TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES
The bully bullied
SCENARIOS OF BULLYING EVENT:
CAUSES OF BULLYING EVENT:
FACTUAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BULLYING EVENT
The incident happened 6 years ago (2007) in a class of 15 year-old students, most of whom came from different schools in our city. It goes without saying that they hardly knew each other. One of them, a boy, let’s say Nick, was particularly impulsive and used violent language. Everybody reacted especially a girl who asked him to control himself. Soon she became the only target of his violence. After being informed about the conflict the class teacher spoke with the boy and with his parents but his efforts were to no avail. One afternoon somebody rang at the teacher’s door: he opened it and saw one of students who was obviously very scared. He told the teacher what had happened; after classes while walking home Nick had been approached by an unknown teenager from another school. Nick would have been beaten if he hadn’t been a very fast runner. Everything had happened very fast- the first week of the school year!
The next day the discussion was initiated by none of the students. It was the teacher who asked to have a talk with them. Everybody was listened to; they all agreed on sanctions to be imposed on both students (according to the school regulations) and their families to be informed about the incident. The cooperation of the school psychologist/ counsellor was asked.
IMPACT OF THE BULLYING ACTION
Throughout the year together with the psychologist the teacher engaged his students in extracurricular activities, getting them in groups according to their hobbies and preferences. It just happened that our protagonists got in the same community service group. They had to spend time together helping children with disabilities. In time they got so impressed by the kids, so engrossed in what they were doing and so happy with their results that it was difficult to make them go home: they were always the last to leave the place. It was obvious that they both wanted to get over their conflict and felt sorry for what had happened.
When they finished school four years after the incident, everybody seemed to have forgotten the incident.
POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM
1. the girl: very sensitive and outspoken; she had informed her teacher/ parents about being the target of her classmate’s violent language
2. the boy: impulsive; we will never know whether he would have complained about being accosted by the girl’s friend
POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S)
1. the boy: had a violent father; his parents had just divorced; he turned against anybody; he had chosen the girl because her voice sounded like his mother’s. He deeply regretted his behaviour after getting to know his colleague.
2. the girl- she did not asked her friend to take any action. She regretted complaining about her colleague to her friend.
POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS
The students acted in a very mature way:
- informed the teacher about what had happened
- organized a watchful follow up
- helped their colleagues realize their mistakes
POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS
The teachers intervened according to the following principles:
-students can change if they are listened to, shown trust and given alternatives
-bullying can be unlearned once its causes are known
-ignorance, indifference, lack of communication and lack of empathy among students can be sources of bullying
-a remedial educative approach is advisable to use
-all students can act positively
-engaging everybody in finding a solution (making them responsible for their choice)
POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED
The students’ parents were informed about what had happened; unfortunately they couldn’t help much having their own personal problems to cope with. They simply waited for the school to improve/change the existing situation.
POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL
-had long discussions with the students and their parents
-organized and participated in the students’ extracurricular activities
The collaboration with the counselor was helpful.
All the participants agreed on the following tips that any child should be told:
-speak up against the bullying
- walk away and avoid the bully
-do not stay isolated; stick to a group
- tell an adult
- do not bully back
Comments about this Case Study
Posted by: Pierre VERDIN - CLASSROOM TEACHER, GENERAL COURSES TEACHER, CITIZENS SCHOOL COORDINATOR
Type of school: SPECIALIZED PROFESSIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOL
• A radical change in benchmarks at home leads in most cases to a call for help in an inappropriate way from the student VICTIM of this change. But who would not be disturbed by this? We have several cases in the school and in addition school work of the teacher, management, school counsellor ; Belgium has SAJ, SPJ, ... which help parents (the mother in this case) to overcome this passage of crises.
The ideal would be to prepare students for this change in the family. Is this possible?
We have in the establishment a PMS centre. The school psychologist would certainly have seen the student.
Within the board of citizenship, we have students who serve as older MENTORS for students. They will find their mentor late in the day for 10 minutes to tell him about their problems. The mentor shall preserve secrecy but will summarize its meetings to an adult referent. This allows the student to be supported and gives him a real impression to exist.
• As classroom teacher, I talk a lot with my students. Young people today have social, family problems ... The goal is to reach to set up speaking times and a respect from students for what others may live. I am also trying to push the student who would not feel at his ease to tell the class early in the day.
"I would like to speak. I'm not well today; I'd like to be left alone and not to be teased."
