A Force to be reckoned with – Bullying in our school

A+Force+to+be+reckoned+with+-+Bullying+in+our+school

Over 3.2 million students in the US alone are victims of Bullying each year. This equates to 17% of all students. Moreover, roughly 160, 000 teenagers are skipping school everyday to avoid bullying. Even in our school it takes place on a daily basis.

All of this lead us to ask ourselves, what our school is actively doing to prevent bullying and what it is doing to help students that have become victims.

We sat down with our director, Mr Weghoff, to find out:

“As principle of the school, I help with creating and enforcing the school bullying policy. When students feel bullied, they should first go to others before coming to me. At the school we have a psychologist,“vertrauenslehrer“, class speakers, etc. which one should try to approach first. It is also important for the students to take action and support the student being bullied. If communicating and working with others doesn‘t help, they can come to me with the issue. When they come to me, I try to talk to the people involved and find a solution. When the student feels bullied, it is also possible for a class discussion to take place. Not only can the situation be discussed within the class, by the staff and/ or with students directly involved; I can also communicate with the parents, who would maybe in some cases even come to me. If the situation can’t be controlled, the punishment for the bully can become more severe. I could have the bully help around the school for example as a kind of community service. Excluding the bully from a class outing is another way to show that causing others harm has its consequences. It is also possible to suspect a student. It would be a difficult process, however, to expel the student, unless that person is obviously breaking a rule. On the whole meetings will  take place to discuss the situation before we come to final conclusion.” –  Ulrich Weghoff

The school’s bullying policy can be found on our webpage.  To recap, the main framework for combating bullying mainly consists of a set of rules that can be summarized as: “you probably shouldn’t be bullying that person”.  There are many people one can talk to and many more punishments that can theoretically be rolled out, but a student must report bullying in order to resolve the situation. Moreover,  a pervasive issue such as bullying is hard to eradicate from any school.

School policy on bullying.

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