HOW WE DEAL WITH BULLYING


Christine Valleskeg, Arvingeskolan, Stockholm, Sweden

 


Direct reaction to an acute case of bullying.

1. We gather as much information as possible about what's happened

2. We always carry out the talks two grown-ups and one pupil at a time.

3. One grown-up fetches the pupil straight from a lesson, without warning.

4. We sit down in a quiet room all three of us. The other grown-up starts the conversation, asking if the pupil knows why he is there.

5. If the answer is "no", he or she is told what we know has happened and is told to give his or her version. We all listen carefully.

6. After that we firmly state that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at our school.

7. The pupil is asked if he or she can find out something to do to make amends to the bullied person. Very often they themselves can suggest a few moves (stop bullying, keep other classmates from doing it and so on).

8. We finish our talk by setting a new date for a "supportive talk" one week later. The pupil is told that he might keep quiet about our conversation when he comes back to his classmates. This talk is between him and us.

9. One week later we have a "supportive talk" with the bully. If this stops at that, there is no need for contact with his or her parents about this special case.

10. If the bullying continues, we contact the parents, too.

The reason for two grown-ups is that both the pupil and the teacher have witnesses to what's been said. One grown-up is merely an observer all the time, the other one is active and asks the questions. Let the pupil affirm that he has understood what it s all about: "Have you understood? Do you think you can handle this?" etc.

Short talks - 10 minutes- following the same structure all the time.

Things to remember in contacts and talks:

* YOU are the grown-up - the pupil is a child
* BE CALM - then you inspire security

TALKS:

* It's most of all the pupil - not you - who shall talk
* Be honest in questions and answers
* Avoid moralising
* No "why?" - questions

Most of the material for friendship exercises and other exercises in the workshop are taken from the book; "Att stoppa mobbing går" (It's possible to stop bullying), written by Anucha Lagerman and Pia Stenberg, published by Gothia, Sweden.

The model we use for our talks with bullies is the so called "Farsta" method (by Karl Ljungstrom, teacher in Farsta, Sweden).

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