Sunday, February 27, 2011

Scholarly Article #1

“Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do” - Dan Olweus

A bully is someone who picks on or intimidates a weaker or smaller person. No matter who you are, in everyone’s lifetime, you or someone you know has gotten bullied. Bullying is popular in all different sorts of environments such as playgrounds and neighborhoods, but it is most popular in schools. The only way to stop this horrible act is to get rid of it. Dan Olweus explains, “reduce as much as possible- ideally to eliminate completely- existing bully/victim problems in and out of the school setting and to prevent the development of new problems” (Olweus 65). Dan Olweus’ idea of “new problems” is school violence. When a person is picked on and bullied, they automatically want revenge. They have such an anger building up inside of them that they need to release. Many students think it is okay to release this anger in school towards other students who may be innocent, causing school violence. Another reason for school violence caused from bullying could be that the student feels alone. Dan Olweus explains “a student exposed to indirect bullying is excluded from the peer group and has problems making friends with other students in his or her class” (Olweus 65). If student has no one to talk to or be friends with, it could cause them to engage in violence. Schools need to become aware of these problems, so they do not escalate into something even bigger or worse. Not one school can become completely “bully proof” but what the administration of that school can do is to become aware of the extend of bully/victim problems. (Olweus 66). Dan Olweus proposes ideas on how to become aware of what is going on in the school environment. One specific idea is to “make an anonymous survey with the Bully/Victim Questionnaire,” that yields information concerning the extent of bully/victim problems at the school. (Olweus 66-67). “Registering the amount of bully/victim problems existing in the particular school often serves as an eye-opener to parents and teachers and makes them eager to take action” (Olweus 67). This is a prime way of making adults aware of the problems with their students so there can be a stop put to school violence. Dan Olweus thinks that the teacher can talk with the bully and the victim about different reaction patterns on how to handle the situation, instead of school violence. Teachers and administration can also spilt the students up so there would be no interaction of the bully and the victim. There are a many different techniques in which schools can do to try to prevent this horrible act taking place. It all depends on the degree of the situation and the climate of the school. Bullying is not acceptable and causing major problems that not only affect the victim but the school.
By: Olivia Ciallella

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