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TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES:

«This is the way men act…»

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

A. and K. are students in a Vocational school. They are both 17 years old and attend the lessons of the same specialty. They do not associate with each other either within or outside the school. One morning at the entrance of the school, just before the bell rings, K seeing. A. attacked and badly hit in the face with a sharp object.
A does not have time to react, injured and transported to hospital by a teacher. There he remained throughout the day. Doctors sewed the wound above his eye and submitted him for tests to determine whether there was a cerebral concussion, as he felt dizzy. The findings were negative, so the student was discharged this afternoon. K after the incident left the school and did not appear that day.
A was a mediocre student, popular with classmates, teachers liked him, he did not pose any problems in school, he was no absences noted, and he was the eldest child of a four-member Greek family.. His father was a bricklayer and his mother a cleaning lady to the hospital.
K had been indifferent to the school, presented poor performance and many absences, had relationships with just few peers and he was the third and youngest child of a family of Albanians, who came to Greece when K. was ten years old.
The incident left speechless both students and teachers of the school as they could not explain the behavior of K. There was no previous example of a problematic relationship between them. The Director of the school invited students who witnessed the incident to expose the facts. Besides the description of the event, no one expressed any suspicion of its cause. He was also invited the parents of A and K, but none of them came to school that day to meet the director. After that he informed and Youth Advisory Station of the Directorate of Secondary Education in the prefecture.
The next day, A. went to school accompanied by his parents. K. went to school without his parents. During the meeting with the Director and the presence of a member of the Youth Advisory Station A. insisted that the reason for which he became a victim of violent behavior of K. was personal, not related to the school.
A’s parents demanded the exemplary punishment of K. After a short period of time K explained that A. wanted to establish relations with a girl who K. also like. He had warned him several times and threatened him that if he dared to go out with her, he would regret it. A ignored K’s threats and met the girl. The attitude of K. was rather challenging, pestering the following: "This is the way men act…', 'I warned him and there was seeming chicken. ""Punish me, I do not care, I do not regret anything."
A. after that agreed that the cause of the events was his relationships with the girl. He hah faced threats by K. on his mobile phone, but never paid any attention to that.

RESPONSE IMPLEMENTED:

Teachers met, discussed the event and decided to punish K for a week miscarriage. This penalty would force him to quit school after absences were already enough and the punishment would exceed the limit. K after the announcement of a penalty didn’t again go to school.
The counselor from the Youth Advisory Station stressed the need to communicate with parents of K. A week after his persistent efforts to communicate with her mother, she visited the offices of the Advisory Station. At the first meeting with her mother revealed a highly problematic family environment.
His father is a drunk and underemployed person with violent behavior, consistently beating his wife and children trying to obtain money from them. After subsequent sessions the mother was convinced that enduring this behavior harms not only herself but her children. She fled to social services to help her and her children
During the period after the event and with the help of the counselor, K’s father moved away from home and K. found a temporary job in the next year. He continued his studies at school with the support of the Youth Advisory Station.

IMPACT OF THE BULLYING ACTION:

The incident was quite violent and the school community initially "froze" because of the behavior of the abuser. But the handling of the incident by the Director and the Youth Advisory Station was pedagogically correct and the message given to the school community was that a methodical and fair approach would work towards exemplary violence and racism.

POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM:

The personality of the victim shows an individual with soft tones who did not want to reveal the reason of the beating, possibly for fear of reprisals.

POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S):

K. has been growing up in a violent family environment and having suffered repeated violence from his father developed a distorted perception of human relationships as well as on how to resolve differences between people. The behavior before the onset of violence (threatening messages) and after (stating unrepentant) is the manifestation of this distortion. By changing the family context and interventions K did not show such behavior again until he finished school.

POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS:

The pupils of the school felt that the event was a very violent one. They could not explain why it was happened and of course blamed K for his behavior. They considered fair the punishment from the school and their attitude towards K was negative. They could not also explain the passive attitude of A. When after the turn of events they discussed with the teachers and learned the history of K showed sympathy for him. They think that the assistance from the Youth Advisory Station was very effective.
They also wondered about the role of the girl in the whole incident. They believe that she owns a part of the responsibility too.
They expressed the view that every time there is an incident at school the Director of the school and teachers should discuss in depth with the students involved before they give a punishment to them.
They also expressed the view that if there was a psychologist or social worker at school he could help many children. They proposed the director and teachers the possibility for the school to cooperate with the Department of Social Work, of the Technological Educational Institute of Patras in this direction.

POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS:

Teachers were initially negative toward K. They found his punishment fair. After they informed about the family story of K, their view changed. They thought more humanly about him and discussed the issue with other students in an attempt to raise awareness about what is happening around them.
They agreed with their students that if there was a psychologist or social worker at school he could really help. They also agreed with their students for the possibility of a cooperation with the Department of Social Work, of the Technological Educational Institute of Patras in this direction.

POINT OF VIEW OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS:

The attitude of the director shows a methodical attempt to detect the causes of the behavior of two students as well as exploring their home environments. His cooperation with the Youth Advisory Station and tried to organize joint meetings with the students, their families and the counselor.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED:

A’s parents worried very much about him and demanded the exemplary punishment of K. Requesting detailed data of K. in order to submit a complaint, despite the opposition of A. They were stressed because while they were insisting their child did not reveal the reason of the beating.
K’s Parents gives the initial impression of indifferent parents. But the things are not exactly so. The family of K is highly problematic family. His father is a drunk and unemployed man, with violent behavior towards everyone and especially towards his wife and children. The fear of the mother endures everything and does not appear at school. When she convinced that this attitude does not help either herself or her children she accept to received help from experts in an effort to improve her life and the lives of her children.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL:

There was no a counselor at school to handle the event. A social worker with great experience on the issue informed about the case and commented as follow:
The etiology of the behavior of K is that in his family environment he is also a victim or witness to abuse of the mother than the father, so he repeats the pathological behavior in the same way.
He tries to give the message to the school (classmates and teachers) that he has the control and shows great, strong and tries to grow its low self-esteem and possibly reduce the stigma of racism because of his origin, thinking that by this way he gains the admiration of his peers.
The personality of the victim shows an individual with soft tones, who did not want to reveal the reason of the beating.
The attitude of the director shows a methodical attempt to detect the causes of the behavior of two students as well as exploring their home environments. His cooperation with the advisory station was an effective decision.
A counselor at school could help the abuser and the victim trying to treat the pathological elements of their personality and to prevent other side effects such as K’s school drop out. The counselor would also able to target actions to stop the vicious cycle of violence

POINT OF VIEW OF POLICY MAKERS:

There was no a counselor at school to handle the event. A social worker with great experience on the issue informed about the case and commented as follow:
The etiology of the behavior of K is that in his family environment he is also a victim or witness to abuse of the mother than the father, so he repeats the pathological behavior in the same way.
He tries to give the message to the school (classmates and teachers) that he has the control and shows great, strong and tries to grow its low self-esteem and possibly reduce the stigma of racism because of his origin, thinking that by this way he gains the admiration of his peers.
The personality of the victim shows an individual with soft tones, who did not want to reveal the reason of the beating.
The attitude of the director shows a methodical attempt to detect the causes of the behavior of two students as well as exploring their home environments. His cooperation with the advisory station was an effective decision.
A counselor at school could help the abuser and the victim trying to treat the pathological elements of their personality and to prevent other side effects such as K’s school drop out. The counselor would also able to target actions to stop the vicious cycle of violence

CONCLUSIVE DEDUCTIONS:

The event was originally shocked the school community. But it caused the beginning for a concern for this kind of events. The intervention of the Director was correct in principle. The penalty assigned by the teachers' could be a cause for discontinuation of K’s studies at school.
The intervention of the counselor from the Youth Advisory Station was effective.
Considering all the above must be emphasized the necessity of preventing similar incidents. Considered necessary cooperation of the school community with the appropriate local services and agencies to the appropriate precautionary actions to prevent similar cases.

SUMMARY OF THE CASE STUDY IN BULGARIAN LANGUAGE:

Така действат мъжете.pdf

Comments about this Case Study


Date: 16.03.2012

Posted by: EMANUELA RACU
Type of school: Vocational School, GRUP SCOLAR ECONOMIC DE TURISM - IASI
Country: ROMANIA

Such cases occur in our school, though not very frequently, but we are familiar to them. In such a situation we would have proceeded almost in the same way, that means first a meeting among the teachers who know both the students very well. The case is presented by the 2 form masters after they have previously discussed with the students. Then the students themselves will present their point of view and the reason they acted that way. The form masters then will submit the type of punishment for each student, according to the School Regulation and the rest of the teachers will vote if they agree or don’t agree with it. The students will be informed immediately about the preliminary decision, with the specification that their case will be set under discussion during the General School Teachers’ Meeting and the final decision will be taken after that. According to our school regulations, the punishment will be the same but personally, I don’t agree with the idea of expelling the violent student so easily. He should be helped and guided to change his attitude because we all know that this kind of reactions have a cause that, sometimes, cannot be handled by the teenager, like family problems, and he should be taught how to face them.

