Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This material reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

Also available in:

"I Am Not Scared" Project

Homepage > Case Studies > Document

Case Studies

TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES:

The social background - source of bullying

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

A conflict was generated between two 9th graders during the second term of the school year 2010 – 2011.
The conflict started with an exchange of sharp remarks and insults, based on their place of origin: urban versus rural regions.
This social marginalization took the form of some types of violence: verbal, emotional (challenging, bullying).
The types of violence present in this case were verbal and emotional.

RESPONSE IMPLEMENTED:

In order to reconcile/ prevent these kinds of conflicts have been carried out a series of activities focused on identifying the appropriate solutions for dealing with potential conflicts, developing social skills, building prosocial behaviours, enhancing personal development, and designing negotiation methods and instruments.
Among these, we mention:
 “Emotional Education”
 “Anger Management” – group activities enabled us to identify the alternative solutions, encouraging at the same time group cohesion and development of positive attitudes, such as patience, tolerance, co-operation etc... All in all they helped students to better manage the tense situations.
 “Coping with social problems” – interactive debate which showed the readiness of the parties involved for looking for solutions and actions meant to prevent and fight against violence and aggressive behaviours.
 „Developing skills for an efficient conflict resolution” –this activity gives the students the opportunity to both analyse themselves and reflect on their own reactions in different situations and contexts.
 Conflict Negotiation
 „Violence and its effects”
 “Communication as a source of school violence” – the activity aimed at improving communication among people, creating positive climate and relationships and agreeing on conflict mediation measures (students-students, students – teachers, teachers – parents, parents - students).
Strategies for dealing with violence at the school level
Create a data base with the students whose parents work abroad and their monitoring;
Ensure an efficient communication through different media with the parents left abroad, by providing them with information on their children, form teachers or school counsellors.
Prepare and complete a file for students’ absences monitoring;
Create a compensation system for students with the fewest unmotivated absences, compliments in the school assembly etc.;
Trainings on this topic for form teachers, developed at the school level, by the teachers who completed the special training programme, known as “TIV”, in collaboration with the school counselor.
Administer questionnaires to students in order to identify the existing forms of violence.
Ensure safety and security by installing a central locking system and personalized card access into the school premises.
Involve at least 50 % of students in extra-school activities;
Involve students who are likely to develop violent behaviour or who have committed violent acts in contests and projects on violence, counseling programmes organized in partnership with the school and other specialized institutions (POLICE, local authorities, the Church, NGOs specialized in programmes for child and youth protection and education);
Encourage students to take up volunteering. In this way, they can develop a feeling of solidarity and team work skills;
Raise awareness among parents by encouraging their participation in courses like “Parents’ school” (ro. „Şcoala părinţilor” );
Promote the counseling activities for parents organized within the Organization “Save the Children!” (ro. « Salvaţi Copiii »);
Develop a school – family partnership by involving the family in different extra-school activities.
Debates, meetings on school violence in Students’ Assembly and Parent Meetings.

IMPACT OF THE BULLYING ACTION:

The conflict situation had a negative impact on the students who were directly involved, students who were present, and on the school, as well. Also, the conflict has had a negative impact on the students’ parents.
The teacher who witnessed the conflict immediately put an end to the conflict. He explained the differences between the two students from an objective point of view.
The role of the school counselor was to take over the case and to carry on the counseling of both students and parents, giving them the possibility to integrate them in groups, so as to avoid discrimination.
After the case has been analyzed, the students have been informed on the internal rules according to the school national regulations during teachers’ and parent meetings.

At the school level, we will carry out activities on inclusive education and education for a democratic citizenship. The target group will contain students having displayed physical or verbal violent behavior. The activities will be organized by qualified people having been trained on this topic, in collaboration with the school counselor.

POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM:

Even if the conflict occurred during a common conversation, social differences made the students have different opinions. Thus, the dialogue turned into an exchange of sharp replies.

The conflict was ameliorated by a teacher who interrupted the argument. Additionally, the school counselor, the form teacher and the parents were involved in finding the best way to solve the conflict.

POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S):

The inappropriate behavior and vocabulary might have been generated by poor education and social environment.
After having analyzed the conflict, the students reconsidered the argument and expressed their regrets about the incident.

POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS:

As the instance of violence was short and readily solved by one teacher, the other teachers were only informed on the mishap in order to prevent similar events from occurring.

POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS:

As a form teacher I have always tried to get acquainted with the students’ environment and acknowledge the risks they are exposed to. Thus, I informed all the interested parties (school counselor, headmaster, parents) on the case, so as to find the appropriate solution.

POINT OF VIEW OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS:

School manager considers that the teacher, who stopped the conflict, followed the appropriate steps for conflict resolution.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED:

Having well and timely informed about the situation, the parents worked together with the people involved (students, form teacher, school counselor) in combating the effects and solving the conflict. Considering the cooperation and partnership between parents and school, the school image was not affected at all.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL:

The school counselor declared having approached the case as soon he was informed on it. He took all the necessary measures to assist both students and parents in order to help them to pass over the unpleasant moment and to give them possibility to integrate in the school community.
The school counselor also acknowledged having been given unconditioned support by the other involved parties.

POINT OF VIEW OF POLICY MAKERS:

Decision makers such as the police, school inspectorate or NGOs have developed preventive/ informative actions in order to fight against school violence. These activities have been undertaken in collaboration with the school at both form teachers’ and school counselor’ request.

CONCLUSIVE DEDUCTIONS:

Although the school is located in an area with a high risk of social vulnerability, we have not experienced severe violent instances. We have been very active in implementing measures for reducing and preventing school violence.
In our attempt to cope with school violence, we worked together with different institutions such as Regional Centre for Drug Prevention and Counseling (ro. Centrul Regional de Prevenire şi Consiliere Antidrog Iaşi, Department for Child Protection, Iași Police Inspectorate, “Save the Children” Organisation, Iasi County Center for Pshychopedagogical Assistance, “Solidarity & Hope” Foundation (Fundaţia “Solidaritate Şi Speranţă”) etc.
At present, we are developing the project “Youth against violence”, which was implemented by the organisation “Save the Children” in may 2010. The dissemination of information about the activities within the project have been carried out periodically and included all the forms of education (including day or evening courses). For this activity, we have sent reports to the project coordinator.
The impact of these activities on students has been significant. The number of instances of violence at the end of the school year 2009-2012 was lower than at the end of the previous school year.
We highly appreciate our colleagues (form teachers and school psychologist) efforts who have succeeded in concentrating students’ energy towards an appropriate behaviour, by encouraging them to participate in extra-school volunteering.
The process of reducing violence have also been facilitated by the school security system.
All in all, we think that it has been worth making all the above observations because despite the risky school location, the school has not been exposed to violence and we have not recorded no instance of violence so far.

Comments about this Case Study


Date: 06.05.2012

Posted by: MARIJA ASTRAUSKIENĖ
Type of school: Youth school
Country: LITHUANIA

The common thing is that our schools also deals with bullying of this kind: bullying because of the poorly living, due to a specific home smell (smoke, clothing); since we are the city school, our pupils sometimes calls pupils from other schools "village". A few years ago, due to these reasons, a conflict over the intercollegiate games occurred, pupils used violence. We use some of the strategies mentioned in this case, but not so much per case. We suggest using discussions between pupils, emotional education, anger management strategies, discussions with students, and further monitoring of behavior, we would foster tolerance.
It is difficult to find differences between our counties’ education systems, because we also do have spoilt children and children whose one or both parents are emigrants and this has negative consequences for their children's development, behavior, learning outcomes, and of course self-esteem and communication with others.
We believe it is useful to search for the connections with parents by letters, internet, during the meetings when they are visiting their children that they would be aware of the situation and that they could provide assistance and bigger security for their children. It would be useful to work with the mother of the aggressive child, showing her the damage and possible consequences to her child's life that spoiling can cause. It is necessary to provide assistance to the victim (s) of bullying and to the observers of bullying actions.
We believe that it is useful to organize preventive events – discussions on the themes: "the village and the city – differences and similarities", "Poverty. Are the children guilty for this?", "Is it easy to be the new one in class?”.
Good ideas: The creation of the database about the children whose parents are working abroad. The participation of media in the education of the emigrant parents process.
• We would recommend watching selected artistic films and discussion after with students, with parental Group - about the impact of emigration over the children, because films help to engage emotionally into the situation and discussion. Parents and children can participate in the discussion about emigration.
• We have developed some “mail-books”, because the letters may help to understand each other better. Probably it would be useful to prepare anonymous emigrant parents’ children’ letters book for parents.
The school currently participates in the Olweus program, so we have necessary training.
Consultations would be useful unless there is a serious case.

