Bullying vs. Conflict
The Olweus Bully Prevention Program (OBPP) at Main continues to evolve and grow. It has been a wonderful addition to the building but also one that takes some time to solidify. This is a learning process for all of us, including Staff, Students, and Parents. One difficulty we face when addressing any acts of bullying or episodes of conflict at Main is to try to determine which it is…….bullying or conflict. Sometimes it is hard to sort out but there are some criteria to keep in mind. These are the criteria spelled out by the OBPP and also the criteria we use here at Main.
In order for something to be considered an act of bullying, it must:
· Be a negative action on the part of one or more persons;
· Happen repeatedly over a period of time;
· Include an imbalance of power (which means the bully holds a higher social standing amongst their peers than the target).
As we all know, children have conflicts. These young people are learning daily how to be kind to others, how to handle differences of opinion, how to share with many other people, and how to be fair to others. These are not easy tasks……so all of this takes some time. Please help your child examine events that upset them to determine whether they think it is true bullying or a conflict between two students. Either way, we want to help resolve the problem, but conflict is not bullying!
What can parents do?? Talk to your children about their school day. Encourage them to use their words when they feel picked on and tell the other child to STOP! If they don’t feel like they can do that, then encourage them to tell an adult at school. While we may never totally eliminate bullying at Main Elementary, our goal is to address events that happen, educate the children involved, and teach all the children better ways to handle difficult situations. We need your help to do this.
If you have any questions, please call me.
Mary Rice, School Counselor
Last Modified on September 1, 2012