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TITLE OF THE CASE STUDIES:

the case of a student who was theatened and beaten to extort money from him

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

Jonathan is terminated by a companion, for extortion: The fact is held in a first class, a vocational school. Fifteen years, the bully, fifteen years his victim Stephen. Stephen was a boy in foster care at a community has been taken away from her family of origin, because his parents are drug addicts, AIDS patients and incapable of providing education for children. Stephen is the eldest son, Erica and Sonia are the younger sisters, two dates in foster care families. It is a shy boy, suffering, sad, embarrassed faces the school, despite the help of psychologist comunità.Jonathan does not act alone. The peer group plays a reinforcing role of his violent behavior and abuse toward his victim. The diffusion of responsibility within the group is a mechanism that makes it easier for action violence, if shared. Jonathan spends his first few months to cause Stefano constantly ridicule, jokes in class, appropriates offensive nicknames, writes on the board insults to the families of the companion, and then passes the request for money. Stephen has only the little money that is given by the community. The data personological Jonathan make it increasingly clear that student with its connotation of violent and borderline personality: recruitment of a negative personality, vulnerability, irritability, susceptibility, paroxysmal narcissism for its image, the need for self-affirmation, of revenge, violence and tolerance attribution to others of any guilt, chin euphemistic label of its serious acts of violence and crimes of extortion in his "jokes". "I was just joking" when they report the bully starts a process of counseling for the reconstruction of a mode of action, order to ensure respect of values

RESPONSE IMPLEMENTED:

A group of psychologists takes care of the deviant behavior of Jonathan and shall bear the emotional and relational weakness of Stephen. Attention, listening, accommodation availability, significant presence: part of the process of restructuring of the self and relationships with others. Through the dynamics of the counseling orientation is established for the bully to the intermediate space, in order to work indirectly on better placement of the adolescent and to change its conduct, organizing his behavior in relation to reality.
In this case the recovery of the bully and the victim, tried to build and deliver the educational processes focused on the significance of the relationships and interactions of identity. He worked on the concept and interpretation of assertiveness as communication style that allows the individual expressive autonomy, based on respect for their own and others 'emotions, feelings, own or others' way of being pro-active, empathetic, inscribed in a horizon of meaning of harmonious relations and values ​​based on the system.

IMPACT OF THE BULLYING ACTION:

Deviant behavior depends on how risk factors (individual, family, social) and protective factors or resilience (individual, family, social), in a process of mutual influence (circularity), contribute to the determination of a fenomeno.Il bullying has been considered, in this case, by the combined behavior of multiple dependent variables (the boy's personality structure, the type of family, peer group characteristics, the relational atmosphere inside the school) that interacting with each other, co-build the conduct deviante.L 'attention is therefore placed not only on risk or protective factors, but mainly on the processes and "carried on the mechanisms that support the development of maladaptive outcomes."
It is widely recognized that the group dynamics that are established between the students can contribute to the genesis and maintenance of bullying behavior. Not surprisingly, in addition to the bully and the victim, it is possible to identify other key groups in bullying: gregarious, viewers, external and defenders.
Each, in the roles indicated, whether voluntarily or sometimes even unconsciously, helps to maintain and strengthen relations based on domination and oppression.

For this reason it seems unfair to coincide only with the bullying behavior of the bully, it is a problem that affects both the relationship between students and between students and adults (teachers, ATA staff, head teacher, families).
On the basis of these general considerations we tried to decline, from various points of view, the actions taken against people involved in the case described

POINT OF VIEW OF VICTIM:

Stephen is a helpless victim who suffers the violent action of the group of Jonathan, both within the school and in their family of origin, he is not, at first, the strength to face the discomfort school.
In the community where he lives is the help of a psychologist who brings out the situational first deal with Stephen himself, and then passing to an interview with the school counselor

POINT OF VIEW OF BULLYING STUDENT(S):

Jonathan does not act alone. The peer group plays a reinforcing role of his violent behavior and abuse toward his victim. The diffusion of responsibility within the group is a mechanism that makes it easier for action violence, if shared

POINT OF VIEW OF OTHER STUDENTS:

Jonathan does not act alone. The peer group plays a reinforcing role of his violent behavior and abuse toward his victim. The diffusion of responsibility within the group is a mechanism that makes it easier for action violence, if shared

POINT OF VIEW OF TEACHERS:

The teachers of the class council believe that the situation of distress is characterized by two fundamental aspects: first, the situation of dysfunctional families in which the victim lives and secondly, the band that was formed within the class headed by Jonathan.
The strength of the victim was to report the incident to the competent authorities, with the help of the psychologist and counselor of the school, so teachers have given over to a series of initiatives for recovery of relational values ​​within the class group focusing on group activities and cooperative learning.

