Presentation on theme: "Bullying, harassment and violence Comprehensive support for school communities Maria Delaney Social Change Education www.teachjustice.com.au ABN: 87 985."— Presentation transcript:
Bullying, harassment and violence Comprehensive support for school communities Maria Delaney Social Change Education ABN: Tel: (07) Mobile:
PhD student – Social justice and policy agency with/in the education bureaucracy Senior Project Officer and Consultant for the national Safe and Supportive School Communities project and the Bullying. No Way! website (www.bullyingnoway.com.au) Advisory Group Member of the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) National Executive Member of the Association of Women Educators (AWE) Project Officer for the AWE Leading Social Change and White Ribbon Day Everyday projects Project Leader for the Federal Government’s Success for Boys Professional Learning Program Project Officer in the Education Queensland Gender Equity Unit Manager of a migrant women’s shelter Board Member and Workshop Facilitator for the Eating Disorders Association of Queensland.
Overview What is bullying? Race, bullying and violence Gender, bullying and violence Approaches to bullying Pedagogy not programs Questions
There are no quick fixes or easy answers Bullying is a complex problem which requires complex solutions
Reflection Think of examples of bullying from your own or others’ experience. How would you define bullying? What do you think are the main causes of bullying?
Bullying behaviours...may be physical (hitting, kicking, pinching), verbal (name-calling, teasing), psychological (standover tactics, gestures), social (social exclusion, rumours, putdowns) or sexual (physical, verbal or nonverbal sexual conduct)...may be done directly (e.g. face to face) or indirectly (e.g. via mobiles or the internet)
Bullying is the systematic abuse of power... Bullying involves a more powerful person or group oppressing a less powerful person or group, often on the grounds of 'difference’
In other words: “a wilful, conscious desire to hurt another and put him/her under stress” (Tattum and Tattum, 1992), “negative behaviour” intended to inflict “injury or discomfort” (Olweus, 1993), “repeated oppression, psychological or physical, of a less powerful person by a more powerful person” (Farrington, 1993).
Power Socioeconomic status Cultural and linguistic diversity Religious diversity Gender Sexuality Disability Ability Personal characteristics such as body size and physical appearance, age, marital status or parenting status.
We are all likely to take discrimination and inequity for granted. We may tend to accept that there are no girls on the football field, or that Aboriginal students quit school in the middle of the year, or that the boy in the wheelchair is better off sitting outside the principal's office every lunchtime because at least he won't be bullied there. It is in everyone's – and every group's – interest to understand the deeper issues and the connections between discrimination and bullying and violence.
Race, bullying and violence
What kids say about racism: “Racism is teasing people about being from a different background. Discrimination covers all the racism so it’s not so obvious.” “It’s not just black and white but also religion and all different kinds of things.”
In a 2009 survey about community attitudes: 36% felt that some groups do not fit in to Australian society, such as Muslims and Asians (Paradies, 2009) Global integration and migration, and Australia’s increasing diversity, has heightened awareness of the general need for tolerance.
In a report from the Australian Human Rights Commission, teasing and name-calling by fellow students was the most common form of racist bullying behaviour. Students described how bullies often picked on their ethnic background, language, religion or their parents’ nationality to put them down and make themselves feel ‘cool’, ‘superior’ and ‘powerful’. Teasing and name-calling sometimes escalated into physical attacks.
How much bullying is going on? This is difficult to measure Generally, the level of bullying in schools has been gradually declining however the level is still seriously high. In a large scale Australian survey (Cross, 2009) it was estimated that 1 in 4 students reported being bullied during the previous few weeks
What about our response? Unfortunately, many approaches and programs are based on psychological and individualistic frameworks that neglect social and structural factors. For example, the majority of programs do not identify the fact that girls and young women are the most likely victims of many forms of violence (dating violence, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment and child sexual exploitation). Gender non-conforming youth are subject to homophobic bullying and violence.
Gender, bullying and violence
What is ‘successful’ masculinity?