I agree with the fact that the act was of an extreme violence but, pedagogically speaking, a good example should have a greater impact on teenagers than a negative one. Of course, it is easier to punish someone very drastically by expelling that person. Thus the school get rid of the ‘possible enemies’ who disturb the peace inside, but this is not the real solution. You cannot solve the problem by avoiding it. The best example should have been the real transformation through which the problem-student has gone through. That is the main purpose of school and education on the whole. We, as teachers, must help the students become reliable persons for society, and cases like this represent the real challenge.

It is true that a psychologist or a social worker in school has a vital role and he should be directly involved in various school activities and also he should have discussions with the teenagers facing problems inside and outside school. Special lectures or other types of activities held by him, in collaboration with the teachers and parents can have a great impact on teenagers’ lives. Such activities can prevent unwanted situations like this one, and they should demonstrate that everyone has a second chance to rehabilitation. If the students will feel that they are not alone, that there are people who really care about them and fight to save them from critical situations, they will at least try to get on the right track. It is worth trying...



Date: 16.03.2012

Posted by: EMANUELA RACU
Type of school:
Country:

Date: 07.03.2012

Posted by: Asya Tsvetkova
Type of school: Secondary school
Country: Bulgaria

The case is similar to the one analyzed by our school – direct verbal and physical violence – targeting a boy. Here it is interesting that the conflict, the center of which has been a girl of common interest for the two involved boys, evolved like in a "Evgeni Onegin" movie - direct rivalry between two potential boy-friends. Physical violence is very broadly disseminated among the boys. The similarities between our case and this one however, end here. Here we have a victim who is well aware of the reasons for the attack - he had been warned and brought this upon himself knowingly.
In a similar situation imposing a punishment is probably the only logical outcome and approach for resolution, because the perpetrator should be made aware that such actions of misunderstood knighthood and chivalry - fighting his opponent over a girl - are not acceptable in the 21st century.
No further training is necessary. Sanctions are needed.

Date: 18.02.2012

Posted by: Ann Foxley-Johnson
Type of school: Secondary 11-16 Comprehensive School
Country: United Kingdom

In my experience as an Anti-Bullying Co-ordinator is that when I have dealt with a bully and you meet their parents you start to unravel a young person’s behaviour. There are many reasons why people chose to bully another.

Obviously in this case K had an extremely volatile home life and witnessed first hand domestic violence. He then hadn’t developed the skills to be able to deal with the situation with A in an other way. He threatened and sent threatening messages (cyber bullying) to deliberately intimidate A and exert his power- ‘stay away! ‘Was the clear message. Had he been rebuked by the girl in question? So was the cause jealousy? Did he see the girl in question as a possession? I note that the student’s view was that ‘she owns a part of responsibly to’ was she spoken to during the proceedings?

The fact that the physical assault was so extreme and shocked the school community indicates the need for education regarding bullying and racism. A clear Anti-Bullying Policy written by students/staff/parents would be a powerful tool in this.
The school could invite visiting speakers in and hold workshops and assemblies to educate the students and raise awareness in our Multi-Cultural Society that we live in.The fact that the other students showed sympathy when educated about K’s situation demonstrated this.

A had displayed typical boy behaviour in ignoring the bullies threats and met the girl in question. He could have felt ashamed or didn’t feel intimidated by K to report the behaviour, feeling that he should deal with it in his own way-this didn’t work as he was then physically assaulted by K.If this occurred in our school A would have been referred to our Learning Mentor for further support.

The Director and school staff dealt with this matter well and involved the correct agencies ‘The Youth Advisory Station’. Everyone involved said that someone trained in school would be useful in this situation. Maybe if there was, K could have been supported before this incident occurred and given counselling for the abuse he witnessed and was receiving.
Any intervention does need the cooperation of the students and parents/carers and I appreciate the difficulty in a situation such as this. I felt that the Counsellor knew her role, and was persistent with K’s mother which then meant that K felt supported and was then able to continue with his studies.

At our College we have a clear child protection policy and a ‘child concern’ disclosure system where staff can identify students and refer to the Lead Professional, an Assistant Head teacher with responsibility for Safeguarding. This person then refers to Social Care and External agencies where appropriate.
Having a councillor or other suitably trained member of staff on call in school nowadays is crucial for the well being of our students. Our role has evolved from ‘just teaching’ those to read and write to empowering them to become wholly rounded thoughtful and responsible adults. We have a specialist Learning Support Team and Student Progress Leaders who focus on the Pastoral aspect of a young person’s education- maybe this is something that could be implemented.

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