying.
 
Who would do the training for the monitor?
The monitor would need to be trained on bullying and the procedures for handling bullying.  The monitor would also need to be trained on how to handle the service dog at obedience school.
 
Who would train the dog?
The dog would first need to be trained at obedience school on the basic commands.  Then a special trainer would need to be used to train the dog to identify bullying by recognizing human emotions.
(Resource:  Internet
 
What type of dog would be best used for this task?  Labrador
(Resource:  Expert, St. Charles Officer Allen – Canine Unit)
 
Why is this the best dog breed to use?  A Labrador is loyal, intelligent, a fast learner, caring, and a problem solver.  They excel at obedience and search and rescue.
(Resource:  Internet
 
What type of training would the dog need?  Basic Obedience training, which includes Sit, Come, Stay, Down, Heel and how to walk on a leash.  The dog would need to be able to identify human emotions and body language and clips would be shown to the dog so the dog could recognize bullying and then go to where it is happening and bark to alert the monitor.
(Resource:  Internet
Resource:  Video
Resource:  Internet
 
What work or tasks can a service dog do that relate to bullying? 
Anxiety – can lead monitor to situation
Change in breathing – can lead monitor to situation
Emotional escalation – can lead monitor to situation
Fear – can lead monitor to situation
Fight – can lead monitor to situation
Increase in heart rate – can lead monitor to situation
Irritability – can lead monitor to situation
Pounding heart – can lead monitor to situation
Sadness or tearfulness – can lead monitor to situation
Startle response – can lead monitor to situation
Trembling – can lead monitor to situation
(Resource:  Internet
 
What benefits will the dog have by being a service dog that identifies bullying? 
The dog would be trained and be cared for and have all of its’ shots and things that it needs for a good life.  Grooming would be important since the dog would be around children.
(Resource:  Internet
URL:  http://servicedogcentral.org/content/node/495)
 
What are some of the benefits the monitor will have by having a service dog to stop bullying? 
They would have a companion to help with their job.  They would be trusted and have respect from the bus driver and children.  They would also have a connection with the community and school.
 
What may be some problems the dog would have by being a dog that identifies bullying? 
Physical abuse; he might be wrong when identifying bullying 
 
When should a dog be removed from service dog training? 
Service dog candidates should be removed from service dog training if they:
• have a medical condition that prevents them from comfortably working
• show aggressive tendencies
• are nervous, uncomfortable, or unhappy working
(Resource:  Internet
URL:  http://www.psychdogpartners.org/resources/frequently-asked-questions/faq-training-basics)
 
What are some of the problems the monitor will have by having a service dog to help stop bullying? 
Having to invest a lot of time into training, the dog may not listen, the students may be mean to the dog
 
What are some of the problems we would have with the entire program? 
We would have to have a licensed professional to train the dog and monitor; the program will take years to develop; parents may not like the ideas of dogs being around their children; children may be allergic to dog; there is a high cost to run the program
 
How would we fix those problems?
We would have a program to train the school and parents on the program
The team decided that we may be able to use a Labradoodle for the service dog instead of a Labrador due to that dog having less dander and therefore not being as allergic.  Labradoodles have great temperaments for being a service dog.
(Resource:  Internet
URL:  http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Breeds/Labradoodle/Temperament.aspx)
We could raise money by getting donations to start our program.
 
What are things a dog should do or not do in public?
There are minimum training requirements for service dogs listed by International Association of
Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) Dogs should not bark at other dogs, get excited or fearful, be potty-trained, go after food, etc.
(Resource:  Internet
 
What are the program costs?  $4,087 for the dog itself; $1000.00 for the monitor training
First Year Costs
Product/Service            Cost         
Puppy                        $1,500    
Spay/Neuter                $300        
Vet Visits                    $220        
Vaccinations                 $100        
Flea Meds                   $120         Required for our guide and service dog pups
Heartworm                  $120         Required for our guide and service dog pups
License                       $27         
Dog Toys                    $50         
Training                      $650        
Treats                         $100        
Dog Chews                 $100        
Food                          $600 .
Other Accessories         $200         Crate, Natures Miracle, Bitter Apple Spray, Dog Bed, Dog Blanket, Bowl, Collar, Leash, Tags, Shampoo, Brush, Tooth Brush, etc.
TOTAL      $4,087 first year
 
(Resource:  Internet
The total cost of temperament testing, veterinary care, food, training and other expenses associated with assistance dog training and placement is currently just in excess of $18,000.       
(Resource:  Internet
URL: servicedogsupport.org/about/faq/)
 
 
When would the anti-bullying service dog program start? 
In the year 2019.  It takes 1 – 2 years for the service dog training.
(Resource:  Internet
URL: servicedogsupport.org/about/faq/)
 
Who have we shared our project with?
We talked with Officer Allen at the Police Dog Demonstration and he thought our project was a great idea!  We shared our presentation with a Jr. LEGO League team and the parents.  We also have a website that you can go to at http://www.colacontractingsafety.com/Cool-Orange-LEGO-Athletes-2016.html
 
What are our next steps? 
The next steps would be to find a trainer, a dog, and a school who would try our idea.  We would contact Anti-bullying organizations in St. Louis, such as, CHADS Coalition, No More Bullying, and the Megan Meier Foundation to help us raise money for our program.
(Resource:  Internet Google search “anti-bullying organizations in st. louis mo”)
 
 
 
Am I a bully?
How can you tell if you ever bully? You are a bully if you do things you know will hurt people or make them feel bad.  Ask yourself these questions:
1.  Do I feel better when I hurt other kids or take their stuff?
2.  Do I use my strength or size to get my way?
3.  Do I like to leave others out to make them feel bad?
4.  Have I ever spread a rumor that I know was not true?
5.  Do I like teasing others?
6.  Is it funny to me when I see other kids getting made fun of?
7.  Have I ever kicked, punched, or hit someone?
If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, you may be a bully.  Is that how you want to be?  Of course not!  Everyone makes mistakes.  You can change the way you act.  The first step it to say “I’m sorry.”  Practice being nice to other people.  Think before you say or do something.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.

(Resource:  Book, Excerpt from “Bully free playground” by Pamela Hall)
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