I have been looking into the Olweus anti-bullying program. The information could be outdated.
T: 'Olweus has developed quite a bit in the last 20 years. Most schools are attaching and aligning this program to their school-wide climate and positive behavioral support systems including instruction of specific skills for social and emotional development and learning including intrinsic motivation.'
AK: I have been searching the internet - see the link below - to get an understanding of the Olweus bullying program. The education world link below shows that the program stands on 2 legs – a discipline code with rules and consequences and strategies for improving the school climate.
I appreciate that schools can't overnight move completely away from rewards and consequences , it is a process .
What's happening in schools - According to Dr Ross Greene – there is a growing appreciation that zero tolerance policies are failing , but schools still do not know what to do . There is an attempt to move away from punishment – towards ' logical consequences ' and positive behavioral support systems which rely heavily on praise , rewards etc - control by seduction.
T : Because bullying is a safety issue there HAS TO be some external regulation of these behaviors.
Olweus supports a response system of what happens after these behaviors - including building relationships, empathy, skills and understanding of those exhibiting the bullying behavior, bystanders and those who are the recipients of those behaviors.
AK : I have said that change is a process and needs to be done slowly. Because an issue is a safety issue imho I don't think there has to be external regulation – it depends on what's happening on the ground. What are the external regulations - supervision , rules and consequences.
Supervision has to be minimal , otherwise we can get a prison atmosphere and even if it is not quite like that , if kids have the feeling that they are being watched , the presence of external control undermines integration and commitment to social values.
'Olweus supports a response system of what happens after these behaviors '
- but how are the behaviors themselves , the incidents dealt with.
Are consequences imposed on the bully , does he HAVE to pay for the damages he has done or do we follow the CPS – collaborative problem solving path - first engage in problem solving addressing the bully's concerns – not behavior – putting the victim's /our concerns on the table and then find mutually satisfying solutions . After that is done and the bully and victim have a vision of the future , the bully can be invited to engage in an autonomous way in the moral act of restitution , instead of the school imposing logical consequences on him.
Many schools discipline codes have tier / level systems. For most of the school ,traditional discipline relying on external control ' works ' for most kids. Challenging kids are dished out PBS , positive behavioral supports – plenty of praise, rewards and top down skills training.
IMHO schools should be using collaborative problem solving with all kids, also empowering the 'victims' to solve their problems - and inviting them to engage in restitution in an autonomous way. If the school models problem solving by giving consequences , it thus creates a ' structure ' that undermines kids commitment to values of caring and responsibility.