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TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES:

“Human dignity in rubbish”

SCENARIOS OF BULLYING EVENT::
  • Direct bullying
CAUSES OF BULLYING EVENT::
  • Ethnic-cultural differences
FACTUAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BULLYING EVENT:

Billy is a student of the 1st class of Lyceum (15 years old), who has adopted an aggressive profile and has caused many problems at school. He has been punished many times for his bad behavior, through ejection for some days from school, exclusion from a day excursion and school work in the library. But none of these measures eventually worked. Recently he attacked a younger student of the 1st class of Gymnasium, Christos (12 years old) and drew the attention of the school community. Christos was born in Albania and came to Greece with his family 8 years ago. He speaks greek fluently and does not seem different from the other students.
Everything started a few weeks ago, during a school break. Billy was throwing some batteries from the recycling box with his friends towards Christos and some other kids. They complained about that and Billy grabbed Christos and tried to sit him on the trash bin. The kids watching pulled him away, Christos got upset and called him bad names, which triggered Billy’s anger who punched him in his eye severely. After that they went to their classrooms. B went away smirking, though A was shocked, red from anger and started crying. His friends tried to calm him and none of them seemed to keep tangling with the event.

RESPONSE IMPLEMENTED:

The bell had rung and a teacher went to Christos’ classroom in order to teach her lesson. Once she entered the room she saw Christos crying and noticed his red cheek. She asked what had happened, and the children referred briefly to the event, but tried to cover Billy and give no further dimension to it. The teacher decided not to conceal the event and informed another colleague and the school director of Gymnasium. Once he heard about that he asked Billy to go to his office and describe him the event. He really got angry and immediately called Billy’s parents on the phone and lectured them about Billy’s bad behavior, and also cautioned them that he would be expelled from school next time. Then he called Christos and asked him to describe the event from his side. In the meanwhile, the fact starts to get discussed among the teachers of the school, who ask Billy’s punishment. The Lyceum school director called the two students (separately) in order to get a whole idea of what had happened with no intention to punish anyone. But this irritated Gymnasium’s director who asked her to do something about the situation. After that she decided to contact the children of the 3rd class (the oldest ones) and asked for their help. They didn’t seem to get surprised from Billy’s behavior and denied to get involved. But after the school director’s proposal, we discussed the fact in the class during the lesson of Sociology and they agreed to help.
Lately the director called the parents of all children attending Lyceum for a meeting at school. Not all of them corresponded, but the meeting took place. Furthermore she decided to organize a two-day symposium at school with the help of the teachers and children as well, against racism and promoting children’s rights. (This has not taken place yet, but has been scheduled for 21-22 December).

IMPACT OF THE BULLYING ACTION:

This bullying event upset the school community in many ways. School life has been disrupted often by students’ racist behavior and thus the specific incident triggered teachers’ worrying on the subject.
The respect of children’s rights became a subject of discussion in many classes, especially in the 1st grade of Lyceum, where the phenomenon is more intense. Teachers’ punishments became more often and severe and enhanced the adhesion to school rules. The supervision during the breaks became more intensive and teachers’ attitude became stricter. This caused an intense atmosphere in school and a bad climate in general.
In some lessons, such as “Sociology” and “Politics and Law”, there were some didactical hours spent in studying matters of equal rights and violence. The students of the last grade agreed to take initiatives to solve such problems in their school in order to improve the communication and cooperation among schoolmates. This is the most important impact coming up from this unpleasant event. Older children decided to become more active in social school life and take initiatives for school’s sake. The role they were given made them feel more mature and responsible about their school.
Generally some students got very irritated by Billy’s attitude, though others tried to justify his action and express their racist concept. Younger children attending classes of Gymnasium denounced Billy’s behavior and expressed their worrying about feeling unsafe in school.
In the beginning Billy didn’t seem to understand the seriousness of his action and continued to act in a cunning way, trying to draw his friends’ attention by doing funny nasty things. But after the students’ intervention, he felt isolated and ignored by the others and thus he started to act in a more mature and serious way. He kept trying to draw the attention in his class, but was much more careful. He doesn’t seem to regret about his action though.
Christos became much more introvert and didn’t talk to others except for his friends. He also became more quite in class and hesitated to participate in the lesson procedure. His school performance deteriorated and his attitude towards his teachers became more frigid. He avoided contact with the older students of school and seems stressful and worrisome since then.
Apart from the disruption caused by the bullying action, the pursuit with finding manners to handle it benefited the school community in many ways. First of all, things like that happen all the time and could no longer stay hidden, because it would implicit that school does not bother and anyone could act the way they liked. Children with different origin use to face their classmates’ nasty behavior and this should stop. The intervention of older children, the awareness of parents and the organization of cultural anti-racism events and collective actions in school is a great step in changing the situation.

POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM:

As mentioned above, Christos comes from another country and lives in Greece with his family for the last 8 years. Children in the village he lives with his family are prejudiced against Albanians, so his socialization was difficult. In the class is quite and kind and he generally keeps a low profile in school.
When he was asked about the event by school’s director, he hesitated to discuss about that. He didn’t blame Billy for his action and he stated that he didn’t want him punished. Despite his injury (physical and psychological) by him, he tried to cover him and he insisted that Billy should not get punished.
He attributed the bullying action to Billy’s naughty character, but did not want to discuss further about that. The only help he accepted was from the kids that witnessed the bullying action and stopped Billy from putting him in the trash. But after their intervention he avoided discussing about it with anybody, nor with the teachers that approached him.
He probably shared this event with his parents, because it was obvious that he had been hit by somebody, but we don’t know much about it, because they didn’t come at school to discuss about the fact.
Although Christos doesn’t speak about, it is obvious that he believes that kids like Billy behave badly to immigrants because of their different origin and cannot accept the difference in their cultures. This is a fact in many small places in Greece that blocks the procedure of their inclusion in the school community. But also he seems to be afraid of Billy and feel insecure. Our guess (coming from Billy’s statements) is that his parents are staying in Greece illegally and he may be afraid of that.

POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S):

As mentioned above, Billy is a child that often bothers the school community with his naughty and violent behavior. He is a smart child with moderate school performance (which would be great if he would be more studious). He has some racist feelings about immigrants, as many other children in his village and generally likes to draw others’ attention.
When he was asked by the school director to explain his action, he argued that he hit Christos because he cursed at his parents and said nasty things about his family. He doesn’t believe that it is his fault, because Christos attacked him too (which is not true, according to other children’s statements).
Through the discussion though, he admitted that he reacted violently, because in the past he had been insulted by Christos’ father, who was at the same football team some years ago and used to treat him bad. So now he believed he had the right to hit Christos.
The school director tried to scare him and explained him that physical violence can cause district attorney’s intervention. But Billy assured her that Christos’ father would never contact a district attorney. He insisted on that, which made us have doubts about the legacy of Christos’ family residency.
Generally, he doesn’t seem to have any regrets about his action, but he seems to bother about his friends’ opinion.

POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS:

Everyone in school knows Billy’s aggressive character and his tendency to tease others. His classmates join him in such incidents and like teasing others as well. His classroom (1st grade of Lyceum) is very often a point of discussion in teachers’ office.
In this school there are many children that share the same bad opinion about immigrants (especially those coming from Albania). So, these kids did not criticize Billy’s action. But there are also many children (especially in the last grades) that get annoyed by his actions and the disruption he causes to school.
The majority of children denounced the specific event and think that Billy crossed the line this time. They seem to care about him and want to help him, but they don’t know how. They attribute his general attitude to his bad family situation and the growing he received. When asked about Christos’ psychology, they didn’t seem to know much about it.
Students of the 3rd grade were informed about the event from the school director and got involved in order to find a solution and help Billy to comply with the school rules without being severely punished. They seem to believe that he deserves a severe punishment, but they don’t believe it would have any results, according to past experience.
They agreed to help, with the coordination of the teacher of Sociology, and they decided to make a group of five people (4 students and an older friend of B that is respectful by him), and discuss seriously the matter with B the next evening. They decided to face him with a strict and mature manner to show him the importance of the case, and this seems to have an impact on him till now.

POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS:

The school director started to discuss the incident with the other teachers in order to get their opinion about the measures that should be implemented. They proposed to have a meeting in order to decide Billy’s punishment. They seem unwilling to accept such behaviors in school and they intend to protect school’s harmony and children’s safety.
In the beginning they intended to adopt severe measures to punish Billy’s action (through his suspension from school), but after school director’s proposal they are willing to adopt alternative measures to solve the problem.
They all work on the project of the anti-racism symposium and prepare many activities, such us an argument competition, film projections, a theater spectacle, and other activities combined with their subjects. They also started to talk about such issues in their classes and try to help children’s integration in school.
Generally they all show great willingness to cooperate with each other and with the school director in order to enhance a good school climate and insure children’s feeling of safety and justice.

POINT OF VIEW OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS:

School directors have been obviously troubled by this bullying event and they are both willing to work on this.
Gymnasium’s school director was informed about the event by a teacher that found Christos crying, and as mentioned above he immediately contacted bully’s parents to inform them about the incident. He asked Lyceum’s school director’s intervention and he asked for Billy’s punishment. But she preferred to follow a different way of intervention and tried to involve teachers, children and their parents to handle the situation.
First of all she contacted Billy’s mother and asked for her intervention. She defended her son and tried to excuse him. Then school director contacted (through phone calls) a psychologist, asked for her opinion and took her advice. Then she asked all children’s parents to meet her and discuss with them the situation.
Through discussion with students and Billy’s parents, she found out that they are separated and that they both live with other partners. Billy lives with his sister, his mother and her boyfriend and does not meet his father very often. She (the director) strongly believes that Billy’s family situation plays a great role to his inappropriate behavior.
She thinks that traditional measures, such as Billy’s suspension from school, cannot ameliorate the situation and has decided to take action in alternative ways, involving all the members of school community.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED:

Billy’s parents as already mentioned are separated. They are aware of their son’s troublesome behavior at school. Billy’s father lives in another village and has not much contact with the school. Billy’s mother states that has worked much on her son’s behavior and that she has no responsibility for his actions. She does not believe that Billy has a bad character, and she just describes him as a little bit boisterous, but with no bad intentions.
She got informed about the fact by the director of Lyceum and justified him because of her son’s previous bad relationship with Christos’ father. She accepted director’s invitation and attended the meeting with other parents. She insisted on her son’s innocence and tried to justify him for another time.
Christos’ parents came from Albania and work in the field of agriculture. They didn’t contact school after the incident and thus we have no information about their opinion. They generally seem to have low profile.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL:

There was not a Counselor at school. The counselor (Expert on student delinquency), however from the Youth Advisory Station, belonging to the Directorate of Secondary Education in the Prefecture, who was informed about the incident later stated the following:
Schools in Greece became multicultural the last two decades. It is a fact that students are not used in the consequences of globalization.
Delinquency is a major problem. Motivation is the problem too. I think that as nation we don’t have experience in multicultural societies. The first student in our story believes that offers something very important by behaving to the other student like this way. He thinks that only Greeks need education. The school is ‘ours’.
The other student is ‘in jail’. He lives in a world of division and he accepts the situation (like his family).
Communication and cooperation among our students should be improved by using a different model of teaching. New trends in teaching and learning such as collaborative learning and working a project could help to change the situation. But this is not enough. School actors should talk to the parents of the students.
The director of the school should invite an expert, a psychologist, to talk to the students and their families aiming in analyzing the problem and helping both sites to adapt in the new social situations of our every day life.

POINT OF VIEW OF POLICY MAKERS:

