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Bullying Interventions Need To Be Organised At All Levels

Interventions To Prevent Bullying Need To Be Organised At All Levels

February 18, 02014

Interventions to prevent bullying in schools need to be organised at all levels, a University of Canterbury (UC) expert says.

Professor Garry Hornby, from the College of Education at UC, says bullying is an international issue, occurring in schools throughout the world and extensive research has been conducted on how to prevent it, alleviate its effects and help students who have been victims.

He will present a paper at the international bullying conference on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April.

The impact of bullying is often highlighted by student suicides, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, as many students have their lives made miserable and their education negatively affected by bullying, Professor Hornby says.

``The expanding possibilities for bullying provided by the now extensive use of social media and cell phones have led to increasing concern about the effects of cyberbullying.

``Concern about bullying in schools has increased recently following the realisation that several of the perpetrators of school shootings in the United States been victims of bullying.’’

Professor Hornby has studied the issue for more than 30 years. Over time he has developed an ecological model for addressing bullying in schools that involves focusing on interventions at the levels of teachers, schools, community and society.

He says in order to effectively address bullying in schools interventions for bullying need to be organised at all levels of the ecological model.

``Interventions focused on only one level, even though effective, will have limited success. What is needed is a commitment to providing a coordinated approach to bullying that includes interventions at all levels of the ecological model.

``I will outline examples of interventions found to be successful in England and New Zealand in order to illustrate the elements of such a comprehensive model.

``At the College of Education we teach our students how to prevent bullying in schools. This includes how to deal with any incident that may occur at a school,’’ Professor Hornby says.

ENDS

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