Taken from a painting of Kapiti Island at Sunset.
by Sonia Savage.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bullying in Schools.

bullying-739607photo © 2008 Pimkie | more info (via: Wylio)
Last week the issue of Bullying seemed to stand up and confront me.  A parent came to me to report an issue of bullying that her child had come to her with.  That day Mrs S online asked for comments for a post on bullying that a student of hers had posted.  At a Board meeting last week we read a letter by Anne Tolley our Minister for Education about bullying.  On Friday I began investigating a bullying incident.  Then on Friday evening I caught the end of an interview with a very articulate 13 year old on Close up. How proud she can be of herself.  How proud her parents and teachers must be. The interview is worth watching, and you can link to it from here.  It is Number 3 on the line up.

As I began to think about the issue of bullying that I am dealing with at present, I thought of the very serious incidents that have been bought to our attention in New Zealand schools.  Surely it is an issue that needs to be addressed.  It is easy to pay lip service to it.  Why do schools do that?  I personally think it is because they actually don't know how to handle it.  We are educators, and like it or not, we need to educate our students to deal with bullying behaviour, whether they are the bully or the one bullied.

Schools of course can't do it by themselves.  They need the support of parents, and sometimes services such as counsellors and youth aid officers.  They need to support those bullied, help them to cope and take steps to prevent bullying happening to them.  The school has to take steps as well to keep students safe.  Schools also need to support the bully, letting them know they are accepted but their behaviour is not acceptable.  This all sounds reasonably straightforward but of course issues like this are rarely straightforward.  As I deal with the specific issue confronting me at present, I ask myself how do I best deal with this?  How can I help get change in this situation?

Their often is a strange code of silence around bullying.  The bullied of course often remains silent.  What concerns me is that often others who witness the bullying do not stand up for this person, and I am coming to believe these people need to be awakened and faced with how they need to respond.  Be they students or Principals and senior staff of schools.  Giving lip service to the issue of bullying is not enough.  Bullying is violence, be it verbal or physical.

Some websites that deal with bullying are:
Stop Bullying.
Bullying Prevention at the elementary level.
Bullying No Way an Australian resource.
No Bully.  Resource from NZ police.
What's Bullying.

How do you deal with bullying in your school.  What in your opinion is successful when it comes to dealing with this issue?


  1. I think that you hit the nail on the head with regards to the witnesses being part of the key. It's about making anti-bullying not just the victim's responsibility to police, but everyone's.

    One thing that bothered me about the reporting of the Australian student who body slammed his bully a month or two go was lauded when in fact the person that needed to be congratulated was the girl who stepped in and stopped the problem from escalating even further.

  2. One of your students made an excellent point about "The only weapon the bully has is silence".

    Our strategies, then, are talk and action together.

    I have been thinking a lot about how close bullying is to abuse.

    I agree that the girl who stepped in needs to be congratulated.

    It's been wonderful to read all the solutions and thoughts the students have had and continue to have.

    Again, I think about "thinking logically".

    It can be so easy to shut off your feelings and become numb.

  3. One helpful thing which occured is the printing of the bullying policy in the student diary.

    We could take it everywhere with us and know the names and concepts as well as be empowered by student voice.

    (The Student Representative Council is an important body).

  4. Yeah. Awareness has to be raised. Perhaps one reason why the bullied does not speak up, as well as the bystanders, is because they think that there is no support against bullying. An idea like that must be taken away, with the help of both the teachers and parents.

  5. The academe and the household should work hand in hand to solve this issue. Since the household is where the children would go home to and would be shaped drastically, the academe could only do so much. And that being said, even if the school has a program for bullying, but when the student comes home and the issue is not resolved by the parents, then the school’s efforts would be futile since most of what the child can or cannot do is influenced by the parents.

    Georgine Roe


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...