The Director of Educational Affairs of Directorate of Secondary Education in the Prefecture, who was briefed on the incident later, stated the following:
The interest of the class teacher for the case is obvious as she informed the Director of the school as she should be done.
The Director of the junior High School was not competent to call Billy neither to discuss with him, as he was a student of the senior High School nor to inform his parents.
The Director of the senior High School was informed but she did not intervene effectively. The invitation to a meeting with the parents of the children as well her idea to implement a daily workshop is a positive intervention. A positive reaction is the invitation of psychologists to the school as well.
The intervention of the Director of the junior High School both pedagogically and administratively is practically insufficient as during it Chris was not protecting, he was felt more insecure and he was continuing to experience the consequences of bullying.
The Director of the senior High School keeping in mind that the any kind of punishment has no result on Billy lost the control of the situation at school in where there is a climate of intimidation and delinquency. Actions should be taken, such as, discussions, updates, meeting of the teachers, to face the problem.
Cooperation and a harmonious atmosphere should be present between the two Directors of the schools. Their disagreements reflect on the smooth operation of the two schools. The two Directors should seek help from psychologists or social workers to help both students to avoid experiencing all these negative emotions and help Bill to recognize his wrong behavior, to improve himself and apologize to Chris.
Because Billy shows no remorse, school actors might decide other kind of inventions such as changing the school environment for him (ordering change of the school he studies). This decision should be made not as a punishment but for the purposes of developing a different school environment for Billy offering him the opportunity to improve his attitude and behavior.
At the same time this decision would help Chris to feel safe and free to interact with others in his school environment.
Billy has to deeply realize that the school community does not accept any physical violence and delinquent behavior, as this is not acceptable by anyone and as such a behavior has consequences.
Positive and effective intervention was the behavior of the classmates of the two students and the two schools should enforce this kind of responses.
The Directorate of Secondary Education, as long as people there were immediately informed about the incident, could help schools by sending specialist staff from the Youth Advisory Station or other appropriate bodies able to handle and help both students involved as well as all other actors of the schools such as Directors and teachers to handle this difficult situation.

CONCLUSIVE DEDUCTIONS:

The bullying incident described in this case study is a typical one in Greek province. It implies that there is much work to be done in order to fight racism and children’s refusal to difference.
The causes of the specific event are twofold. It certainly reveals the presence of racist perceptions, but also the importance of the role of family. Through the conversation with some students during the class of Sociology, it came up that Billy has not been raised in a harmonic family environment and this has caused him many behavioral problems. According to them, Billy has not received the care that every child needs, or any rewards as a child, and thus he tries to catch the attention of others in school by causing some troubles. This is a great feedback for us as teachers on how easy (or not) we say “well done!” or enhance their self esteem and encourage children to draw our attention for a good reason.
Our experience has shown that the traditional ways of punishment has not succeeded and we have to adopt other strategies in order to combat the phenomenon. Billy has been punished many times in the past, but it didn’t work. Classmates’ intervention seems to have great effects and we have to involve them and give them a significant role in dealing with conflicts in school.
Also cultural events with multicultural content can be proved really useful in helping children to share their traditions and ethos with others and enhance immigrants’ self esteem.

SUMMARY OF THE CASE STUDY IN BULGARIAN LANGUAGE:

Човешкото достойнство на боклука.pdf

Comments about this Case Study


Date: 23.04.2012

Posted by: MULDER FRANCIS
Type of school: School mediation service - Liège
Country: Belgium

Analysis
The situation described concerns Billy, a 15-years-old student in the first year of high school who threw batteries at Christos, first year student at the gymnasium, of Albanian origin, and other children. They have complained and Billy grabbed Christos and tried to put him in a dustbin. Christos threw insults, which have triggered the anger of Billy, who has severely hit Christos to the eye.
By carefully reading the narrative of this case over, I'm not sure whether it's really a bullying situation, at least if one refers to the commonly accepted definition. This is an act of violence, perhaps tinged with racism, as it is regularly found in schools. Certainly not to trivialize and not to leave without reaction.

What is peculiar in this situation is the reaction of two directors, the one of the gymnasium and the one of the high school. They do not consult and act only on their own. That of the gymnasium immediately contacted the parents of Billy to inform them of the incident and asked the director of the high school to punish Billy. But the director chose to follow a different path and instead tried to involve teachers, children and their parents in the treatment of the problem.

The director knows well that Billy is a boy who recurrently shows difficult behaviour, whose parents are separated.

It seems to me that the director of the school has a more global view on the situation and seeks to involve as many players from the school to address this kind of behaviour, sometimes tinged with racism. She takes initiatives like calling all parents who attend high school and consider a two-day symposium at the school with the help of teachers and children against racism and for the promotion of the rights of the child. The question that remains unanswered: does Christos feel safe now?

Another happy consequence of the incident is that the seniors of the school decided to become more active in the social life of the school and to take initiatives for the good of the school. All these collective actions seem to favour a step towards change.

What is peculiar in this situation is that this type of incident seems to take relevant proportions as the Director of Educational Affairs of the prefectural Directorate of Secondary Education is informed.

