TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES
Students don't like sneaks
SCENARIOS OF BULLYING EVENT:
CAUSES OF BULLYING EVENT:
FACTUAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BULLYING EVENT
The conflict occurred during a lesson which was being delivered in school library between two students: a girl X and a boy Y. A girl received a phone call from her mother even though it is not allowed to talk on the phone during lessons and carried on the conversation. A boy was angry that the girl was not following the rules, he humiliated and accused her and even tried to take away her phone, he mocked her by doing flips near her face. A girl defended herself and the event resulted in scratched arm and face of a boy.
POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM
The victim of this direct bullying event was a girl. After the discussions with the school counsellor she expressed that she didn‘t knew what was the reason for such behaviour with her and what does that boy want. Also she said that it seems like the boy doesn‘t listen or obey to teachers, he misbehaves, he acts up, tries to show off himself.
The victim has a reputation of a sneak; she often sneaks on everyone – her classmates, other students, including Y, to school social pedagogue (counsellor) and school psychologist from the begging of the school year.
POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S)
The boy treats the girl the way he does because he doesn‘t like her behaviour: she constantly tells people what to do, sneaks on them, shouts, curse, is two-faced (she acts differently in front of adults and students), teachers allow her more than other students (during classes she can talk on the phone, go out of the classroom).
The bullying student also says that he “chose” the victim because most of the students doesn‘t like her because of her inability to interact in the classroom and in school, she is arrogant; teachers connive at her, because she acts better than she really is.
Y feels his actions were right and thinks he is behaving properly.
POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS
The classmates of both and other students notice and know what is happening. X is a reject and other student in whole school doesn‘t like her. They claim that X is an outcast and doesn‘t have friends.
POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS
The teachers are aware of the situation and are trying to end these conflicts, but it is likely that more often support X, because she has a better attendance and is more obedient to teachers.
Teachers understand that X is unpopular in class because of her behaviour towards classmates, but they do not go deep into the cause of the conflict. It is important for them to terminate the conflict in order to conduct the lesson. X appears to continuously monitor others students actions in the classroom, is critical towards others. In this specific case, the teacher have not responded to the fact that the X was speaking on her mobile phone, because she was busy - other class student ran out of the class the to the corridor.
The teacher tried to stop him from going out of the lesson was not able to focus on the X and Y.
These two children, X and Y, came into the office of psychologist, where also a qualified social worker was, and they have helped to resolve the conflict.
POINT OF VIEW OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS
In this case it was not necessary to refer to school managers because school specialists are acknowledged with the relationships between students and these students are getting counselling.
POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED
The mother of student X is aware of her daughter’s behaviour and character issues, but most she often argues with her daughter too, which commands her mother excessively. The mother of X notices that in conflict/post-conflict situations X is behaving wrong, she is “bossy” and egoistic, she has no friends. The mother has no authority over her daughter and fails to make an influence in her daughter’s communication with peers, because it is not itself among daughters. Mother tends to rely on the support of teachers and professionals at daughters school.
Student’s X parents are divorced, they live apart. The father has no interest in his daughter’s education and upbringing; in the past he used to beat them.
The mother of student Y knows her son and is completely competent to help him, she is able to determine the proper boundaries for his behaviour. The parents of student Y are opposed to bad behaviour of their son, they openly communicate with the school.
After the parents visit at school student’s Y behaviour has improved, although he still needs time to develop his values.
POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL
Both experts were aware of the situation, these students and whole class intercommunication, personal problems, relationships in their families. They were dealing with the problem through conflict mediation and taught the basic skills of communication, empathy and tolerance. Specialists are constantly mediating conflicts between pupils, helping to overcome bullying (in most cases, students contact them). School teachers were very well acknowledged with conflicts management strategies and bullying prevention actions by the professionals. The school is using “The rise of Peace” to deal with conflicts. Students' social skills are developed.
POINT OF VIEW OF POLICY MAKERS
In this case there are no comments from public authorities, because it was dealt with the problem in school.
On a Republic scale the attention is focused on the reduction of “bullying” in schools.
This year our school joint “Olweus” bullying prevention program.