POINT OF VIEW OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS:

The head teacher is highly motivated to tackle bullying in their schools. For this reason, the institute plays a leading role and support the counselor's office.
Measures are implemented sanctions against those responsible for the actions of bullying, both Jonathan that his group of friends.
Are activated in particular practices within the group peer education class.

POINT OF VIEW OF THE PARENTS OF THE PUPILS INVOLVED:

The victim's family was not involved directly. While some of the families of the comrades of Jonathan showed interest in finding and involvement with the group of professors of educational strategies to strengthen the values ​​of solidarity for their children.
In particular the group of parents has proposed a supplementary activity on the school law, tracing it back to historical values​​, civic and cultural activities together well

POINT OF VIEW OF THE COUNSELLOR IN THE SCHOOL:

The violent behavior in the affairs of the boys take different subjective meanings. In the field of youth are found at least three types:
Instrumental violence, delinquency as a product of learned and aimed at a target;
destructive violence and gratuitous, senseless and not finalized, but with high symbolic value, results in acts of vandalism.
ideological violence, in which state their ideas, through actions of arrogance, aggression, humiliation of opponents.
Behavioral interventions targeted by Jonathan inhibition of protracted negative and aggressive behavior are extended to the family, parent training sessions.

POINT OF VIEW OF POLICY MAKERS:

No policy maker interviened in the event

CONCLUSIVE DEDUCTIONS:

Great attention was paid to the group has sought to stimulate the positive dynamics of solidarity and synergy of multiple reflection, at the same time of the events of the herd at risk, such as identifying negative reinforcement, aggression, to the bottom.

Comments about this Case Study


Date: 06.05.2012

Posted by: MARICICA BUZESCU
Type of school: CJAPP IASI
Country: ROMANIA

• Common elements

Integration of HIV-AIDS children or those from families with this disease in the public schools has created in Romania too, the opportunity to sense their negative reaction. Originally, parents withdrew their children from school classes that integrated them or found diverse ways of making them move. Even now there are some conflicting reactions in such situations but understanding the phenomenon on the necessity to integrating the children much decreased the negative situation.
At the individual level between pupils rejection of children with HIV-AIDS or those from families with this disease is still manifested especially as a motive for marginalizing the pupils. Actually, the aggressions are of theft, humiliation, demotivation of victims chosen for serving the sole purpose of imposing the aggressors as negative but powerful group leaders. Persons as Jonathan only use these situations to manifest their aggressive potential and for increasing their leader image in the group. This is only the pretext, which speculates certain prejudices and social misconceptions. The means (insults, labelling, bullying, attracting group in the conflict through manipulation).

• Un-common elements (please correlate the identified elements to the differences between the learning systems at European level and, as well, to cultural differences)

The intervention of the school counsellor and accredited psychologist is specific to this case. In Romania, the school psychologist, called in some cases psycho-pedagogue, in some cases school counsellor, in some cases professor in the psycho-pedagogical office of the school forced to play all roles.
The education reform continues to reduce staff and favour activities of "three in one" types.



• Please specify to whom you would have addressed your case and who would have helped you, in the case of such o problem (school management, didactic staff, specialists, parents, public authorities etc).

-didactic staff, specialists, parents

• What can you learn from this case study?

-We may learn that violence between students may have as a starting point prejudices about children with special educational needs (disabilities)
-Diversity is often difficult to be accepted as students.
-Children, as any individual, need to be leaders, heroes, they need to stand out, to be valued. Many times, education in the family or social environment is not built on authentic values (mutual respect, morality, spirituality, aid and mutual communication and understanding of the needs and different situation of that fellow.
-we must help them share positive values and interests.
-It is necessary to help children to know their strengths and weaknesses, qualities and defects, understand that no one has only qualities. We must help them to form a correct and positive self-image.
-To find alternative activities for children with which to define themselves in terms of value, depending on interests, skills and values
- We must use the opportunity offered by the relationship and his/hers communication with family, group of friends, colleagues etc.


 Recommendations
How would you intervene if you were faced with such bullying cases in your school?
The case of the two boys would determine me to develop an individual intervention for each of the two: aggressor and victim then I would develop counselling activities for the class, parents and the didactic staff.

