TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES
Say NO to violence!
SCENARIOS OF BULLYING EVENT:
CAUSES OF BULLYING EVENT:
FACTUAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BULLYING EVENT
The conflict started during the breaks. Some students from the same class (IX D) were involved in instances of verbal and emotional violence for a week in the first term of the school year 2011-2012.
The form teacher learned from one of the students, that one student physically agressed the class leader, a well-behaved teenager. Moreover, the incident was not singular: the next day, the same student grabbed his deskmate’s neck. The victim passed out and fell, luckily, without having hurt himself.
The form teacher informed the headmaster on the events immediately. The headmaster and the form teacher gathered information and enquired the victims, the aggressor and their classmates. The students admitted not having told the teachers anything because they had been threatened by the bully. Furthermore, out of fear, the students did not tell anything about the incident to their parents. A parent saw by chance the statement given by his/child, in the latter’s schoolbag and called the form teacher.
The headmaster called the police and set up a school general meeting on forms of violence. By the end of the teachers’ meeting, it has been agreed that the student should be expelled from school for three days, have the grade for behaviour lowered with two points and lose the „Bani de liceu” grant (grant given to highschool students).
The next day, on Saturday, the form teacher organized a teacher-parent meeting in order to inform the parents on the case. The aggressor seemed not to be aware of his acts, while both the victims and other students almost rejected dialogue as a result to the bully’s threatenings.
IMPACT OF THE BULLYING ACTION
The conflict had a great impact on all the people involved. The fact that the student’s father immigrated for work brought a lot of changes in the teenager’s family life. He lives only with his mother, as his older brothers are married. His father comes home only on holidays. His mother spoiled him as he is her youngest child and she tries to make up for the absence of his father by trying to satisfy his desires. The teenager has everything that he wants from a financial point of view, he only needs his father. This is the reason, why he has behaved a different manner since his father left abroad. He does everything to catch the others’ attention. No student dares to face up to him. They are all afraid of him. His desk mate asked the form teacher to move him in another desk. The parents of the aggressed students have forgiven him this time, they has given him another chance, hoping that the situation will get better.
POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM
The victims happened to be next to him. Nothing was planned afore. They were grabbed from behind. They got very scared. One of the victims, the bully’s deskmate asked the class teacher to move him in another desk.
POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S)
The aggressor is not aware of the consequences of his actions. He has had no regrets, he just smiled and said: „I didn’t do anything bad, it was just a game.” By this game he tried to assert his authority in his group.
POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS
When the classmates were inquired by the form teacher and headmaster on the event, they didn’t admit either having been in the classroom or having seen anything. The students were frighten, they said nothing about the incident. A student who has got two older brothers felt more protected. She dared to inform the form teacher on the conflict during the break. After several days, when the aggressor did not come to school, the students confessed to have witnessed the conflict.
POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS
The form teacher got alarmed when she heard of the both incident on the same day (on Friday): the incidents took place on Tuesday and on Wednesday. She was frightened at the thought of the serious consequences might have had the second conflict: the student passed out, fell down and he could have hurt his head. She got angry about the fact that a student controls the class. Moreover, she got upset because she heard about the incident two days after the incident.
The other teachers have not noticed any signs of violence at the student, apart from his need to catch attention.
By the end of the teachers’ meeting, it has been agreed that the student should be expelled from school for three days, have the grade for behaviour lowered with two points and lose the „Bani de liceu” grant (grant given to highschool students).
POINT OF VIEW OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS
The school management contributed to the conflict resolution. The managers discussed with the victims and the other classmates in order to find out more information on the the conflict. The aggressor was called to the headmaster’s office in order to express his opinion. When he saw that the student disregards the significance of his actions, the headmaster told him what consequences might have had the so-called game. He also highlighted the importance of assuming responsibility. In each school there is a code of regulations which have to be observed. In this case, the student will have to take the consequences of his actions. The managers mediated the communication between the mother, school psychologist and the student.
POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED
The next day, after she had heard of the incident, the class teacher organised a meeting with the parents with the participation of the school managers. The parents were informed by the class teacher on the event and they were taken aback of the fact that their children had not told them anything about the incident. They were involved directly in searching for solutions for solving the conflict. They decided not to lodge a complaint against. They forgave him unless other violent events occur in the future. The aggressor’s mother stuck up for her son, but then he she became aware of the gravity of his acts. She agreed that she and her son attend counseling sessions in order to find out the causes which caused her son’s bad behaviour. Unfortunately, the student’s father could not attend the meetings.
POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL
The school counselor participated actively in finding the appropriate solutions for this case. After the counseling sessions. he found out that both victims and their classmates barely acknowledge the incident as they were threatened by the aggressor and they are afraid of him. The aggressor is an intelligent teenager who acts recklessly. He needs his father, his mother is becoming less authoritative, and he tries to catch his classmates’ and teachers’ attention.
POINT OF VIEW OF POLICY MAKERS
This conflict was not made public lest it be taken as a model by other students from other schools.
The Parents’ Council has helped a lot to solve the conflict.