This case of bullying was successfully solved and students involved have gained useful experience, but in order to change their communication styles, the perception of relationship understanding it is necessary to have a long-term counselling, the help of professionals and especially parents. It is sad that not all parents can or are able to help their children to gain necessary skills due to the lack of knowledge and skills or simply because of their lifestyle.
It is useful to deal with bullying events in class sessions: to encourage students to discuss, to search for solutions, to teach not to be the observers of bulling events, to talk against bullying, to encourage students to communicate with the outcasts/rejected students. It is important to develop the students ' values and attitudes.
Not only personal students’ problems and character issues led to the described bullying event, but also the teachers' behaviour – the connivance of student X, what other children find inappropriate. The problem is aggravated by mother’s inability to foster her daughter’s social skills (the mother’s doesn’t have sufficient social skills). It is very important that all teachers are attentive to relations between the children. But there is a great deal of teachers’ professional competence to monitor the classroom and at the same time to conduct a lesson efficiently, to answer students’ questions, to pay attention to every action appearing in the lesson. It is hard and so the parents of the students should take much more responsibilities in their children behaviour as they do at home – they should care and be aware of their children’s behaviour in school.
Both participants of bullying event felt right, both wanted to dominate, to humiliate others. Student X wants to involve adults in her conflicts with children as well, by continuously sneaking on and criticizing them, in order to gain exclusive attention. Student Y also knows about his superiority and power.
Posted by: NATHALIE GOEBELS - social worker
Type of school: YOUTH'S RIGHTS SERVICE AMO
Observations from the outside:
• Does the situation correspond to bullying? The case described is about a single fact from a boy face to face to the girl, named as the person bullyied. Should we not rather speak of an incident?
• Why does one stigmatize the mother and say that she does not have the social skills to educate his daughter? The mother recognizes that she is lost.
The parents are seeking help and advice about the education of their children.
Because of the conduct of his daughter, assistance could have been proposed to her by the teaching staff of the school rather than throwing stones to her. Has this been done?
Is there an equivalent of CPMS in Lithuania? It would be interesting to obtain information on social or school services.
• Teachers show the indifference of other students in the school. Have changes been noted after the intervention of adults in the school?
• Lack of empathy towards the mother visibly in difficulty with his daughter.
The observed positive interventions:
• The situation was analyzed and the teachers were able to realize that by their attitude they also fostered the emergence of a difficulty in the classroom.
• An intervention process was implemented by the adults in the school. Dialogue about the difficulties encountered in the classroom is a positive initiative.
• Apparently, teachers feel overwhelmed by the conflict management. Has the intervention of other educational personnel of the school been considered?
Proposals for interesting actions
• Making people from outside the school intervene in the classroom would free speech of students during animations on group dynamics.
Posted by: Ligita
Type of school: High-school
• Similar cases of „bullying“ quite often occurs in our country's education establishments: in some classes happens to be a students who stands out due to their personal character properties, displayed behavior, attitudes or values. Such pupils do not fit in in their classes, they are outcasts. In particular, this occurs in the higher classes (during teenage years). As in the described situation in our country as well pupils participate or suffer from similar situations, whose parents or whole family has a lack of social skills. In such families there is no close link between parents and children, problems of communication between the children and the parents arise, children fail to get the aid from their parents and feel underrated. In the situation described, the mother of the injured girl expects all problems connected with her daughter will be solved by the representatives of the school: social educator, psychologist or other teachers. In Lithuania, many parents tend to think similarly. They believe that the school is capable and this is their competence to help parents solve all of the problems connected with their child’s sociability on their own.
• In our view, in the situation described, the teacher at the time working in the classroom paid insufficient attention to resolve this conflict. The school employs a full team of specialists: a social educator, psychologist, school counselors, who go deep into the problem and deals with them. Our country schools usually employ only social educators; only a few schools have psychologists. When dealing with the conflict usually there is a positive attitude that everything will work out on its own, everyone tries to see more positive things than negativity: specialists do not try to find out who had more guilt; specialists attempt to provide the necessary assistance as soon as possible. Almost everyone more or less related involved in the bullying case is included in the conflict resolution: pupils who have been injured, classmates, parents, and teachers. Our school is restricted to a narrow circle of the participant mainly due to the lack of professionals in this area.
