Lifelong Learning Programme

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No Place for Bullying
James Dillon
NAESP – National Association of Elementary School Principals
United States September/October 2010
Web Article
School bullying
This article addresses the notion of responsibility (not to be confused with “guilt”) in the fight against bullying. Many schools wait until there is a tragedy (such as suicide) before really acting against bullying. While all people working in schools are concerned by the problem of bullying, teachers and counsellors do not always feel supported by their school’s headmaster. People also tend to think that fighting bullying is someone else’s responsibility, while it is in fact everybody’s responsibility. The headmaster’s leadership can create the conditions so that everybody assumes responsibility. School staff members do not always know how to act because bullying is not always visible, and they tend to believe that it only concerns the perpetrator and victims, while the whole school community and climate are affected. Punishing the perpetrator is not enough. A cultural change is necessary and the headmaster is the best person to create the right conditions. The author gives four conditions for a positive change:
1) “Moral obligation”: the safety and well-being of children should be a priority. Headmasters should see bullying prevention as a moral obligation.
2) “Practice what you preach”: “you cannot bully staff into stopping bullying”.
3) “Getting the right mind-set”: teachers can involuntarily encourage bullying if they disapprove a student. Students must be accepted with their problems and flaws.
4) “People before programs”: programs and initiatives are only tools. The skills and attitudes of the staff are important.

L’auteur de l’article donne quatre conditions pour un changement positif :

1) « Obligation morale » : la sécurité et le bien-être des élèves devraient constituer une priorité. Les directeurs devraient considérer la prévention du harcèlement comme une obligation morale.

2) « Faites ce que vous dites » : « on ne peut imposer par la force la prévention du harcèlement ».

3) « Une mentalité appropriée » : les enseignants peuvent encourager le harcèlement sans le vouloir de par leur attitude envers un élève. Les élèves doivent être acceptés avec leurs problèmes et défauts.

4) « Les gens avant les programmes » : les programmes et dispositifs ne sont que des outils. Les compétences et attitudes du personnel sont importantes.
The author James Dillon is a principal in a primary school in the United States. His article, published in “Principal Magazine”, is based on his experience as a headmaster and on his participations in conferences and workshops on bullying. It aims to remind that everybody has responsibilities in the fight against school bullying and that bullying affects the whole school community.
In an insert after the main article, the author gives what he calls “essential elements” to motivate the school community to address school bullying. The first of those six elements is particularly in tune with the School Safety Net project as it suggests getting students to tell their stories in order to “put a human face on the problem”. The other five are:
1) “Empower bystanders”: if students are asked to help they will feel respected.
2) “Build community”: it is harder to hide acts of bullying in a strong community.
3) “Words matter”: members of the community need to know and understand the word “bullying”, and they should not mix it up with “conflict”.
4) “Little things can make a big difference”: being cordial with students so that they feel part of the school.
5) “Examine school practices, traditions and cultures”: making sure the discipline plan and protocols are not conflicting with an efficient bullying prevention program.

Dans un encart après l’article principal, l’auteur donne ce qu’il appelle des « éléments essentiels » pour motiver la communauté scolaire à aborder le harcèlement. Le premier de ces six éléments est particulièrement en phase avec le projet « School Safety Net » puisqu’il propose d’amener les élèves à raconter leur histoire afin de « mettre un visage humain sur le problème ». Les cinq autres éléments sont :

1) « Responsabiliser les témoins » : si on demande aux élèves d’apporter leur aide ils se sentiront respectés.

2) « Construire une communauté » : il est plus difficile de cacher des faits de harcèlement dans une communauté soudée.

3) « Les mots ont leur importance » : les membres de la communauté doivent connaître et comprendre le mot « harcèlement », et ne pas le confondre avec « conflit ».

4) « Des petits riens peuvent tout changer » : être cordial avec les élèves pour qu’ils se sentent chez eux à l’école.

5) « Examiner les pratiques, traditions et cultures scolaires » : s’assurer que les protocoles et systèmes disciplinaires ne nuisent pas à l’efficacité du programme de prévention du harcèlement.
Name of Compiler
Julien Keutgen
Name of Institution
Role in the institution
Translator/Project assistant

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.