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A.E. Wright Middle School Adopts Anti-Bullying Program

Program includes teaching students how to stop being bystanders and step in when they witness bullying.

held an assembly this week to mark its adoption of the Olweus Bully Intervention Program.

The program began more than 35 years ago when it was first researched in Norway by Dan Olweus, although the original program wasn’t implemented in Norwegian schools until 1983, following the suicide-deaths of three teenagers who had been apparent victims of bullying.

At A.E. Wright, the Olweus program will be aimed at giving everyone a role, from students to teachers, in combating bullying.

"[Bullying] is not a huge thing at our school; we're trying to do a preemptive strike, trying to help things before they happen," said school counselor Erin Howard.

Every other week, students will meet with their teachers in class for a half-hour and go over Olweus presentation materials, Howard said.

She said a majority of students are bystanders, not victims or bullies, but they will be taught how to deal with bullying if they ever witness it.

"Some of the lessons are teaching those bystanders to stand up to a bully, how to now allow it happen at a school, how to get help if they need to," Howard said.

There aren't many fights at A.E. Wright, but Howard said that doesn't mean there isn't bullying. Under the Olweus program, teachers are encouraged to pay close attention to students' behavior in order to intervene, she said, noting some of the signs of bullying.

"Things like bumping into someone in the hallway intentionally," she said. "There may be some pushing and shoving. ... Usually more of those subtle things like the look, the dirty look, the intimidation, saying things behind someone's back, posting things online about them, or texting things like that," Howard said.

adopted the Olweus program last October and will host its kickoff assembly in the coming weeks.

JuliannaSmith February 10, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Excellent article on a very important topic! Bullying must be effectively dealt with as soon as it is detected or reported to avoid antisocial patterns from developing, and to prevent little bullies from growing into big ones. Bullying is a common part of life for young people, but the emotional distress that comes from it often leads victims to think about suicide an option two to nine times more likely to be considered by bully victims. As a parent the most important thing is my child's safety. This blog covers how a mother is dealing with a heartbreaking experience and how you can better protect your kids. This is the link: http://www.tsue-thatswhatshesaid.com/2011/08/your-childs-safety-your-piece-of-mind.html

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