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Identification of students involved in bullying

(from Janis Caroll-Lind (2010). Responsive Schools. Wellington: Office of the Children's Commissioner. p6)

Identifying students involved in bully/victim problems is not easy. Most bullying happens away from home and ‘beneath the radar of teachers’ at school. It often occurs outside the classroom and away from teachers. Relational aggression commonly occurs within friendship groups. Also, as stated by Simmons, “covert aggression isn’t just about not getting caught; half of it is looking like you’d never mistreat someone in the first place” (p. 23).36

If children and young people choose to disclose bullying to anyone, it is usually to friends and/or parents rather than teachers.33,34 More reporting of bullying occurs in schools with established cultures of safe telling and this in turn places teachers in a better position to take appropriate action. While it is difficult for teachers to address or respond to bullying if they do not know about its occurrence, there may be clues that students are involved in bullying that can be picked up from their behaviour and demeanour. Students involved in bully/victim problems view the classroom differently to the other students, and this can provide a clue to their bully/victim status.37

Table 3: Indicators of bullying

Teachers may notice the following behaviours in students

· Overt bullying behaviours in the playground (where most bullying occurs).

· Wagging/skipping classes.

· Hostility towards teacher authority.37

· Reluctance to participate in school activities.

· Negativity about being in class, especially when with other students.

· An inability to concentrate.

· A decline in academic performance.

· A negative classroom climate – this contributes to peer victimisation.

Last Updated (Thursday, 08 September 2011 15:39)