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Identify “Hot Spots” and Strive to
Make Entire Campus Safe for All
(Resurrection School, Dubuque, Iowa) -- Kate Kleeman is the Guidance Counselor at Resurrection School in Dubuque, Iowa. Her school is a K-5 facility with 280 students. The National Catholic Education Association identifies sixteen social/behavior skills that need to be taught in their schools including conflict management. According to Kleeman, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (Olweus) has improved their ability to resolve conflicts by including bystanders in the process—all the kids in the school are instructed in ways to help if/when they see someone who is being bullied.
Some of the positive things Kleeman has learned from participating in the Olweus program are that only a handful of kids are actually exhibiting bullying behavior. The staff at her school are diligent about observing the kids, especially outside of the classroom, to make sure that no one is being intentionally left out, and that there are no “unhealthy groupings of kids” about to single someone out for negative attention.
Resurrection has had the Olweus program for five years and the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire is administered annually. Overall they have seen some improvements, but most importantly the questionnaire has made it possible for them to identify the “hot spots” or areas of the school where bullying is most likely to occur. As a result, the staff has worked to make different zones like the lunchroom, the schoolyard, and the restrooms more secure. If one year they see an increase in bullying behavior in any of these locations, they add staff to supervise and monitor what is happening.
The questionnaire has also given Resurrection insight into potential problems for individuals. Kleeman notes that one year they found out that there were two kids at the school who “had no friends. By reading the reports we are able to figure out which kids are struggling, even if it is just one.”
The messages of the Olweus program are kept alive in Resurrection on an ongoing basis in a newsletter; by working the language of the program into their principles; by reviewing the bullying rules; and in general by making good social behavior a way of life.
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program has been proven to reduce up to 50 percent of student reports of being bullied and bullying others. Research has also found marked reductions in student reports of general antisocial behavior such as vandalism, fighting, theft and truancy; and clear improvements in the classroom social climate, as reflected in students’ reports of improved order and discipline, more positive social relationships, and more positive attitudes toward schoolwork and school.
Today, Olweus is being used in over 6,000 schools nationwide and over 1,000 individuals are trained to implement the program. There are also 14 states including Tennessee and New Jersey that have a statewide partnership in place with Hazelden Publishing, the publisher of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.
The Minnesota Bullying Prevention Initiative is a partnership of the
Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association, the National Association
of Elementary School Principals, and Hazelden.
Understanding Bullying Prevention
can we effectively and compassionately address the needs of children
who are being bullied, children who are
bullying, children who are bystanders, and the adults around them?
is from a series of articles by Hazelden -- examining the issue of
prevention and offering strong, workable solutions.
"...the staff has worked to make different zones like the lunchroom, the
schoolyard, and the restrooms more secure. If one year they see an
increase in bullying behavior in any of these locations, they add staff
to supervise and monitor what is happening."