School violence and bullying is not a new problem. However, the tragic school shootings in the late 1990’s, coupled with an increased awareness about the importance of a positive school climate have provided all schools with an opportunity to help youth develop respect for each other and the world around them.
While statistics show incidents of school violence have decreased, it is imperative that schools take a stand to address school climate. A positive nurturing school climate, with caring supportive adults, that teaches social skills and empowers youth is our best preventative measure against school violence and bullying.
Bullying identifies it as a systems problem that affects the entire school population, not just the youth who bullies or the youth who is bullied. School programs to address the problem should include activities to increase awareness about the issue of bullying, school rules that address bullying behaviors, support for the bystanders, those not involved with the bullying, as well as assistance for those who bully and those who are bullied. With this in mind, ADAPP recommends the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. This research based model has been implemented internationally and across the country. It is currently being used by some schools in the Archdiocese. For more information about Olweus, please contact our office.