The others often wonder why but it is to the student concerned to answer or not. This prevention system allows the teacher to remind other students: "have you heard what he has told us earlier today? You have to respect it as you may one day be in the same case."
• A training in active listening (already existing)
• A training which would help us to detect this kind of discomfort among the student.
Posted by: Isabelle GRIMEE, Chantal BROSTEAU, Christophe BOURGOIS, Stéphane VOGELEER
Type of school: SMSW - School mediation service in Wallonia
PERCEPTION : ACCORDING TO US, IT IS NOT A MATTER OF A TYPICAL BULLYING, HOWEVER THE EDUCATIVE TEAM’S REACTIONS SEEM TO BE RELEVANT, BOTH AT THE LEVEL OF THE RECOGNITION OF THE VIOLENT FACTS AND AT THE LEVEL OF THE RESOLUTION PROCEDURES. WE UNDERLINE THE IMPORTANCES OF THE PRINCIPLES QUOTED UNDER THE TEACHERS’ POINT OF VIEW AND UNDER THE ONES OF THE COUNSELLORS.
Posted by: TOMAS PLESNEVIČIUS
Type of school: Secondary school
Such situations are frequent in school teenagers’ life. It is a frequent case where the bully pupil also becomes a victim of bullying. Mostly in such cases the bully child suffers from various psychosocial problems created at home or elsewhere, has diagnosed learning, emotions or behavioral disorders. This description of bullying case was lacking the involvement of the whole school community and especially and active participation of parents as well as the final resolution of the problem. I think it is really important in this situation to help Nick’s parents get a better understanding about the possible consequences that could have happened if Nick hadn’t ran away so quickly. Psychologist and teacher involvement in ' bullying ' intervention was really useful, but it is doubtful whether a school needs to rely on their help only. It appears that in this situation the adults (the parents) try to ignore the problem or stay aside as the school resolves all issues, and this is a sign for children that even their parents are ignorant to bullying (and also a sign that at school they can do whatever they want – the school will take care of that).
Active participation in different activities always brings students together and strengthens their cooperation. In Lithuania’s education system such preventative measures are carried out, especially with the aim to strengthen the relationship between classmates. But during my work practice I did not record any case when bully student and his victim were encourage to perform different activities after classes, because often it seems hardly they could become good friends. As this bullying event took place during the first week when the students gathered together from different schools, let’s name it an adaptation period, such prevention method as intervention could have had kind of the opposite result. It is important that teacher doesn’t wait for students discussions and confessions, but takes the control into his hands and tells loud and clear what he had just witnessed, that it is bullying, what are the consequences and what sanctions will be imposed.
Posted by: Tania Neykova
Type of school: Secondary school
The solution in this case does not seem to be sufficiently effective. It does not involve all stakeholders (the whole school management and community, the families, etc.) but rather focuses on sanctions, which could only lead to a temporary and short-term resolution and can only increase the feeling of anger and dissatisfaction of the boys involved. The involvement of the psychologist/ counselor is a good decision, which should involve the organization of discussions and work at all levels with all parties, which are in some direct or indirect manner participating in the events.
Posted by: ELISA CLEMENTI
Type of school: SCUOLA MILITARE AERONAUTICA
This fact is very particular because the bully received the actions he usually shows to his mates. Bullying among teenagers is very common because students consider pride and honour two key words to be accepted in our society. Both teachers and parents have to cope with this problem because they are both responsible for the well-being of our teenagers. Teachers have to be trained well in order to be able to face difficult situations and parents have to devote more time to their children because most of the times behind the teenagers need to boast their actions and show how cool they are lies the lack of communication and attention of the parents. If teachers could devote more time for their children, the students'behaviour at school would be better and more acceptable. At school the discussion in groups about bullying can be helpful and cooperation and group work can be considered successful. The good result is also reached if the classmates help the other students recognise their mistakes because it the mistake is underlined by a mate, the mistake can be corrected. the result in this case is better because teachers' and parents' suggestions are rarely considered and accepted by those teenagers who feel adult and independent people.
Posted by: Diana Cantos
Type of school: Concerted
In my case a girl started offending other college guys online. The guys responded and began to threaten.
Failed to attack each other, only through the Internet, but stayed to fight. The other school children wanted to be in front of it to stick to beat this girl and her friends, though friends of the girl did not participate in the fight online, they were friends since childhood and its supporters did not care what he had done . In this case the similarities are that there is an aggressor, in this case, child, and the attacked, (collective) reacts. The differences are that the girl apparently not conflicting, in class she had a good performance could not see how she was in relationships and network with other teens. It was more difficult to diagnose this deviation. Another difference is that in the fight that was forming were going to take more children, two groups of friends, intimidated, who became bullies and girls, supported by his friends. Could have been a more important fight if they really stick.