Recommendations in relation to this type of situation :

In the situation concerned, it seems to me that what would be important is the close collaboration between the directions to ensure maximum coherence in the answers to give.
What I found especially interesting is to ensure the cooperation of the elders and to consider setting up a project of reflection and action on the subject of racism and violence.
What is also noteworthy is the realization that traditional methods of punishment are not particularly effective and it is more appropriate to adopt other strategies to fight against the phenomenon of violence. This is the case when the school decides to set up cultural events with multicultural content in view of helping young people to share their traditions and cultures.

Relevance of teachers’ training in addressing harassment situations :
See what has been said in previous situations

Date: 23.04.2012

Posted by: MULDER FRANCIS
Type of school:
Country:

Analysis

Date: 02.04.2012

Posted by: Claude PRIGNON
Type of school: Coordinator of School mediators in the Region of Brussels Capital
Country: Belgium

Comparison :

This event could have happened in a school of Brussels :
• it concerns the themes planned by the decree that organizes school mediation (conflict/violence and school dropping out) ;
• the actors (pupils, teachers, headmaster’s office) are the same
• confidentiality is also a common element. The school mediator keeps the secret confided to him/her.
• the proposal made to the pupils of the class to express themselves regarding the conflict they have been witnesses of.
We also notice a common « objective » but with different means : it is a question of improving the communication between fellows. In this situation, the mean use is the setting up of a symposium (activity-debate).
As far as mediation is concerned, it will be a question of allowing the parties to express themselves and of proposing them a neutral space to make communication arise.


Recommendation :

The school hadmaster’s proposal to meet the pupils on the one hand, and the teachers on the other hand could have been what we call an offer of mediation service.
The pupils and the teachers have had space to express their worries.
Contrariwise, it is not a question of looking for Justice or sanction. (See the comment on the event « Racist controversy »).
If after the mediation, the setting up of a project of activities, of seminar or of debate within the class is considered, it is not the mediator who will carry out or coordinate this type of project. He is neutral and independent.
At the end of the presentation of the event, we can notice that « the traditional methods of sanctions have failed ». We can also notice that mediation and sanction are not exclusive but that the mediator will not be searching for the truth or the school for justice. It allows the parties to find or to recover, if they want to, communication, comprehension, acception, and that way, justice.

Date: 30.03.2012

Posted by: Isabelle Closon
Type of school: Secondary School
Country: Belgium

I’m particularly struck by the resolution of the problem by the peers, and generally by the role that the other pupils play during this event.
In one hand the Billy’s attitude is someway approved by the group, since a xenophobic feeling exist by these youths, so the motivation could be accepted y the group, but not the violent gesture.
On one other hand, Christo also play a role : he does not want Billy to be punished, he sees himself as second-rate citizen because he is probably in illegal stay, he does not hink he has the same rights. He does not file a complain and his parents do not even show themselves.
The Billy’s attitude is finally solved by the peers. Indeed, it is the pupils of the 6th year who, thanks to their civic actions and their disapprobation, withdraw Billy’s aura by making his misdeeds useless.
I think that the initiatives regarding the long-term treatment of the problem, that is to say racism, by asking the older pupils, the parents, and the educative community to contribute to the post event meeting, and to the 2 days symposium. I also think it it interesting to make the older pupils solidary, that allows the responsible persons of the school to stand back and to enlighten their opinion with the ground actors’s experiences. It is a nice experience of democracy.
However, I think it is a pitty that the two pupils directly involved have not been psychologically supported. In fact, Christos has more and more withdraw into himself, we do not really have the impression that the situation is solved for him.
According to me, the teachers has perfectly reacted by recording the facts and by handing over regarding event that she could not have managed herself. It seems that the communication was good.
What I keep of this exerience :
- the idea of a resolution by the peers , thanks to a disciplinary committee. Older pupils take sometimes part in this committee, and, in all cases, heavy disciplinary sanctions are not imposed by only one person.
- the communication with the school partners and the work on the heart of the problem.

