The Urbana Middle School outside Frederick, Md., seems to have in place an anti bullying policy that works and which parents and other schools may do well to take note of and emulate.
It is the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program that schools have adopted as part of the school culture so that it is not a mere item on the agenda but an actual policy. The concepts followed by the program are:
- Don’t be a bully.
- When you want to help those that are being bullied, inform an adult about what is going on.
- Do not cheer a bully on. A bully does not act alone; he loses steam if his actions are not being cheered by others.
- Step in to save the person being bullied. This may be difficult since the child may himself be scared of the bully and does not want to provoke an attack, in which case it is best to report to an adult.
- Talk about bullying. Explain to kids how it works and who are part of the bullying circle: the bully and his victim, the followers, the passive supporters and the possible defenders.
- Explain that this is different than ratting on a classmate.