Date: 27.03.2012

Posted by: Jurgita Lymantienė
Type of school: High-school
Country: Lithuania

• Quite often in our country's education establishments occur bullying situations related to the social status, however, there never were bullying over racial nature because our community is quite solid. While there are conflicts due to different approaches formed during discussions and grown into sharp words, but they are unrelated to the cultural differences. In this situation I admire quick, accurate and caring teacher's reaction, which prevented the conflict from developing further. The teacher not only reacted to the harsh words spread by the pupils, but also has taken further preventive work. In this case the transfer of information and the dissemination of good practice were operative in order to help colleagues to avoid similar situations or at least to share some personal experiences. A part of our teachers try not to notice bullying (if they are not too obvious), because there is no clear school strategy on dealing with bullying, it's pretty random and dispersed. This school has also a very wide range of choice of bullying prevention measures both in terms of forms and in terms of the inclusion of the different community members. The referred school employs a full team of specialists: a social educator, psychologist, school counselors, who go deep into the matter and solves such problems. In our state’s schools usually works only social educators. Only a few schools have psychologists. More information about bullying we usually get from students than the teachers.
• We usually resolve similar situations only with available school resources and support from the parents (if it is possible and appropriate). The social educator, class teacher, victim students and their parents are usually involved in the decision making of such problem. The administration rarely participates in such activities. We also do have one reliable external partner – an inspectorate in the affairs of minors, which when invited willingly participates in all activities concerning bullying. All the persons that were mentioned responds to situations rather expeditiously.
• In the situation described, it appears clear that the school has its rules and provisions (known to all members of the community), what measures are taken to stop the bullying. It seems that there are no issues with anyone and everyone knows exactly what to do. This shows a high level of bullying resolution.
• Sometimes teachers fail to react properly in a timely manner to emerging bullying cases due to the lack of knowledge or skills on how to handle such situations. Part of the teachers think that it is almost impossible to stop this phenomenon, so there is no sense to respond to it, unless there is a threat to the child being injured. I think teachers should be trained to recognize bullying (especially difficult for youth such as alienation avoidance, ignorance) and be psychologically prepared to competently respond to them.

Date: 15.03.2012

Posted by: Gertrudis Moreno Hernández
Type of school: Secundary School
Country: Spain

This case is similar to an experience I had in high school where they attend school alumni / ae of different cultures. Some alumni / ae of the town sometimes marginalized or rejected fellow Moroccans and Romanians. As this used to happen quite often, the tutorials are pretty prioritized activities to welcome new colleagues, knowledge of other cultures, empathy and, ultimately, conflict resolution. Sometimes there were cases of explicit refusal, such as "A I do not feel it is Moroccan and it smells a lot," Romanian boys teasing not speak Spanish, etc ... Teachers always try to center to mediate in these situations and pull the student / a responsibility to ensure that, at first, serve as a "companion" of the new student / a immigrant who comes to the center.
In the center there is a "Plan of welcome and support for immigrant students" because, throughout the course, new students arrive / as the center as well as others leave. This is because it is a place where throughout the year many immigrants come to find work, especially when it's campaign to collect strawberries. Likewise for other jobs as hotel (it is located in the Huelva coast) or in construction.
One problem to resolve these conflicts of lack of integration or rejection among students is on family support. Sometimes students / as indigenous have preconceived ideas of the other fellow / as by race or nationality they belong, but these ideas bring them inculcated from the family unit and it is difficult to remove from them the racist element. Also, sometimes people point events occurred in robberies or fights by people of other nationalities and that created a widespread hoax negatively affected boys / as the center, and ended up thinking that "all people are X thieves, thugs .... "ignoring these unpleasant events so do people of the same people.
As the center was within the Board's agenda Peace Area School during the second quarter was organized a week of coexistence, where, among other workshops, organized departments of the intercultural workshops such as: in, making teas, national dances, gastronomy. to promote integration.
All the teachers were very involved.

I Am Not Scared Project
Copyright 2017 - This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

Webmaster: Pinzani.it