School bullying is the most serious educational issue of our time. This does not refer to the number of students effected, since more students probably have learning problems than are effected by bullying. It refers to the extreme consequences of bullying including suicide, severe psychological harm and school refusal.

Teachers are at the vanguard of detection, intervention and education in this matter. Teachers are absolutelythe most important people along with parents in the battle against bullying in school.

Bullying or peer abuse is placed firmly within the abuse paradigm in all of the work, resources and approaches described in the BULLYWATCH Program .Once bullying is viewed as abuse , not conflict, fighting or just ‘having fun’, all of the abuse interventions become relevant and open the door to new and innovative approaches to intervention and rehabilitation for all parties. The paper below describes the parallel statistics and psychology of both peer abuse and child abuse , yet it is still a controversial proposal.

Peer abuse as child abuse: indications for intervention

Teachers aware that the community expects them to manage the behaviours and outcomes of peer abuse. This is a huge responsibility and it is important that schools and teachers define the parameters of their responsibility in regard to bullying. Teachers cannot be held responsible for bullying that occurs outside normal school hours, situations and locations.

This means that bullying that happens to children of the school on weekends, at sports events, parties , neighbourhood incidents and the like should not be referred to teachers or the school  for resolution. Even when children are in the community dressed in their school uniforms, they are not the responsibility of the school or teachers after school hours. The community needs to accept  some measure of protective responsibility at these times.

Within the school , the classroom , legitimate school activites whether on or off campus, and during school hours, however teachers and schools are responsible for the safety and care of students.

It is not the responsibility of parents , the community or  indeed sometimes the child themselves, to ensure appropriate behaviour and interactions with peers. It is part of the working brief for teachers to accept  a role in the management and teaching of appropriate school behaviours  and this is where BULLYWATCH can offer assistance and support.

Do you believe your school is doing all it can to deter bullying? Are all members of the school community involved in developing policy and implementing protective intervention? Take the Schoolwatch quiz (download free below)to see if this is the case.

You will find a comprehensive discussion of the psychology and impact of serious bullying in ‘Childhood Bullying : A Deadly Serious Matter’ (See bookshop – Teacher discount available)

On this site you will find information to provide you with new perspectives on bullying and new approaches to intervention.  The BULLYWATCH program of resources is designed for duplication for the classroom or for use with individual children . The curriculum provides foundation knowledge and skills. The Bullywatch peer  development intiatives provide children witn training in support and advocacy for their bullied peers.

Teachers may like to begin with the school safety  survey devised for the whole school intervention ( see BULLYWATCH Manual  in bookshop, school and teacher discounts apply). The survey can be applied to your classroom and may provide valuable insight into what is happening and how children think and feel about bullying.

Download School Survey
Download School Watch Quiz