Today a team from my school went to an all-day PD on Olweus (Pronounced: All-vay-us) Bullying Prevention Program. Today focused on an overview of the program, tomorrow we are going back and creating a plan for school-wide implementation. It was developed by a Norwegian researcher, Dr. Dan Olweus.
The program centers around class meetings. At the elementary level, the students sit in a circle and discussion bullying and other issues for 15-30 minutes a week. There is a laid out program for the first nine weeks to help guide the meetings. Each teacher is provided with a DVD modeling class meetings and a teacher guide.
Here is a visual of the "bullying circle" and a description of student roles. It was interesting to act this out and then identify ourselves with the role that we took on in school. I easily identified myself as a Defender, while I was surprised to see many colleagues in much more passive roles.
At the middle/high school level, it revolves around the same concept but gets more in-depth. The class meetings run 30-45 minutes.
Another major part of the component that I liked was parent accountability and community involvement. Our school is going to create behavior contracts that include lots of wording specifically targeting bullying. Every parent will have to sign this as well as the students. I think this will clearly lay out expectations of what bullying is and will save our administration a lot of headache in the long run.
I think this is a great program, and I am excited to get our class meetings started. I am concerned about buy-in from the other teachers though- particularly in the tested areas. I'm afraid they will view this as "one more thing to do". I think 15 minutes a week is a pretty good trade off to head off bullying, decrease classroom disruptions and become more in tune with my students. I like that it is a research based program with effective results.
Find out more for yourself at www.olweus.org!
All information is copyrighted by Olweus- this post is simply to promote the program with other educators.
What does YOUR school do to handle bullies? This program will work in conjunction with our PBIS program.
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