Olweus: Bully-Prevention Program at Wood
Wood Intermediate School is teaching students how they can help stop and prevent bullying. Using the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, through classroom meetings and individual interventions, students are learning how to respond to bullying when they witness it rather than being a silent bystander.
Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself. Bullying can take many forms, such as hitting, verbal harassment, spreading false rumors, not letting someone be a part of a group, and sending nasty messages on a cell phone or over the internet.
Student Involvement: Bullying involves everyone at school, because it affects the entire school climate. Although your child may not be directly involved, your child may see it happen, or know someone who is being bullied. In that case, he or she is involved by either taking action to stop it, or doing nothing at all.
How do I talk to my child about bullying?
- I’m interested in your thoughts and feelings about bullying. What does the word “bullying” mean to you?
- Do you ever see students at your school being bullied by other students? How does it make you feel?
- What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
- Have you ever tried to help someone being bullied? What happened? What do you think you can do if it happens again?
- Would you feel like a “tattletale” if you told an adult that someone was bullying?
- Have you ever called another person names? Do you think that is bullying?
- Do you or your friends ever leave other students out of activities?
On-the-Spot Bullying Interventions- When you see bullying happen:
Step 1: Stop the bullying.
Step 2: Support the student who has been bullied.
Step 3: To the student(s) who bullied: Name the bullying behavior and refer to the four anti-bullying rules.
Step 4: Empower the bystanders with appreciation if they were supportive to the student who was bullied or with information about how to act in the future.
Step 5: Impose immediate and appropriate consequences for the student(s) who bullied.
Step 6: Take steps to make sure the student who was bullied will be protected from future bullying.
Bully Prevention News: Addressing Bullying Behavior
Parents, school staff, and organizations all have a role to play.
1) Make sure the child knows what the problem behavior is. Young people who bully must learn their behavior is wrong and harms others.
2) Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. Calmly tell the child that bullying will not be tolerated. Model respectful behavior when addressing the problem.
3) Work with the child to understand some of the reasons he or she bullied. For example:
- Sometimes children bully to fit in. These kids can benefit from participating in positive activities. Involvement in sports and clubs can enable them to take leadership roles and make friends without feeling the need to bully.
- Other times kids act out because something else—issues at home, abuse, stress—is going on in their lives. They also may have been bullied. These kids may be in need of additional support, such as mental health services.
4) Use consequences to teach. Consequences that involve learning or building empathy can help prevent future bullying. School staff should remember to follow the guidelines in their student code of conduct and other policies in developing consequences and assigning discipline. For example, the child who bullied can:
- Lead a class discussion about how to be a good friend.
- Write a story about the effects of bullying or benefits of teamwork.
- Role-play a scenario or make a presentation about the importance of respecting others, the negative effects of gossip, or how to cooperate.
- Do a project about civil rights and bullying.
- Read a book about bullying.
- Make posters for the school about cyber-bullying and being smart online.
5) Involve the child who bullied in making amends or repairing the situation.
The goal is to help them see how their actions affect others. For example, the child can:
- Write a letter apologizing to the student who was bullied. Be sure an adult who understands the situation is the one to give the letter to the child who was bullied, and discuss their thoughts and feelings about the letter. Do not encourage the child to make friends with the child who did the bullying, or admonish them if they do not accept the apology.
- Do a good deed for the person who was bullied or for others in your community.
- Clean up, repair, or pay for any property they damaged.
6) Follow-up. After the bullying issue is resolved, continue finding ways to help the child who bullied to understand how what they do affects other people. For example, praise acts of kindness or talk about what it means to be a good friend.
Adapted From www.Stopbullying.gov
The Olweus Bully Prevention Committee
How to Support Kids who are bullied
1) Listen and focus on the child. Learn what’s been going on and show you want to help.
2) Assure the child that bullying is not their fault.
3) Know that kids who are bullied may struggle with talking about it.
Be patient and listen. You might recommend seeking out professional help if they are unable to verbalize what is going on.
4) Give advice about what to do. (ßLive link!!!) This may involve role-playing and thinking through how the child might react if the bullying occurs again.
5) Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. The child, parents, and school or organization may all have valuable input. It may help to:
- Ask the child being bullied what can be done to make him or her feel safe.
- Remember that changes to routine should be minimized.
- He or she is not at fault and should not be singled out.
- Develop a game plan.
- Maintain open communication between schools, organizations, and parents.
- Discuss the steps that are taken and the limitations around what can be done based on policies and laws.
- Remember, the law does not allow school personnel to discuss discipline, consequences, or services given to other children.
6) Be persistent. Bullying may not end overnight. Commit to making it stop and consistently support the bullied child.
7) Avoid these mistakes:
- Never tell the child to ignore the bullying.
- Do not blame the child for being bullied. Even if he or she provoked the bullying, no one deserves to be bullied.
- Do not tell the child to physically fight back against the kid who is bullying. It could get the child hurt, suspended, or expelled.
- Parents should resist the urge to contact the other parents involved. It may make matters worse.
8) Follow-up. Show a commitment to making bullying stop. Because bullying is behavior that repeats or has the potential to be repeated, it takes consistent effort to ensure that it stops.
Adapted From www.Stopbullying.gov