Counselling plan for the aggressor
Name and surname: Jonathan

Age:……15 ….Class:…………..School: vocational…

• Case:… Actual description of the aggression \
• Problem clarification :
1. Presumed problem- money theft
2. Real problem - distorted self-image. He needs to raise his self-esteem by aggressing Stephen and imposing himself on the class pupils
Problem definition – Low self-esteem
Factors that started and maintained the problem
Jonathan is accused by a colleague of stealing money. Stephen is a boy in foster care, taken away from his biological family because his parents were drug addicts, AIDS patients and not in the capacity to give children an education. Jonathan does not act alone he is helped by colleagues who have the same prejudices about Stephen.
Opening and enhancing prospects ... Jonathan can be attracted to other activities such as organizing sports events, democratic election of class responsibilities, common activities for Stephen to be included in. Thus, the two boys can discover each other in other forms, they can discover their values, qualities and aptitudes. Formulating goals ... correct self-image formation by self-knowledge-
Developing empathy in order to understand the "adversary"
Assertive behaviour and assertive communication skills training
Formation of moral values (equality of opportunity, responsibility, justice, etc.)
Planning classroom responsibilities

Action plan
1. Analysis of psychological resources of the client through psychologist intervention
Jonathan
STRONG POINTS:
Need to prove himself
leadership skills WEAK POINTS:
, narcissism, paroxistic for his image, the need for revenge, violence and intolerance, blaming others, labelling others, praising others for their violence and extrusion situations taken as “jokes”
Emotional and relationship weakness
Not valuing moral values
OPPORTUNITIES:
Attention given my pupils and adults (teachers, ATA staff, didactic staff, families) THREATS:
The group, in high measure, plays a role of consolidating his abusive behaviour with his victim.
The group maintains the factual state.

Step 2. Training for assertiveness. (Exercises that identify the rights and also the duties of the student, as well as critical support for the data) Assertive communication which consists in the ability to say yes when needed and build the capacity to say NO.

Step 3. The role of empathy training through role games (actually change the roles of victim and aggressor). Expressing feelings is absolutely necessary.

Step 4. Activities relating to historical, moral, civic and cultural values. (Game of values)
Evaluation of results: a harmonious relationship is noticed, as well as the development of systematic values between the two actors.

Follow - up…………………………………
Developed by psycho-pedagogue


VICTIM counselling plan
Name and surname: STEPHAN

Age:15 ….Class:…………..school: vocational…

• Case: Factual description of the aggression
Problem clarification:
1. Presumed problem- money theft
2. Real problem – distorted self-image. The boy is not aware of his qualities. He is made to feel inferior by the aggressor because of his parents, drug addicts, AIDS patients and poor. This attitude is maintained by the group that bullies him.
3. Problem definition… Low self-esteem
Factors that triggered and maintained the problem ..... Jonathan is prosecuted for money theft. Stephen is a boy in foster care, taken away from his biological family because his parents were drug addicts, AIDS patients and not in the capacity to give children an education. Both within school and in the biological family, he does not, primarily, have the power to deal with discomfort. He lost the support of part of the group.
Opening and amplification of perspectives Stephen can be attracted to other activities such as organizing sports, common activities that include Jonathan. Getting to know each other games. Thus the two can discover each other in other forms, they can discover their values, qualities and skills.
Formulating goals Correct self-image formation by self-knowledge
Developing empathy in order to understand the "adversary"
Trainings for building assertive skills and assertive communication
Formation of moral values (equality of opportunity, responsibility, justice, etc.)
Provide classroom responsibilities

Action plan.
1. Psychological resources analyses of the client through the psychologist intervention.
. Jonathan
STRONG POINTS:
Need to affirm himself
WEAK POINTS:
Stephen is a shy, sad boy that is embarrassed by his image at school
Emotional and relationship weakness
OPPORTUNITIES:
The attention given by pupils and adults (teachers, ATA staff, didactic staff, families)
Existence of school counsellor and psychologist
THREATS:
Both within school and in the biological family, he does not, primarily, have the power to deal with discomfort Broken family
The group plays in equal measure the role of consolidating Jonathan’s violent and abusive behaviour towards his victim.
The group maintains the factual state.

Step 2. Training for assertiveness. (Exercises that identify the rights and also the duties of the student, as well as critical support for the data) Assertive communication which consists in the ability to say yes when needed and build the capacity to say NO. Stephen must change his way of thinking regarding his own possibilities and to develop his self-trust. He must accept the state of his family and fight for his assertive adaptation in the classroom. He should be included in a group of conflict resolutions.

Step 3. The role of empathy training through role games (actually change the roles of victim and aggressor). Expressing feelings is absolutely necessary.