Date: 16.03.2012

Posted by: Nadia Antonova
Type of school: Vocational
Country: Bulgaria

A very positive and efficient approach to deal with bullying based on racism and cultural misunderstanding. In this particular case the headmaster played an important role in conveying the message to all parties – the students, the parents and the school professionals - that a lasting peace can be achieved not through sanctions but rather through dialogue and information about the other. The technique applied could be useful in almost any practice and any school. We believe that the response from our students to this approach would be very positive - they seem to be quite eager to be a part of the better and peaceful community. Bulgarian teachers and school management staff greatly benefit from prevention, mediation and conflict resolution courses.

Date: 13.03.2012

Posted by: LUCA ANA NICOLETA
Type of school: V.MADGEARU High School IASI
Country: ROMANIA

The case is one in which the real problem is the imagine issues of the victim and the aggressor .
Billy has a low self esteem because of the way he was treated in his family + neglect from the father and mother. He discriminates against Albanese people because he considers them to be inferior and tolerated. The school belongs to the Greeks and that is why Cristos must be punished.
The supposed cause, according to Billy and his followers is a previous aggression by Cristos’s dad. These types of problems of imagine and self esteem are very frequent in the rrom community in Romania.
Prejudice ,labeling and mocking on both sides lead to physical aggression between Rromas and Romanians
A distorted imagine and low self esteem on both sides lead to different ways of approaching the conflict. The victim is stigmatized, isolates him/herself and the aggressor implicates him/herself through violence, In Romania the frequent conflicts stem from lack of self esteem of the rroma people.
That is why, as in this case, we intervene by :
-Counseling of the students and parents by using psychiatrist of the same ethnic group for a better understanding of the culture
-Group counseling in the master teacher’s class
-Individual counseling for the implicated parties
-Making plans for the individual counseling, well fitted for the victim and aggressor
-Campaigns that promote a better understanding of the other party
-Festivities
-Counseling of the parents
-Implicating specialists, psychologists , school counselors
-Using the right methods for encouraging, valuing, praising good deeds but also effective punishments
-Facilitating knowledge of oneself , flaws and strengths
-Using the adolescent and preadolescence personality traits. That is why it is good to use mediation groups of conflicts formed by students of appropriate ages without the intervention of adults For example, in the presented case, the intervention of the principal did not help the case at all .
-Participating in multicultural and multiethnic activities

Elements that are not common ( please correlate the identified elements with the differences that exist in the education system on an European level and also with the cultural kind)
+poor participation from the local community + Mayor’s Office in solving school problems
+Not being able to integrate minorities in the life of majorities by the school, police, church

Please specify who would you call upon for help in such a case (school administration, teachers, specialists, parents, public authorities ,etc . )
+school psychiatrists
+trainers in order to learn mediation and negotiation techniques , how to communicate in a conflict
+parents
+associations and organizations that specialize in multicultural learning and the interethnic problems

What could you learn from this case study?
That human dignity must be preserved and formed
That the image of the people in interethnic communities is influenced by prejudice
It is necessary to educate society to be tolerant, inclusive
Need to work with specialists, psychologists, school counselors .

Recommendations
How would you intervene if you were facing such a situation of violence ? We invite you to mention 2 strategies in order to fight violence in schools, implemented in school by you.
Individual counseling for victim and aggressor
Meeting the parents
Individual counseling of the parents on both sides
Training the teachers in order to learn mediation and negotiation techniques , how to communicate in a conflict

Would you implement the strategies presented in this case study? Do you consider them useful and aplicable in your school?
+Surely we have implemented such strategies in partnership with rroma associations which deal with the prevention and diminishing of violence in schools

Importance of training teachers so they are prepared to deal with the violence in school
Have you participated in such trainings? What would such a program consist of ?
+Training organized by AMMare Romentza Foundation for intercultural education
‘Writing a GUIDE FOR COUSELING OF THE MULTIETHNIC COMMUNITIES +Financed by AMMare Romentza Foundation , for which I was a co-author .

Date: 13.03.2012

Posted by: THERESE LUCAS - coordinator of SMSW
Type of school: SMSW - School mediation service in Wallonia
Country: Belgium

Elements in common :
It seems that the description of this case reveals the situation in Greece, but I think the same events could have happened in our country.

The main support and/or difficulties to deal with this bullying scenario :
It’s important not to be limited by the sanctions, but to also make sure to make all the school actors aware of the bullying problems and to clearly state that bullying is unacceptable.

