What Is the Olweus
Bullying Prevention Program?
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) prevents or reduces bullying in elementary, middle, and junior high schools
(with students ages five to fifteen). OBPP
is not a curriculum, but a program that deals with bullying at the schoolwide, classroom, individual, and community levels.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself.
Bullying can take many forms, such as hitting, verbal harassment, spreading false rumors, not letting someone be part of the group, and sending nasty messages on a cell phone or over the Internet.
Four Anti-Bullying Rules:
1. We will not bully others.
2. We will try to help students who are bullied.
3. We will try to include students that
are left out.
4. If we know that somebody is being
bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.
How Do I Know If My Child Is Being Bullied?
There are some warning signs that you can
look for if you think your child is being
Be concerned if your child
- comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings
- has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches
- has few, if any, friends with whom he or she spends time
- seems afraid of going to school
- seems afraid to ride the school bus or take part in activities with peers (such as clubs)
- takes a long, illogical route when walking to or from school or the bus stop
- has lost interest in schoolwork or suddenly begins to do poorly in school
- appears sad, moody, teary, or depressed when he or she comes home
- talks frequently about headaches,stomachaches, or other physical problems
- has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
- has a loss of appetite
- appears anxious and/or suffers from low self-esteem
If your child shows any of these signs, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is being bullied, but it is worth checking out. (These could also be signs of other problems, such as depression, lack of friendships, or lack of interest in school.)
What Can I Do If I Think My Child Is Being Bullied?
- Share your concerns with your child's teacher or principal.
- Talk with your child.
- Try to find out more about your child's school life.
- Encourage your child to spend time with friendly students in his or her class.
- Help your child meet new friends out side of school.
- Teach your child safety strategies, such as how to seek help from an adult.
- Make sure your home is a safe and loving place for your child.
What Can I Do If My Child Is Bullying Others?Here are some things you can do to help your child stop bullying others
- Make it clear to your child that you take bullying seriously and that bullying is not okay.
- Develop clear rules within your family for your child's behavior. Praise your child for following the rules and use nonphysical and logical consequences when rules are broken. A logical consequence for bullying behavior might be a loss of priveleges for a while, such as using the phone to call friends, using email to talk with friends, and other other activities your child enjoys.
- Spend lots of time with your child and carefully supervise and monitor his or her activities. Find out who your child's friends are and how and where they spend their free time.
- Build on your child's talents by trying to get him or her involved in positive activi-ties (such as clubs, music lessons, and nonviolent sports). Be sure to watch his or her behavior in these places as well.
- Share your concerns with your child's teacher, counselor, and/or principal. Work together to send a clear message to your child that his or her bulllying must stop.
- If you and your child need additional help, talk with a school counselor and/or mental health professional.
Here are some ways you can begin talking about bullying with your child:
- I'm interested in your thoughts and feelings about bullying. What does the word bullying mean to you?
- Do you ever see students at your school being bullied by other . students? How does it make you feel?
- What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
- Have you ever tried to help someone who was being bullied?
- What happened? What do you think you can do if it happens again?
- Would you feel like a tattletale if you told an adult that someone was bullying?
- Have you ever called another person names? Do you think that is bullying? Talk more about that.
- Do you or your friends ever leave other students out of activities? (Talk more about this type of bullying.)
- Is your school doing special things to try to prevent bullying? If so, tell me about your schools rules and programs against bullying.
- What things do you think parents could/should do to help stop bullying?