As back to school approaches, I urge parents to look at their school policy on bullying. Most schools have an anti-bullying policy. But many don’t work and a recent article on SueScheff.s blog partially explains why. http://suescheffblog.com/2011/08/anti-bullying-programs-do-they-work/
So many people and books get girl-bullying all wrong. The popular books on relational aggression fail to see that the main cause of bulling for girls is a culture that places enormous pressure on girls to be “perfect” and particularly nice and kind….and not completely honest. Most school cultures and anti-bullying programs actually teach girls to be even nicer! The real solution is teaching girls how to own their anger and frustration and express themselves honestly in a safe environment. I wrote two books on how to hold “circles” to create places for honest communication and build empathy. These circles and restorative programs really do work.
Please locate your school’s “code of conduct.” If you read it you may find that it is stuck in 1950’s in punishment-based thinking. If is does not have a restorative aspect (e,g dialogue circles to deal with conflict) and tend to punish and “bad” behaviour I ask parents to speak to the principal about creating a restorative model and introducing restorative programs. Most know what these are. If they don’ t, I think you should worry.
Also: Read Rachel Simmon’s book “Odd Girl Out.”
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