Recommendations :
All is said in the counsellor’s comment : involving the whole school, the older pupils, the parents. The idea to exclude the bully pupil is associated with the idea to protect the victim and to send a clear signal that this type of behaviour is not tolerated in the school.

What training you would like to receive to improve the way you deal with this kind of episode :
See previous comments

Date: 07.03.2012

Posted by: Alfonso Vanacore
Type of school: Tecnical School
Country: Italia

We are immersed in a society that tends to evolve at a pace fast acting on people and putting them in forms of aggregation difficulties and undermining the values that had guided them until now.
The family, an institution fundamental to us, is now in crisis and at the same time the school is no longer seen as a single source of training, but it was accompanied by the mass media and social networks, etc., in which children have access to socialize, learn, and which are increasingly affected.
Young people in this situation often find themselves confronted by situations in which the strongest of them do not always react rationally, expressing his discomfort with engaging in rejection of the rules and discipline.
Too often in our classes we have people who overreact with behaviors that lead to real actions and bullying at the school, the teaching group as reminders and make use of psychologists, stop listening and school mediators, has difficulty keep under control. The school believes that when events occur outside of normal immediately tries to forge an alliance with the family, but often at this stage we realize that right there is a large part of the problem. In fact, we increasingly difficult to forge a partnership, because in fact the family is nonexistent, that separated parents unload the responsibility of a son on the other, the boy who stands by other relatives, parents "modern" playing at friends and have abdicated parental authority, and still and always tend to justify the child.
At that point, however, the school tries to intervene with the tools it has at its disposal with the question of punishing a "bully" which in turn is expressing his anger in a society which feels victimized and it probably is.
In Italy the boys are forced to school attendance until the age of 16 years, and in ensuring the rights of the pupil, the school legislation provides for complex procedures, it is not difficult to make the pupil's expulsion from the class for a long time .
Until 2007 Sardinia was part of the EU Objective 1 funds and this allowed access to funding for measures and actions aimed at preventing, preparing specific courses aimed at students, teachers, parents and experts in extracurricular schedule that allowed us to address these phenomena with a certain incisiveness.
Currently, this possibility was lacking and we must deal with the phenomenon means rather low
We are not pessimistic, but we see that the phenomenon, especially in the first two years of study over time increases, there are more difficulties in school and have fewer resources to respond, but we do not lose even if we find ourselves increasingly uncomfortable.

Date: 26.02.2012

Posted by: Rob Southern
Type of school: 11-18 Secondary
Country: England

It is not easy for a school to combat racism in a community that allows these views to be freely expressed. In order to change the attitudes of the students they must also engage with the parents and members of the wider school community. The difficulties are highlighted by the lack of support initially offered by the other students and members of the school staff.
I was surprised to read in this case-study that the school did not appear to have a clear policy for dealing with this sort of incident. The 2 school Directors clearly disagreed on the approach to take with the bully. If the school had a clear and consistent approach then this confusion would not have happened. The impact of the confusion on the school community could be significant as the students will receive mixed messages as to the seriousness of a violent and racist attack. I think the school needs to look at formulating a clear policy on how to deal with racism and ensure that the whole school community is aware of the consequences of this sort of behaviour.
I think the Headteacher was right to identify the bully as someone who is in need of an alternative disciplinary approach. However, I do not think that the correct message is sent to the school community when a student is not excluded for a serious physical assault. The school’s follow-up work with the students was excellent. They have made a concerted effort to involve all of the students in a discussion on race-relations and tolerance during their timetabled lessons. In addition to this, the 2 day anti-racism event is sure to have a positive impact on the majority of students.
In addition to identifying a common approach to this type of incident the school should also look at building links with multi-cultural areas or countries in order to broaden the experiences of their students. I think that by immersing their students in different cultures they can break down the negative views of these students. It would be important to involve the parents and wider community in these activities to try and alter the mind-set of the area.
I was impressed with the willingness of the school to provide support to both the victim and the bully. It is very easy to forget that the bully is acting in this way for a reason. He clearly has a very difficult life and is misbehaving in order to vent the anger that he is feeling. The school was very forward thinking in providing psychological support and identifying that a traditional approach may not be the best way of modifying his behaviour.

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