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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/ 9/2009

An anti-bullying program that works

By Valerie Strauss

Most everybody knows a story about a bully at school, and most everybody knows that most schools don’t do enough to address the problem.

A conversation at http://www.storiesfromschool.org/ between an elementary school teacher and a state legislator in Washington is revealing about how to approach the problem. http://www.storiesfromschool.org/2009/12/joint-blog-legislator-sfs-blogger-discuss-school-bullying-harrassment.html#more

The teacher, named Tom, discusses how his school set up the Olweus Bullying Prevention program that was developed in Norway but now operated from Clemson University in South Carolina.

The Olweus Program (pronounced Ol-VEY-us; the E sounds like a long A) is a school-wide program designed for elementary and middle/junior high schools and involve level schools that is comprehensive and involves every single person in the school. It is considered in the education world to be as effective a program to reduce bullying as exists.

Here are some of the steps Tom’s school took, and you can read the entire post here.

“The first thing we did was send some of our staff out to get trained. They came back and trained the rest of us. It wasn’t too complicated, but it was very effective. We learned what bullying is and what it isn’t. We learned about the myths that surround the issue. And we learned that there are specific actions that staff and students can do to prevent bullying.

“After we got the staff properly trained, we turned our attention to the students. We proceeded with the following steps:

“We had whole school assemblies to teach our students exactly what bullying is, and what it isn’t.

“We surveyed our students and their parents to find out the extent, the nature and the exact locations of bullying in our school.

“We began regular meetings in each classroom designed to have students discuss any bullying situations that arose over the past week. Teachers were taught how to confront the bullies in their own classrooms when their names came up in the class meetings.

“We also taught our students how to act when they see bullying at school. They learned that group dynamics play a huge role in either escalating or de-escalating a bullying situation.

“We educated our parents about how to help their children properly deal with bullying, in a way that is non-violent, yet effective.

“We emphasized our focus on ending bullying with an anti-bullying pledge, recited by the student body three mornings a week....

“It’s paid off.”


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By Valerie Strauss  | December 9, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Bullying  | Tags:  bullying  
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Comments

Actually you missed a step here, you need to persuade teachers that kids they find annoying or needy can and are beig bullied. The unfortunate truth is that some kids are more likely to be bullied and their teachers often are not fond of those kids and turn a blind eye. What has surprised me over and over having delt with these issues is how often teachers want to turn a blind eye to bullying. It is hard for kids to take it seriously if their teachers won't.

Posted by: Brooklander | December 10, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

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