Bullying intervention Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 5 June 2017

Bullying intervention

There are a wide range of anti-bullying initiatives that have been developed and implemented for tackling and reducing bullying problems in school. Farrington (1993) categorised intervention programmes into ones that are focussing on the bully, ones on the victim and the ones on the environment as a whole. There are different points of view among the different researchers on the most favoured technique to be adopted. The intervention programs that focus on the bullies are further diverse in nature.

Stephenson and Smith (1989) notes in his research that some consider use of physical punishment to deter bullies as an effective mechanism. Researchers such as Pikas (1989) with the ‘Method of Shared Concern’ and Tattum (1989) and Maines and Robinson (1991) with the ‘No Blame Approach’ suggests that physical punishment and reprimands are not effective in reducing the bullying behaviour and recommends that the bullies should be made to see and understand the point of view of the victims and make amends for their behaviour through different ways.

These methods are usually carried out by conducting discussions with the bully and the victim individually and subsequently with all the parties in a group discussion with an adult mediator. (Dautenhahn et al, 2003) The No Blame Approach involves seven different steps. It starts by talking to the victim. The student who is subject to bullying is interviewed to discuss the feeling and establish who is involved. The second step is to meet with the entire group. This involves the cheerleaders and the onlookers as well as the bully and the victim.

In the third step, the problem is explained to the group. Here the group is made aware of how the bullied student is feeling. The focus of this step is on the feeling rather than the details of the incident. The next step focuses on identifying the solutions where each student suggests ways in which they could do to make the victim feel better. A plan is put together to implement the suggestions. In the next step, responsibility is given to the group to solve the problem with specific action items for the individuals.

In the last step, the group is reorganised again after a reasonable period such as one week to review the status of the bullying activity and to review how the victim is feeling. This set of steps may need modifications to accommodate special situations such as the victim also being a bully or victim being provocative. The Method of Shared Concern is based on ‘re-individualisation’ members of the group to simulate empathy. It is important in this method for the teacher to be neutral and not seen as accusing and punitive.

In the first step of the method, information is gathered on the key players involved and also to determine whether the victim is provocative, i. e. a bully victim. In the second step each of the members of the team is individually interviewed. The key ring leader is interviewed first followed by other members of the group and finally the victim. It is ensured that the students are not forewarned. Further, suggestions are sought to resolve the issue. In the next step, follow-up meetings are held in about one week with more focus on resolving the problem if necessary.

In the next step, a group meeting is called when the earlier step is complete to ensure a long-term maintenance of the change in bullying behaviour and to reintegrate the group. (Pepler, 1999) Intervention and prevention programs focussing on victims usually ranges from holding workshops for parents to alert them to the signs that indicates bullying to social skills program that encourage children to develop self-confidence, self-esteem and friendship skills as suggested by Cowie and Sharp (1996), Peterson and Rigby (1999).

The success rates of anti-bullying initiatives are often difficult to measure because of the vast differences between the individuals involved like the children and adults, the schools, the school ethos and the general environment. It is however observed that intervention strategies are usually successful in the short term but is not found to have much long-term success rates in terms of reducing and eliminating bullying problems. (Dautenhahn et al, 2003).

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