Positioning of women in relation to ‘successful’ masculinity
Young people and the social construction of gender
Bratz "Twiins" Roxxi and Phoebi
Pole dancing kit - comes with a garter and play money
Thong made to fit girls as young as 7contains the words "Eye Candy" and "Wink, Wink."
National Safe Schools Framework “...boys bully more than girls do and are more often in the role of assisting or reinforcing those who are bullying.” “Schools that do not address the problem of bullying can become breeding grounds for a process whereby the more aggressive and powerful dominate the less powerful, a process that underpins violence, domestic abuse and child abuse”.
They [boys] can hurt so much. We give up. We try as hard as we can. I myself get very scared of them 'cos I know they can make it so hard for me. (Year 7 girl) Boys tease you about your period, breasts and what's going to happen to you. If they can, they flick your bra strap. We tease back but they start it. They say: "Look at her. She's a dog". They pat their leg and say: "Come here". (Year 6 student) I'm pretty heavy up top and I went home one day and I was crying and that. All these boys were picking on me, you know, saying turn your headlights off and all these stupid comments and I went home and I was crying… (Female student) Alloway, Just Kidding
Young women face high risks of violence, particularly sexual violence. One in seven girls and young women aged 12 to 20 (14 per cent) have experienced rape or sexual assault per cent of sexually active Year 12 girls have experienced unwanted sex. Substantial numbers of boys and young men use physical or sexual violence, or report a willingness to do so.
Pornography The average age of a boys’ first exposure to pornography is 11. In a 2006 study of 13 to 16 year old school students, 93 percent of males and 62 per cent of females reported being exposed to pornography online. It has become more mainstream, but also more hardcore.. a 2010 study found that 88 percent of scenes contained physical aggression, mostly directed towards women.
In an Australian study (Flood 2007) among 16 and 17- year-olds: 84 per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls had been exposed accidentally to ‘sex sites’ 38 per cent of boys and only two per cent of girls had searched the Internet for sex sites One in twenty boys watched X-rated videos on a weekly basis. More than one in five watch at least once a month.
Exposure to pornography helps to sustain young people's adherence to sexist and unhealthy notions of sex and relationships... intensifies attitudes supportive of sexual coercion and increases their likelihood of perpetrating assault. Sex-based harassment is endemic in Australian schools – including physical and sexual intimidation such as misogynistic name-calling, showing female students pornographic images, and inappropriate touching, groping and grabbing of particular girls. Non ‘masculine’ boys and LGBTI youth are also heavily targeted.
Approaches to bullying
Proactive and Reactive Approaches The reactive or interventive approach targets those individuals or groups who are actually involved in bully/victim problems, focusing on what needs to be done when cases arise The proactive or universal approach targets everyone in the school community in an attempt to stop bullying ever happening
Discipline and punish Example of a reactive approach At best punishment produces compliance and not a self- sustaining ‘change of heart’ The bullying commonly does not stop - those punished often engage in less conspicuous but equally hurtful forms of bullying It is difficult - if not impossible - to provide the necessary surveillance to ensure the victim’s safety
The positive reinforcement of the bully’s supporters may be more powerful than any negative reinforcement the school can provide According to students, in about 50% of cases reported by students to a teacher the situation does not improve In 10% of cases the situation gets worse Such interventions are less successful with older students
Psychological approaches Individual-focused and psychologically based approaches include: programs and activities for developing greater resilience, assertiveness and social skills e.g. You Can Do It, The Helping Friends Program, Power Up, Rock and Water and Reach for the Stars resolving specific personal and interpersonal issues, for example, through mediation and problem solving, counselling, protective behaviour and the management of emotions
Caution Disciplinary, psychological and individual-focused approaches have been favoured in schools. However they do not generate all the changes needed to ensure trusting, equitable relationships.