Step 4. Activities relating to historical, moral, civic and cultural values. (Game of values)
Evaluation of results: a harmonious relationship is noticed, as well as the development of systematic values between the two actors.
CLASS COUNSELLING ON THEMES OF :
Inter-knowledge
Tolerance
Responsibility
moral values
Conflict negotiation and resolution. Compromise.
Unity of class group
ADVICE FOR PARENTS
Trainings for effective communication
Trainings concerning the relationship with the child
Getting to know the teenager personality
Conflict resolution techniques
Education for values

Follow - up…………………………………
Developed by psycho-pedagogue


• Please mention two actual strategies used to fight against bullying that are implemented in your school.

- within the common project of the Iasi county school inspectorate, the Association “Social Alternatives” and the Association “Save the children – Youngsters against violence
- activities to develop prevention strategies and prevent and limit the use of violence


• Would you introduce in your school the strategies against bullying mentioned in the case study? Do you consider them useful and applicable in your school?

Yes

 The importance of training didactic staff as to better handle cases of bullying
• Did you follow such trainings? What should such a training contain in order to better support didactic staff in handling bullying in schools?
- activities to develop prevention strategies and prevent and limit the use of violence
-case studies
-activities planning
-specific method and techniques

Date: 18.04.2012

Posted by: CÎŞLARU MANUELA
Type of school: SCHOOL GROUP NICOLINA IASI
Country: ROMANIA

The presented subject is specific for a class from the beginning of high-school pupils. The pupils come from different backgrounds, had different treatments and have already formed their own style. Moreover, between pupils appear competition and a fight for supremacy, more or less visible. Therefore, for the teachers that work with such groups, an extra mission, not at all easy, is to identify the specific teams, their vulnerability and possible risks. Once these information are identified, they can be used to manage and defuse in due time situations like that of Stephen and Jonathan.
Stephen and Jonathan are two teenagers, aged 15, pupils in the first year of a professional school.
Stephen is a shy, sad, introvert boy, that doesn’t seem to have integrated himself well in the school community although he has psychological counselling. He has no friends among school mates. He comes from a family with deep social and health problems. The teenager and his two younger sisters were placed in the care of the state (foster parents) after termination of rights of their biological parents.
Jonathan is a violent boy, with an accentuated narcissistic personality. He is selfish and easily irritable. He does not accept defeat, he wishes to be noted and for his supremacy to be recognised. He managed to draw a part of his colleagues on his side, becoming thus gang leader. His friends support him and encourage his violent and abusive behaviour. By involving his gang, he becomes more powerful in front of his victims but he also has a way of dissipating/diminishing his potential punishments. When he is being caught and accused of his actions, he defends himself by saying that it was a joke or transfers the guilt towards the others.
In the first months of school, Stephen is harassed by Jonathan and his gang, he is teased, nick-named, ridiculed, his family is insulted. His lack of response brings him in the position to be extorted of the little money he receives as welfare. Advised by a psychologist, Stephen gets over his fears and makes the situation public and also seeks for help.
The community, school and even students' parents react promptly and what I find particularly interesting is that the interventions are not only oriented at defusing the event but towards the phenomenon in its totality. It would be interesting to know if the actions taken have been effective. I concluded from the presentation that the team of teachers know their pupils very well and are willing to recognize the need for professional intervention. Moreover, they direct their efforts towards rehabilitation of relations within the group, towards promoting cooperative learning, assertive communication and peer education. The school director, interested in eliminating violence in school, immediately establishes penalties for those found guilty. The police was not called, but a team of psychologists and school councilors were appointed to monitor and correct the deviant behavior of Jonathan. Meanwhile, Stephen will be helped to restore his emotional balance and relationships. The counseling efforts for the violent character will be made outside the environment that encouraged his behavior. It is desirable to obtain such a radical change of attitude, bringing the teenager down to earth. Aggressor and victim recovery will focus on communication and interaction.
The victim's parents are not involved directly. However, some parents of students from Jonathan’s gang take attitude as they are interested in their children's motivation for solidarity and team spirit. They are those who suggest that extracurricular activities must be brought in for students as to restore their traditional and civic values and cultural training for parents.
Beyond the tragedy of Stephen, I find this example a set of good practices. It would be best if, in our schools, we would meet a unitary reaction between school-parent-local authorities. I think that the implemented solutions and strategies are effective, with expanded effect both in terms of learners and educators. Stephen’s courage to escape from a traumatic experience, his confidence in teachers and psychologists should be an example for other children in similar situations.
Parents of pupils at the school where I teach are not interested in eradicating the phenomenon of violence in the community. When an incident occurs, they call only for punishing the guilty one and are satisfied if your son / daughter is left out of it. We also tried to organize training sessions for parents in conjunction with counseling programs. We found that as long as the initiative does not lie with them, the parents do not respond positively to such an offer. There were some cases when individual counseling focused on a particular event was requested.
A training program to support teachers in dealing with any cases of school violence could provide answers to the question: How to gain the confidence of my students?

