Friday, June 12, 2009

New recommendations for a problem as old as time itself

A new movement is afoot, writes Dr. Perri Klass in The New York Times, to give bullies and their victims long-deserved attention, of the kind they have received in Europe. Americans are moving past the idea that bullying is a normal part of childhood, and are recognizing it as a long-term risk -- in the case of victims, for suicidal thoughts and depression; for perpetrators, reduced likelihood of finishing school or holding down a job. In its policy statement on preventing youth violence, the American Academy of Pediatrics will include a new section on bullying. This will recommend that schools adopt a prevention model developed by Professor Dan Olweus of Norway, which focuses attention on the largest group of children, bystanders. "Olweus's genius," lead author Dr. Robert Sege said, "is that he manages to turn the school situation around so the other kids realize that the bully is someone who has a problem managing his or her behavior, and the victim is someone they can protect." Through class discussions, parent meetings, and consistent responses to every incident, a school broadcasts that bullying is not tolerated. A pediatrician can be a first line of defense in this process, notifying schools when he detects or is told of bullying by his patients.
Read more:

No comments: