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TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES:

Lack of self-confidence

SCENARIOS OF BULLYING EVENT::
  • Direct bullying
CAUSES OF BULLYING EVENT::
  • Non-especific
FACTUAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BULLYING EVENT:

Bullying occurred during a joined lesson (due to teachers illness, 2 classes were joined to have the same lesson). One class student X bullied the other (lower) class student (girl) Y: called her unquotable words, called her redhead cow and in other words humiliated the girl, carped at her physically (pulled her hair, clothes).
Student X often bullies other students, often use swears; almost every time he sees someone at school says something offensive/insulting.

IMPACT OF THE BULLYING ACTION:

Students who were not involved in bullying event, were bored of whole situation, because it happens often whether the bully directs his anger towards Y or other student and it extremely bothers them as it interrupts the lessons and prevents them from learning new things and gaining as much knowledge as they can get during 45 minutes lesson.

POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM:

From the side of Y the bullying is encouraged by her exclusivity - the hair color. The girl, therefore, is going through the rough time because of it, because she suffered bullying many times. She even dyed her hair.
Y informed social pedagogue about bullying as it was also done by the teacher, who saw the whole event.
Y expected emotional support and the disciplinary actions against the bully in order to stop bullying.

POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S):

The reason for bullying is the personality of X (such as a consequence of the lack of self-confidence). In addition, he himself has and is experiencing bullying by other students. The boy X is guided by the tactic: attack is the best defense. X thinks that it is some kind of humor, everyone communicates like that, he did nothing serious or worth attention.
X has “chosen” also because of her hair color and hoped she won’t use violence against him. He wanted to show off; in addition, he wanted to interrupt the lesson, because he is too lazy to learn.
After the lesson he didn’t feel the fault. In his opinion this is normal among children: he is being bully and now he bullies, he thinks that Y understands that he is just joking and doesn’t feel the anger against him.

POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS:

The event was observed by all students who attended the joint lesson. They know, and have repeatedly been the witnesses that X bullies Y and other students and even adults. Y has the habit of judging and evaluating other people, to identify them as the "looser", "stupid", "dork". For example, after entering a common room he says, "what is here that looser doing?”. After being warned he says that he did nothing, everyone talks like that or that she is who he says she is. In most cases, no one from the pupils reacts excessively to the X behavior other than adults.
The students believe that X acts as he always does because he is too lazy to study, wants to show off and doesn’t have the mood.
Other pupils did not intervene in the situation: neither supported Y nor defended X, but almost did nothing during the lesson, saying they cannot due to the disturbing X actions. The remaining students reacted as though everything that had just happened was not their business. Only the girlfriend of X tried to stop Y, but X didn’t respond adequately.

POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS:

The teacher saw the situation and tried to stop X bulls towards Y. The teacher always tries to do so. Also she thinks that her job requires teaching students a particular lesson according to the subject taught, but not in addition teaching morality – this issue has its own subject: ethics and religion lesson. Also school has its social pedagogue – the counselor – these kinds of problems should be solved there because otherwise there would be enough time for students to learn and lessons won’t be as useful as it could be apart from solving bullying situations which should be totally unacceptable in each social group - class.

POINT OF VIEW OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS:

The managers of the school know all the students and know about the specific behavior of X. Therefore, they always try to stop inappropriate behavior. About this particular situation, the managers learned from social pedagogue, which requested the official letter written by a teacher about what took place in the classroom during the lesson. Student X behavior was considered, they had a conversation with him and the boy apologized to the girl Y for his behavior. So far, X tries to act appropriate, to stop bullying others and to stop the use of swear words.
The managers often supports and initiates social-skills building events, school is involved in the Olweus program. Supports teachers and professionals initiatives. One of the school's objectives is the safety of students'.
It would be useful, that joint classes won’t be executed because it is harder for teachers and more difficult to control two classes, the students are afraid of those children who are older or bullies others.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED:

The mother of X was informed of the son's behavior with the girl Y and the other children and also teachers, as well as of the decreased attendance and learning.
The mother of Y was not informed, as the family currently has a lot of difficulties. Professionals sought to provide assistance themselves and resolve the problem.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL:

Discussion with both the victim and the bully (X and Y) were carried out, their views and opinions were heard and their feelings were discussed. Specialists explained that each child has feelings and it is painful for every child when he’s being bullied or called names so he must respond quickly stating that he has a name and surname, everyone should know that, and he doesn’t like to be bullied.
Social pedagogue initiated the hearing consideration of X behavior in “Child welfare’s commission session" and decided that X has to apologize. She also informed his mother and invited her to come to school for a meeting.
The managers had a conversation with the teacher who saw the whole bullying event, she was encouraged to take more responsibilities in classes and to write official report about what took place between X and Y in the lesson. The teacher was encouraged to stop all bullying actions without any comments or jokes, discussed that the situation of not dealing with bullying or addressing this problem to specialists does not add any respect or authority to the teacher.
Specialists took part in the decision making and prevention of the problem.

POINT OF VIEW OF POLICY MAKERS:

There are no comments from policy makers because the problem was dealt with in school.
This year our school year joint Olweus bullying prevention program.

CONCLUSIVE DEDUCTIONS:

This case was successfully resolved, the participated children gained useful experience (X-to be more sensitive towards others, Y-not to keep silence), however, to change their communication styles, the understanding of relationship ways there is the necessity of long-term counseling, the help of professionals and parents. In order to change the behavior of X, more emphasis was brought upon his power, positive qualities, sensitivity, not criticism or punishment. It is very important to develop X self-monitoring and to raise his self-esteem. Because of the fear of bullying and violence that he suffered is forcing him to be violent with others – weaker ones. For Y it is important to gain self-confidence and to learn to accept his difference from others as being unique and special. It is useful to deal with situations of bullying during class sessions, to encourage the students to discuss, search for solutions, to teach not to be the observers, to speak about bullying, to encourage all students to be friends with the outcast children. It is important to develop the students ' values and preferences.
It is essential that teachers would be able to terminate bullying and solve it on their own.
In this particular bullying case, the reason for bullying was not only children's personal features, suffered bullying and lack of self-confidence. Both children felt right.
Y felt publicly humiliated and offended. She herself doesn’t like her hair color, and she does not want to defend herself aggressively, but doesn't know any other way.
X-thinks that bullying is kind of normal as all teenagers act like this; he himself experiences bullying and does not pay a lot of attention to it. When he is called by the nickname, he answers and interacts like it is normal.

SUMMARY OF THE CASE STUDY IN BULGARIAN LANGUAGE:

Липса на самочувствие.pdf

Comments about this Case Study


Date: 11.05.2012

Posted by: LEILA SLIMANI - criminologist
Type of school: YOUTH'S RIGHTS SERVICE AMO
Country: Belgium

The situation described shows how seemingly innocuous deeds for a student can be extremely badly experienced by another young.
X apparently has a reality of life that exposes him to regular mockeries which he manages to ignore. He can not imagine that his behaviour may have a negative influence also to another person.
The situation is not clear to me, but if the facts which X says he suffers occur within the school, it would be interesting to have a similar work with his "aggressors", and to consider him as a bully, but also as a victim, whereby one of the symptoms of his experience is to adopt behaviours of bully.
Another aspect where I want to go back concerns the reflection exposed by the teaching staff. I understand the arguments of teachers who want to maximize their work time to allow students to acquire the subject requested, but I think that the cohesion of the class (student-student, teacher-student) can not exist without a minimum of dialogue between students and teacher.
It is at this point that the teacher has the responsibility to know how far he agrees to get involved in his work and in his communication, his ability to really dialogue with students. Time can be an obstacle to this methodology of relationship, but I think that it should at least be considered for a general well-being in a class group, an educational institution.
Then, concerning the discourse supported by the school administration, I feel that it is not possible to know the entire identity and student behaviour. It is possible to have access only to the personal part which the student, the family, agree to disclose. This aspect shows again the importance of the presence of at least one resource person, truly willing to listen to students.
Finally, I conclude with a questioning about the position taken by the school to force X to apologize. It is certain that there is an interest in helping the young to go to apologize, but the apologies, in order to have meaning on the part of the student and the person he has injured, must be sincere and preceded by a reflection of the young.

Date: 12.03.2012

Posted by: MARTINE PRIGNON
Type of school: AEDE - European association of teachers
Country: Belgium

State of the bullying fact :
It seems we are in the presence of systematic bullying.
This case describes repeated verbal aggressions from the bully against his fellows (in the class as well as outside) added to physical violence (pulling hair and clothes).
This main event occurred at the time of a lesson and the victim had a hard time of it (a red hair girl). It has triggered a specific support from the school.

Response brought by the school :
The educative team has managed the event in a contructive and educative way:
• The teacher has tried to put an end to the inappropriate behaviour
• The victim’s complaint has been taken into account
• A psychological support has been suggested to the victim
• The internal counsellor has discussed with both parties
• A reparation was imposed to the bully (excuses)
• A reconstruction work and a follow-up have been set up for the bully via the “Children well-being commission”
• The headmaster’s office has also met the bully
• The bully’s parents have been informed and summoned
• A debriefing has been done with the concerned teacher and he has been given advice
• External workers have participated to the management of the event as well as to a reflexion on the prevention of such problems
• The internal counsellor has suggested to avoid the grouping of classes of pupils with different ages.
These measures, quickly and instantaneously taken, have allowed to avoid any subsequent event (since then, the relationships are respectful).
We will notice that, in order to favour the bully’s realization, the behaviour has been emphasized and not the person. The bully has been considered as a person able to change, able to change and to raise self-esteem.

Recommendations :
This affair has been solved successfully. However, the school could have avoided the event if w work with the bully had been carried out earlier. The school was aware of his inappropriate behaviour and warnings had been given to him.
The sanction imposed seems to be soft (excuses), even if it can be explained by the reconstruction work set up. A disciplinary measure, such as expulsion for instance, could have been associated with it, because physical violence is unacceptable.

Prevention measures :
Prevention measures against bullying exist in this school. The school is involved in the prevention programme “Olweus” and pays attention to the pupils safety.

Date: 25.02.2012

Posted by: Helen Redhead
Type of school: 11-16 Comprehensive
Country: UK

There are many similarities between this case and the one at our school. Name calling due to physical appearance and the perceptions of other students about this. Although our issue did not result in physical violence the trauma faced by the student was similar. the situation was also dealt with in a similar way.The outcome was also similar with students gaining a new understanding from the whole situation and adopting their own proactive response. Support for dealing with this issue came from students, staff and the PSW, with full involvement from the Head Teacher.
In the case of our school a strong and effective School Council ran with the whole agenda and owned the new policies and attitudes to bullying.
Teacher training in dealing with conflict resolution is a must to resolve any such issues and prevent them occurring again

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