• Similar situations are often solved only with available resources and with support from the parents (if it is possible and suitable). A social educator usually engages into problem solving, students that are the victims of the case and their parents. The administration rarely participates in the decision making of such situations. We also have a single reliable external partner – the inspector of the Affairs of the minors, which always participates when she is invited to. The referred persons respond to situations quite expeditiously.
• We should learn to see more positive aspects than negatives in any situation.
• In this situation, I think there was a lack of a quick response from the teacher during the lesson, which would have enabled to soften the consequences of this conflict. The role of the educator is also unclear, which had had noticed the dominant attitude and th rising discontent with the participant of the incident.
Posted by: ASIMINA STATHOULIA
Type of school: High School
There are few times when feelings of inferiority complexes, lack of proper education, family problems and lack of social skills, are key causes of misconduct events, conflicts and incidents of intimidation.
A case of bullying is immediately caused if a student gives a small excuse.
It’ s very important to learn –both of us, students and teachers- the way to prevent and address such situations, particularly in schools. The existence of special advisers and social workers who will discuss with the students and teachers on such issues is necessary in schools. In our country and especially in our school, there is a teacher with specialized knowledge of psychology, which corresponds to a hundred of schools and she will intervene in a bullying incident when it requested and not regularly.
The experts are helping students to gain mental equilibrium and to develop social skills, but also inform teachers how they could help in this through the educational process.
Although the most weight ‘belongs’ to the family, which is the first that should give children values and attitudes and also, very important is and the role of the school.
The teacher as a unit, can contribute to this aim by working within its own class, while respectively parents should support this effort at home. However, if the family is absent, is necessary the help of a specialist psychologist who has the right knowledge and treatments, who can help everyone involved in the problem.
The discussion with the students, the promotion of talent, initiative, responsibility, mutual respect and obtaining all the necessary supplies to create an integrated personality, could help our students.
The school bullying is a complex problem which is easy to close your eyes and complacent just because they are often not made sufficiently clear in order to understand the seriousness of it.
The challenge for teachers and parents are just that: to recognize that there is school violence, that it concern us and we have direct responsibility for the effective tackling.
The constant updating of information and knowledge from the educational experts on topics such as school violence, school behavior, adolescent psychology, etc. are main demand both for myself and for the educational system of my country. The use of teamwork as a method of learning could be the basis for cooperation both among students, teachers and parents.
Finally, it’s necessary the existence of special school psychologists who will help parents and teachers to recognize and deal with incidents of school violence.
Posted by: D. Musson
Type of school: 11-16 Comprehensive
■Many of the elements reflected in this case are common to cases like this in our school. We also have our share of provocative victims like the girl who often create issues for themselves that result in bullying
■Elements of the case that are different is the perception of "sneaking". The girl has issues of her own self worth and finds this way of dealing with things brings her kudos of some kind not necessarily amongst her peers though. It is stated that she has no friends and obviously talking with the School Counsellor brings her feelings of importance
■As with this case I would have used similar systems used here. talking with the girl, her mother and giving her the opportunity to engage in sessions with the PSW to enhance her own feelings of self worth and develop her social skills with her peers
■This study clearly reflects the need to have the opportunity for one to one work with students who get very little help with their social skills from their home environment. This student has also been the victim of domestic violence which has further diminished her self worth. A trained counsellor must be used in this instance. The value of a one hour session every week for this student on a one to one basis from a trained adult is a must. This work is proactive and will hopefully prevent the girl escalating such issues in the future. We as a school spend some of our budget on employing a Pastoral Support Worker (PSW) as part of our school staff for such issues. She works closely with a multitude of outside agencies in order to aid students who find school life difficult. Our pastoral care system means that communication between all interested parties, school staff, the student, the parent etc is clear and informative. We feel this gives all our students, vulnerable or not as positive an educational experience as we can offer.
A clear referral system is also necessary in oredr that the PSW is not overwhelmed by cases and that staff also own the situations of their students. Training in lower level cases is given in sessions after school (attended on a voluntary basis)by the PSW and Inclusion Department on recognising and dealing with issues that students might have.