Our elementary and middle schools use the research based Olweus Bullying Prevention Program as the foundation for creating a safe environment for children. This program presents a clear definition of the term “bullying” “A person is bullied when he/she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more persons.” (Olweus, 1993) .
This program provides a structured approach to the prevention of bullying. It promotes increased understanding of the issues involved with “bullying” behaviors and provides a coordinated plan for addressing these issues. The program involves training for staff and students as well as information for parents. Information regarding bullying behaviors is shared systematically in the school. Supervision is coordinated among all staff members. Interventions may occur with individuals or groups within the school.
The goals of the program are:
· To reduce (and ideally eliminate) existing bully/victim problems among school children
· To prevent the development of new bully/victim problems
· To achieve better peer relations at school
Four building rules apply to bullying. In our bully-free school, we will:
· Not bully others
· Help students who are bullied
· Include all students who are left out
· Tell an adult at school and home when someone is bullied
Class meetings are an integral part of the program. At the middle schools, our class meetings are called HERO meetings, which is an acronym that stands for Honesty, Empathy, Respect, and Open-mindness. Students meet in groups on selected Fridays and are presented with interactive and age-appropriate material about how they can decrease and prevent bullying in their school. They have opportunities to share their experiences and learn from each other in a supportive environment.For additional information about the program, visit: http://www.clemson.edu/olweus/