Bullying prevention using a whole-school approach

Essay by hilmer May 2005

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Bullying and educational environments can be seen to go hand in hand. However, bullying and victimisation are not so deeply embedded in our school system that they cannot be prevented from happening and stopped if they are already taking place. In School A, a state primary school, there were systems and programs in place that strove to eliminate bullying across all the grades. They adopted a whole school approach, which is "designed to promote systematic changes in school culture against bullying behaviour or school violence" (Yoon & Kerber, 2003, p. 27). This approach to tackling bullying and victimisation in schools is implemented on all levels of school life and should be well integrated into the school ethos. The whole-school method of bullying intervention has been widely acclaimed and appraised and is seen as the most effective tactic to combat these issues in our school system.

Literature Review

It has been thoroughly documented by the literature (Eisenberg, Neumark-Sztainer & Perry, 2003; Yoon & Kerber, 2003; Dake, Price & Telljohann, 2003) that there is definitive correlation between bullying behaviours and serious short and long term outcomes for both victims and perpetrators.

This potential future for bullies and their victims is the integral reason that schools are now starting to focus on protecting their students against bullying (Gini, 2004, p.9). However, to effectively implement strategies to combat bullying in the school system, it is imperative that a definition of bullying be known and recognised by all staff. Bullying has been described as a proactive type of aggression, without any provocation, towards a victim (Yoon and Kerber, 2003, p.27; Coie et al. as cited in Gini, 2004, p.1; Olweus, 2003, p.1). Yoon and Kerber (2003) state that this targeted aggression can take on three separate forms- physical, verbal and indirect...