We organised a specific activity, that is „Juvenile Delinquency Prevention” with the participation of a representative of the Community Police and of the Students’ Assembly, respectively. Within this activity, a debate on the case was carried out, they distributed informative materials, watched a film and delivered topic-related power-point presentations.
Not many cases of violence happened in school every year. Both teachers and school counsellor focus their energy to involve students in various extracurricular activities. If such unpleasant events happened, directors and teachers try to find optimal solutions to solve the conflict.
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 a call for help in an inappropriate manner from the student VICTIM of this change. But who would not be disturbed for this? We have several cases in the school and school work in addition to the teacher, management, 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 the student to this change in the family. Is this possible?
We have within 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: REDA MOTUZIENĖ
Type of school: High-school
• Described situation is known to our community, it is therefore not difficult to simulate it in our environment. We also face with the emigration situation which causes many problems for families, kids, school; part of them is illustrated in this situation. Our children are also familiar with the fear when facing with the aggressor, and the initial reaction to the actions of the aggressors is also the same – the silence. Violent children in Lithuania as well as in described case by their actions are often seeking attention and the consolidation as the personality. Also widely we know the aggressors approach to bullying situation as the "game" and "humor” that is only understood and acceptable by him.
• More or less all related to the conflict participants: pupils who have been injured, classmates, administration, parents, teachers, police officers, youth organizations are being involved in the problem solving process. There were called even two meetings addressing this situation, further prevention activities such as movie reviews, projects, discussions were organized. Our school focuses on a narrow circle of the participants, a detailed exploration of the reasons of such incident and parental support. We try to solve bullying situations with the maximum help and support from the parents of involved students because it is the most effective measure; sometimes, particularly the parents of the bully child, specialists have to enable to start participating in problem solving by the means of consulting, specialist mediator assistance). Other type of aid used in our school is based on the drawing of the intimidating and uncomforting perspective for the aggressor (by police officers or administration); it's more not the aid, but sanctions, but we used it when we have no other possible solution. We use more resources in carrying out the comprehensive violence prevention that is not related with any specific case.
• We should learn from the described case the ability to include all members of the community (starting with the children and youth organizations, ending with the administration) in the problem solving of the situation; in our school such problems are solved within a small group of people.
• When a situation in the family has changed, as one of the parents emigrated to work in another country, the school pedagogues should pay close attention to the child’s learning, the attendance in the lessons, the communication and relationships between the friends of the class. The physical violence outbreaks of the children have certain warning signs and prehistory that should be observed by adults. In this situation, I think a very important part is the psychological help for the aggressor because his changed behavior was influenced by the changes in the family situation. Assistance is required for the parents as well as they try to solve their child’s problems by justifying him and it shows the running from the problem and its avoidance / postponement.
• Often, the main obstacle why the school can’t successfully address the bullying situation is the correct choice of an appropriate strategy and the ability to include all members of the community. The problem of the prevention strategy in our country is its incoherence. I think there is no one correct strategy; it should be developed by the local community, taking into account the specificities of each school. Hence, the communities of the schools should be taught to create and implement such strategies.
Posted by: Mª Victoria Fernández Roldán
Type of school: Teacher Training Center
I think it is a case that usually occurs in situations in addition to physical aggression, there are threats to tell nothing, not even the assaulted and the other partners people who witnessed the assault.
I think he acted quickly, perhaps this would have taken longer to take action on the aggressor. Nor meetings are held on Saturdays, not the usual.
But I think from the beginning has involved the Directorate of Central and Support Team (Counselor or Consultant), as does the teaching of the present case.
It is necessary to collect as much information as possible about what is happening and have families of students involved.
You must create a climate of trust between teachers and students and organize a "protocol" so that any pupil can report incidents without fear of reprisal: mailboxes, campaigns, mentoring hours ... What is so that if something happens it can count
Training for teachers on using social networks and the risks involved.
-Information and training to families on the same topic.
-Potential for preventive actions with students and families.
-Action protocols for when these situations occur
Posted by: KOTSOPOULOU MARIA -RAPTI PENELOPE
Type of school: Second Chance School
After having read the description, the impact, as well as the points of view of the persons involved in the specific case study, we can reach a number of conclusions comparing the particular bullying event with our own personal experience as teachers.
In Greek schools, bullying occurs in all areas. It can occur in nearly any part in or around the school building, though it more often occurs in PE, recess, hallways, bathrooms, on school buses and waiting for buses, classes that require group work and/or after school activities. Bullying in school sometimes consists of a group of students taking advantage of or isolating one student in particular and gaining the loyalty of bystanders who want to avoid becoming the next victim. These bullies taunt and tease their target before physically bullying the target. Targets of bullying in school are often pupils who are considered strange or different by their peers to begin with, making the situation harder for them to deal with.
In Greek schools, a significant proportion of "normal" school children may not evaluate school-based violence (student-on-student victimization) as negatively or as being unacceptable as much as adults generally do, and may even derive enjoyment from it, and they may thus not see a reason to prevent it if it brings them joy on some level. This is a common element between the incident mentioned, in which the aggressor considered his actions to be just a game, and the bullying events we have faced as teachers.
