STAC Bullying Intervention Program

STAC is a copyrighted brief bullying intervention program for schools that teaches students to act as “defenders” on behalf of targets of bullying.  STAC stands for the four bullying intervention strategies: “Stealing the Show,” “Turning it Over,” “Accompanying Others,” and “Coaching Compassion.”  STAC was designed to place a low demand on schools both in terms of costs and time commitment.

STAC strategies

  • Stealing the Show:  Students learn to use humor or distraction to interrupt a bullying situation.
  • Turning it Over:  Students identify safe adults at school to report bullying.
  • Accompanying Others:  Students learn to support a student who is a target of bullying.
  • Coaching Compassion:  Students learn to gently confront perpetrators safely and effectively.

Content of the STAC Training

The initial 90-minute training includes didactic and experiential components followed by two, 15-minute booster sessions to support students to act as “defenders” on behalf of peers who are targets of bullying.  The initial training is delivered through an audiovisual presentation with information about bullying and age-appropriate ways to use the four STAC strategies. The training concludes with students breaking into small groups to practice the strategies.  During booster sessions, the school counselor talks with students about their experiences using the strategies, provides feedback, and brainstorms effective ways to implement and combine strategies.

Implementing STAC at your school

STAC is stand-alone program that consists of a 90-minute training conducted by the school counselor followed by 2, bi-weekly, 15-minute booster sessions. The training can take place in classrooms as part of the school counseling program and is specifically designed to meet the time constraints of K-12 school environments. If you are interested in more information about purchasing, implementing, or researching the STAC program, please contact Dr. Aida Midgett at aidamidgett@boisestate.edu or Katy Ritter at katyritter@boisestate.edu

Effectiveness of STAC

Researchers have published many studies that show the STAC program is effective in addressing bullying at school.

Students trained in the STAC program report increased:

  • knowledge of bullying
  • knowledge of the STAC strategies
  • confidence to intervene as “defenders”  
  • sense of school belonging
  • self-esteem

Further, studies have shown that the STAC program decreases:

  • bullying perpetration and victimization at school
  • depression symptoms for students who are trained
  • anxiety symptoms for students who are trained

Select Publications Investigating the STAC Program

Establishing School Counselors as Leaders in Bullying Curriculum Delivery: Evaluation of a Brief, School-Wide Bystander Intervention

The authors evaluated a brief, school-wide, bystander bullying intervention (STAC) designed to establish school counselors as leaders in curriculum delivery. Elementary school students trained in the program reported an increase in perceived knowledge and confidence to act as “defenders,” utilizing the STAC strategies when they observed bullying, and a decrease in bullying victimization and perpetration at a 4-month follow-up. We discuss implications for school counselors.

Read the article (PDF)

Training Students Who Occasionally Bully to Be Peer Advocates: Is a Bystander Intervention Effective in Reducing Bullying Behavior?

Bullying is a major public health problem faced by youth today. This randomized controlled study evaluated a brief, counselor-led bystander bullying intervention for elementary school students with a history of occasionally bullying (N = 54). The intervention—stealing the show, turning it over, accompanying others, and coaching compassion (STAC)—is designed to train students to intervene as peer advocates when they witness bullying situations at school. Students in the STAC intervention group reported a significantly lower level of bullying perpetration compared to students in the waitlist control group. Findings suggest that training students who bully to be peer advocates may be a promising approach to bullying prevention. The authors discuss future directions for research and implications for counselors.

Read the article (PDF)

Evaluation of a Brief, School-Based Bullying Bystander Intervention for Elementary School Students

Researchers have found that elementary school student bystanders benefit from intervening on behalf of students who are victims of bullying (Olenik-Shemesh, Heiman, & Eden, 2015). However, research is needed that evaluates the impact of bystander interventions on students trained to intervene as “defenders.” This study addresses this gap in research by evaluating the efficacy of a brief, school-based bystander intervention on the socioemotional adjustment of elementary school students trained to act as defenders to intervene in bullying incidences.

Read the article (PDF)

The Phenomenological Experience of Student - Advocates Trained as Defenders to Stop School Bullying

The authors investigated lived experiences of student-advocates trained in a brief, bystander bullying intervention program to stop bullying as “defenders.” Personal values, taking perceived risks, implementation of bullying intervention strategies, and positive sense of self were core themes with a textural-structural description that helped define students’ experiences. Implications and future research are discussed.

Read the article (PDF)

A Bystander Bullying Psychoeducation Program With Middle School Students: A Preliminary Report

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a brief, stand-alone bystander bullying psychoeducation program for middle school students. The purpose of the program was to train students to take action as peer advocates. Pre- and post-tests indicated that after completing the 90-minute psychoeducation program, students reported an increase in their ability to identify what different types of bullying look like, knowledge of bystander intervention strategies, and general confidence intervening as peer advocates. Implications for school counselors are discussed, including (1) taking a leadership role in program implementation, (2) having access to a brief, cost-effective bystander training intervention, and (3) applying the ASCA model to a bullying intervention. Directions for further research are discussed.

Read the article (PDF)

Contacts

If you are interested in learning more about the STAC program, please contact Dr. Aida Midgett or Katy Ritter.

  • Dr. Aida Midgett

    Dr. Aida Midgett

    Dr. Midgett’s research currently focuses on continuing to improve the STAC program and evaluate its efficacy in combating bullying and improving socio-emotional outcomes for students trained.  Dr. Midgett and her research team initially developed the STAC program for middle and elementary school settings, but she and her team have also conducted several studies to adapt STAC to be appropriate for high school students, as well as for students attending diverse, underserved middle schools.  Currently, her research team is working on the development of a STAC teacher training module. STAC has been implemented in many K-12 schools in various parts of Idaho.

    Dr. Midgett’s research currently focuses on continuing to improve the STAC program and evaluate its efficacy in combating bullying and improving socio-emotional outcomes for students trained.  Dr. Midgett and her research team initially developed the STAC program for middle and elementary school settings, but she and her team have also conducted several studies to adapt STAC to be appropriate for high school students, as well as for students attending diverse, underserved middle schools.  Currently, her research team is working on the development of a STAC teacher training module. STAC has been implemented in many K-12 schools in various parts of Idaho.

  • Katy Ritter

    Director of Technology Transfer

Back To Top