Support is found in the tutor and the school principal, who spoke to parents and girls, and other mentors, who spoke to other students of the school involved in the case. The parents were unaware of this.
The problem with these cases of online bullying is happening outside of school, when teachers can not see and we learn to have individual interviews with students. It is also good for the teacher to create a "Tuenti" false to observe what happens and is accepted by some students. With a few accept as one learns a lot, as well as have access to photographs of other students, even if they have as a friend on his "Tuenti". Anyway, this is a number of hours that teachers work voluntarily without being paid.
One strategy would be dialogue with parents and put them in touch with the reality of their children in briefings (to prevent) and once harassment has occurred at a meeting with your child stalker in which gather evidence before the to embarrass himself.
Another strategy, as I mentioned, created a false identity on the social network using children to detect such cases.
I would like any type of training to help me, but practically.
Posted by: Ioanna Kyritsi Alexandra Misichroni
Type of school: Second Chance School
In response to the case study “The bully bullied”, we would like to comment on the following points:
The phenomenon of bullying in our country has only recently escalated to an alarming proportion, especially among young students. There may be many reasons for this, one of them being the fact that, until recently, Greek society had remained more intact and uniform, with the extended family living under the same roof, where looking out for each other was the rule rather than the exception.
It is, therefore, to be expected that most members of the Greek society, whatever their age or walk of life, have not yet acquired expertise in dealing with this phenomenon. Not until recently have community authorities realized the need for experts such as social workers, counselors and psychologists to be available, on a daily basis, for the assistance of the public.
Although there is apparent demand, not all schools have been staffed by special experts such as psychologists or other counseling services, to help raise awareness of the phenomenon and to train teachers and students to both handle such situations effectively, as well as to enable them to take the necessary measures and actions well in advance, so as to prevent such phenomena as harassing and bullying from taking place. However, the Second Chance Schools in Greece (Adult Education) are an exception to the rule, as they are aptly staffed with counseling services – psychologist and career counselor- providing students with group and personal therapy sessions during school hours.
Furthermore, engaging students in extracurricular activities as a remedial educative approach is an effective practice which, in our opinion, should be utilized in Greek schools with the aim of replacing the present system of punishment through expulsion.
Programmes such as the one we are engaged in at present, not only help raise awareness of problematic situations, but also provide information and point out good practices for the prevention and/or effective handling of crises or other difficult situations. Teachers, in particular, need to be reinforced through the acquisition of valuable information, specialized seminars and other training, so as to enable them not only to encounter such cases, but to be in a position to effectively guide their students to avoid becoming either victims or bullies themselves.
In addition to the above, it has also come to our notice that the persons involved in violent incidents, either of our own experience or of the case study at hand, encounter problems not only on a personal level but also on a family level.
Posted by: GKOLFIE GAVRILIADI
Type of school: lyceum
This case study is a typical example that shows the dual role of a bully/victim. Such circumstances are quite common among children at that age (15 years old). According to our experience, students that attend 1’st class of Lyceum (in Greek education system) display high levels of aggressiveness and draw the attention of school community more often than others.
It came as no surprise that boy’s violent attitude connects to his family bad situation (violent father, divorced parents). The protagonist of our case study faces the same problem, and generally family environment proves to be the most important factor of a child’s behaviour. Another conclusion that emerges from this case study, and is very common in our greek case studies, is parents’ lack of willingness to collaborate with school. This is a great problem that has to be solved in order to fight bullying at schools. Invitations through phone calls or the prescheduled invitation letters have proved inefficient. We have to find a more drastic way to bring parents to school.
The two strategies implemented in this case study are remarkable. First of all, the discussion with the students (not only the ones involved) has always proved helpful. When they get involved in finding the solution in such circumstances they display a really mature and responsible profile. Their suggestions are fair and include sanctions when needed, which helps to adhere school regulations. Furthermore, the engagement of students in extracurricular activities in groups enhances their interpersonal relationships and cooperation skills. Working together on an interesting social activity is the best way to reconcile the bully with the victim (especially in terms of helping others such as the service group applied in your school).
Unfortunately this kind of activities is quite difficult to take place in rigid education systems that are very stacked to the curriculum and the examinations (such as the greek one). Bureaucracy is also a disheartening factor that makes the implementation of such actions even harder. But it’s really worthwhile trying!