The pro-active, sociological approach The most important influences on bullying behaviour are our social beliefs and attitudes. These can change. Across all areas of school life, school communities need to critically engage with and debate these deeper issues
Engage in whole community action research Collect and analyse data about the incidence and nature of discrimination, bullying and violence in your school:...among whom it is happening...in what years or classes...in what areas at the school...involving which groups of students How students are feeling about it...those who are being targeted...other students
Engage the whole community in examining cultural influences on attitudes and behaviours, such as popular stereotypes around gender and sexuality. Consider bullying and violence in terms of beliefs and prejudices on the basis of: – Socioeconomic status – Cultural and linguistic diversity – Religious diversity – Gender – Sexuality – Disability – Ability – Personal characteristics
Pedagogy Teachers can engage students from an early age as active, empowered learners able to critically read the social and political world about them Dominant groups and power relations, and normative narrow and restrictive beliefs and identities, can be continuously analysed, debated, and challenged through the everyday curriculum and life of the school. Teachers provide students with the frameworks, language and the tools to recognise, critically examine and confront discriminatory attitudes and behaviours. Keddie (forthcoming)
Productive Pedagogies Supportive (e.g. when classroom relations are mutually respectful, supportive and inclusive); Connected (e.g. when learning is connected to students’ backgrounds and the world beyond the classroom); Intellectually Demanding (e.g. when students are engaged in higher order thinking, deep learning, deep understanding and a critical view of knowledge construction); and Valuing of Difference (e.g. when students’ understandings of identity are broadened to appreciation difference and diversity)
Bystander behaviour Bystanders are usually present when bullying occurs Typically they stand by and watch When a bystander actually expresses disapproval of the bullying, on about half the occasions, the bullying stops.
We try to tell the teachers, miss, we try to tell them when the boys are teasing or hitting us, but most times they just ignore us. The boys get worse then because they know they can get away with it. We know the teachers are really busy and don't have a lot of time… but it makes it very hard. We try to put up with the teasing but when we can't take any more we just have to stand up for ourselves. When this sort of thing keeps happening, it makes us feel sad and angry and then we can't do our best work. (Indigenous girl) (Alloway, Just Kidding)
Research reveals that many teachers do not possess the requisite knowledge or skills. ‘teachers report lower prevalence rates of bullying than students do’ ‘interactions involving physical aggression was labelled as bullying more often, viewed as more serious and considered more worthy of intervention than verbal aggression’ ‘pre-service teachers considered relational bullying to be less serious than other forms of bullying’ 83% of GLBTI youth said that their teachers rarely or never intervene when hearing homophobic remarks (Meyer 2008)
Inaction on the part of educators sends the message that the institution of the school and society as a whole condones this activity and supports the discriminatory attitudes that cause bullying and violence in the first place.
Reflection At your school do you think students who are being bullied usually approach staff members for help? When staff are told, how much help do you think they are to students? Do you think your school’s approach to bullying is adequate? Do you feel that you are adequately prepared? Do you need more training and support?
Sustainable change requires: A broad and evidence-based approach to building safe and supportive environments supportive leadership by both system and school leaders commitment to professional learning participatory action research involving the whole school community continuous monitoring and evaluation integration of responsive and preventive approaches maintaining a focus on critical social understandings
Bullying, harassment and violence Comprehensive support for school communities Maria Delaney Social Change Education ABN: Tel: (07) Mobile:
References Alloway, N. Just Kidding eas/gendered/justkidding.pdf The Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence Working Together: A toolkit for effective school based action against bullying Addressing Bullying in Queensland Schools: Vodcasts and Support Materials Bullying. No way! website Racism. No way! website Association of Women Educators website Flood et al, 2009, Respectful Relationships Education Flood, 2003, Youth and Pornography in Australia. Evidence on the extent of exposure and likely effects. Paradies et al, 2009, Building on our strengths: A framework to reduce race-based discrimination and support diversity in Victoria discrimination/Building-on-our-strengths.aspxhttp://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/en/Programs-and-Projects/Freedom-from- discrimination/Building-on-our-strengths.aspx Report from the Australian Human Rights Commission Cybersmart, from The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Games for Change