In Greek reality, peers who witness bullying are traumatized as well. They are often afraid to report bullying and may in fact participate in the bullying for fear of being the next victim. They also tend to show more respectful behaviour toward children who bully. Although many children would like to intervene, few do so. This is exactly what happened in the particular case study. The aggressor’s classmates denied having been in the classroom or seen anything because of the fact that they were afraid of the aggressor.
An element which impressed us while reading the specific case study is the fact that there was an activity organised, the “Juvenile Delinquency Prevention” with the participation of a representative of the Community Police and of the Students’ Assembly. This excellent paradigm of cooperation between the school and the community Police could be implemented in our school, as well.
The following conflict resolution strategies were implemented in our school:
1. We found out as much as possible from the persons involved about what happened.
2. We attacked the problem and not the person, in cooperation with the psychologist of our school.
As teachers we would like to be trained more on how to deal with bullying events at school by experts. It would be useful to be trained on psychological-pedagogical matters, such as the aggressor’s and the victim’s psychology.
Posted by: Gertrudis Moreno Hernández
Type of school: Secundary School
This case reminds me of one that I experienced in high school where a 12 year old boy with a dysfunctional family situation (parents separated and mother hooked on chat) behaved in an extremely violent in the center, especially with faculty, and manipulated other peers to imitate their behavior.
As guidance, the main support to combat bullying cases find it on Leadership Studies and is also very important to the work of the tutor / a student / a perpetrator and victim. If these partners are not involved, it is difficult to stop them. To this we must add that the alumni / ae tend to hide these situations. Also important is the work of the student or student's family / as aggressors / as, as it costs them at first recognize that their son / daughter is threatening or intimidating other students / as generally tend to justify and make needed time to assimilate this sad reality.
To cope with the harassment or intimidation through internet or mobile phones is very important that the family controls the use of new technologies by children, because in most cases are not aware of any improper use them sometimes given. Equally important to meet the standard of the institute not to bring mobile phones to the center, to avoid unwarranted recordings or messages.
In this particular case study I liked the intervention of the police who gave a talk to students. In my heart the Guardia Civil has sometimes given this type of preventive talks.
I also liked the intervention with the student's family aggressor, make him share on assault counseling sessions to help youth improve the child's behavior / a batterer.
With regard to teacher training, it is necessary to participate roundtable professorships who have experienced school violence cases, where real and effective exchange information on ways to proceed, rather than courses on violence in general.
Posted by: Teodora Gospodinova
Type of school: Secondary school
The methods for dealing with situations are the same that our colleagues have described in their case – a common strategy for all teachers, as well as meetings and trainings for searching a solution of the problem. The only difference is that so far we have not requested support from the police and that is a very good idea. If a policeman enters the class room and explains that if the rules and laws are not abided by, together with a list of examples of punishments, effects from not observing these rules, I think this would play a major role in the students' behavior. Another solution could be imposing sanctions on the parents of children who regularly break the rules or at least forcing the parents to go to parents' school. In our school for example we have such a school established and lead by a psychologist, but it is not visited enough. We don't possess the necessary mechanisms to make the parents come to such schools. The psychology of the Bulgarian considers this unnecessary and useless.
I would also like to say that here in our school the 8th graders spend a lot of time with one teacher, because they have 18 hours a week of language studies. More or less they get accustomed to him and he/she gets to know them well enough in order to apply different methods and strategies and influence them in a positive direction as well as to curb the arising situations. Still, when the students have many classes and each of them is lead by a different teacher, it is very hard for them to understand him, to trust him and to listen to him. That is when more complex and hard to contain situations can arise. This is why a training for dealing with various situations of violence at school is necessary for the teachers. Probably psychologists and educational institutions, on the basis of collected cases of violence, can decide how most efficiently to train the trainers and what directions to give to them. What I can think of at this moment is the following for example: a specialist-psychologist visiting the school and gathering the teachers in groups. Each teacher can share the cases he or she comes his or her practice and all together with the psychologist could search for solutions for specific situations. The psychologist could also share different situations himself, cases could be played and analyzed and solutions could be sought under the guidance of the psychologist.
Posted by: S Todd
Type of school: 11-16 mixed
If I've read this correctly I cannot believe that a child who has squeezed another child's neck until that child passed out is being allowed to continue his education in that school.(It is a little confusing, but has this happened twice?) In my country parents would be asking very awkward questions at very high levels. A far less serious incident at my school resulted in my Head having to deal with enquiries from a governmental level.
If the bully perceived his action as "just a game" then surely someone is thinking, "This child does not belong in Mainstream education". The fact that he is receiving some kind of bursary or scolarship would indicate that he is bright. Unfortunately his emotional development seems stuck at a low level.
In my school I would be looking for a managed move for this student to another school where he could be given a fresh start. Before he moves into another local school I would want to see him undergoing a series of psychological tests, anger management training and counselling. He is clearly a danger to himself and others and must be given immediate help and support.