Date: 12.03.2012

Posted by: LEILA SLIMANI - criminologist
Type of school: Use right service
Country: Belgium

Even if the reading of this case study does not allow me to know what was the final result of the intervention led within the school, I can notice the active participation of the school in this situation.
I think it is really positive to see that it is not only the will of one or two school staff members to set up an appropriate response to this bullying event. In this school, there is a real mobilization to take this type of problem into account. The headmaster’s office seems to support the help process and that facilitates and legitimates the teachers’ reaction.
I also think that the reflexion on the group dynamics is very interesting. Indeed, I think that the group can have a real effect on acting out. The initial, or the most identified, actor is not the only one to be recognized by the persons external to the school (school and parents) as the one who caused the problem. The work has not been carried out between author/victim, but between authors/victim and that is, according to me, essential and allows, as we can read in the text, to facilitate the setting up of a mechanism which leads the reflexion towards non-violent actions.
Moreover, I notice that the response brought was not juridical. The school focussed on listening and on communication and it has allowed a psychological support. So, the responses brought have been designed first meaningfully for the youths. They are not only the responses to an imagined need, which is maybe real, of the victim.
I also think that the parents’ position within the school is rewarding.
Indeed, some bully-pupils’ parents have gathered in the school and have proposed activities allowing the youths to consider the school rules, the values that are essential for them and concepts of citizenship, … that can be meaningful for the prevention and the management of school bulying.
Finally, I think that setting up more proactive activities about respect and citizenship in the broad sense could lead some youths toward an anticipated reflexion on their behaviour and on their fellows’ behaviour.

Date: 01.03.2012

Posted by: S Amott
Type of school:
Country: England

The situation seems to me quite complex in this case study; this clearly involves a boy with a lot of private problems in his homelife. I believe that the nature of the case study is very common and can occur in many schools. Unfortunately, groups bullying or targeting individual pupils is a cruel yet very common problem.

The bullying escalated from a classroom situation to that of where the victim was asked for money by others involved. The bully seemed to lead a group of boys into joining in with the bullying of the victim.

This type of situation can be very common, yet few children have such a difficult home life as “Stephan” and I hope he had a lot of support from the pastoral systems at his school. The bullying seemed to be ongoing and escalated into threats and financial bullying. I think the situation could have been dealt with sooner by the school as the case study mentions the situation seemed to be ongoing for some time. However, the school seemed to take really positive steps in including a psychologist group in helping to resolve this situation. I am slightly concerned that the case study has not mentioned anything about punishment of those involved; surely they would have been excluded or suspended from school for such an ongoing bullying campaign. I also wonder if there is a wider problem with gangs in the school. If so, how did the school deal with it? It could have been a positive step to spilt the ring leaders up so they cannot carry on their peer backed bullying. If gang culture is a problem in the school, it could be addressed at a whole school level: assemblies , policies and zero tolerance could help to eliminate this problem.

Date: 29.02.2012

Posted by: ASIMINA STATHOULIA
Type of school: High School
Country: Greece

"Children are, these things happen." An expression which reassures parents, teachers and specialists. Instead, bullying is a serious short-and long-term problem, both for the individual and for the school community and society at large. So, It is important for all to understand the concept of awareness, prevention and early intervention, something that has so far found little to our country, at least insofar as organized as opposed to other countries.
This bullying case is particularly, because there are several reasons that support the phenomenon. The dysfunctional family of the victim, the victim’s and abuser’s personality, the group of peers and the climate of the school environment. Crucial to this is the collaboration of the director, the teachers and the experts .
The real deal with bullying is above all possible with cooperation, collective effort and intensive program (an organized practice) to govern the whole school community. We can explain to children that the children who exercise school violence avoid to do it in front of those who can block it. They act from a position of power and feel that they have achieved their aim, when the other disappears or does not respond. This encourages them to continue to treat and makes them feel even stronger. While the retreat is not a proper treatment, equally and various other reactions do not help.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.
A lot of times, the school violence incidents should be managed and scaled depending on their severity, for example, at the classroom level, management level, board of teachers, family and school counselor. Also, we can encounter the problem with sanctions, that should have stepped in nature or in combination and implemented: For example: the removal of some enjoyable activity (theater, excursion), a study case, in which the children will describe the incident and write how they would feel if they were the bully or the victim or what can they do to make the incident not happen again, etc.
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.
It’s very hopeful the fact that a lot of international practices about school violence are applied and in my country, which for years effectively implemented in other countries. 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.


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