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Preventing Classroom Bullying &

School Violence by Early Intervention

Introduction of Character
Value Based education

Presentation by Presentation By
Mrs. Tina Olyai
Mrs. Tina Olyai Director
Director LAHS LAHS Gwalior
Gwalior India
“Child is the father of the man”,
when the celebrated poet had
envisioned this oft-quoted
philosophy, he never knew that
in the coming century the
“CHILD” will really behave so
MANLY that he will pierce the
bosom of his own friend with
sharp bullets. As the world is
set on its way to an
unprecedented evolution,
children enshrine the saplings of
an optimistic tomorrow.
Alas! However, the ‘growth’
and ‘evolution’ of the child has
taken a lop-sided tendency.
Knowledge is growing. The
forerunner of the Baha’i Faith
had predicted two centuries ago..
Today’s chldren know far more
than what the most learned
saints and scholars of yesterday
could even imagine to know; and
as seers of yesterday betokened,
the entire universe is as small
and cognizable to today’s
generation as a lemon on the
palm. By a simple keystroke on
the computer, today’s child can
get to his disposal the most
occult knowledge of this vast
cosmos. Life-style has improved.
Now children are not
unfortunate like children of the
past to die of epidemics. Health
has improved & life-span has
augmented. Everything is there
but somewhere ‘morality’ is
The only angel that can relieve
mankind is spirituality. As it is
happening in Japan, and as
many recent events in the USA
and India and other parts of the
world caught our attention, the
‘suicidal’ and ‘homicidal’
tendencies, eve-teasing, muscle
practices and other abominable
traits of childhood will be
rampant. An early intervention is
needed ... NOW! We read
enough sciences and learnt many
arts. While they are good, they
will lead to nowhere without the
steering wheel of character
education. Our children are
missing something. Let’s find
and replete the emptiness in
them or lets be ready to be
accountable before God for
missing a great task He imposed
upon us. The choice is ours!

A recent study School Violence. Bullying

conducted by the
National Institute Of Child
Health & Development in
the West found that 41 of
every 100 students in
grades six through 10
said they were bullied at
school. Bullying is one of
the main concerns and
can often lead to more
intense forms of school
Definitions of bullying include
verbal, emotional or physical. All
this type of bullying imposes a
grave psychological impact,
negative and often abiding, on the
This is worth noting that the bases of
most of these bullying are in the That is
“training” a child receives at home
and school. For example, in Asian
countries “gender discrimination” and
why a
in western countries often “racial
discriminations” become the basis of
several cases of school violence and
takes its
Gender and racial
need to be
completely wiped
out from the minds
of children. These
discriminations are
based on
Prejudices like
those that a girl
child is inferior to
her male
prejudices that
certain races are
inferior and the
others are superior.
This sort of
prejudice is
forbidden in all
Baha’u’llah, the
Founder Prophet of
Bahai Faith, has
“O Children of
Men! Know ye not
why We created you
all from the same
dust? That no one
should exalt himself
over the other.”
(Hidden Words of
A child aware of the precepts of Lord Krishna will know that “This Universe is like a
womb in which God has planted many seeds. Whosoever sees the same God manifesting
in all, is the true knower”. (Geeta, Chapter XIV: 2).
And the Holy Quran says: “All the Believers in God are
but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and
reconciliation between your brothers; and fear God, that
ye may receive Mercy.” (Al Huzurat : 49).
Lord Buddha preached the same
kindness for all: “Let none deceive
another, or despise any being in any
state. Let none through anger or ill-
will wish harm upon another. Even
as a mother protects with her life her
child, so with a boundless heart
should one cherish all living beings”
(Metta Sutta)
and Christ, the Saviour invoked
mankind for the same: “…..by love
serve one another. For all the law is
fulfilled in one word : love thy
neighbour as thyself”.
(Galatians, 5:13-14).
Thus, we see
that all
outline the
importance of
universal love
& brotherhood
and if this
aspect is taught
well in schools,
nobody will be
violent, hateful
and distorted.
What dwells into the mind of the bull..

There were 280 school-associated violent deaths in the United States between
July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2004, 5% of students ages 12–18 reported being
victims of nonfatal crimes, 28 % reported being victims of bullying, and 10%
reported being victims of violent incidents." In a 1999 national survey of high
school students; 11% of male students) said they carried a weapon to school 8%
of students said they had been threatened or injured with a weapon on school
property ;24% said that they had been involved in a physical fight on school
property; and 8% said they were scared to go to school because they felt unsafe
at school or when traveling to or from school.
Research shows that students feel increasingly unsafe commuting to school
and back.. A recent Children's International Poll of Adolescents revealed that
47 percent of all teens believed their schools were becoming more violent,
10 percent feared being shot or hurt by classmates and bullies at school.
In 2001–05, 70% of all
public schools
experienced one or more
serious violent crimes
such as rape, sexual
assault, bullying leading
ton school violence. The
National Center for
Education Statistics, a
part of the Institute of
Education Sciences of
the United States
Department of
Education, said that
perpetrators directed
1.3 million non-fatal
crimes, including
473,000 violent crimes .
Crime and violence at
schools are increasing at
a threatening rate and
they indicate serious
lacunae in our family,
school and community
Love is the
Like all other imbalances of
human life, lack of sane and
profound love is the root cause
of classroom bullying.
According to a study in
“The Science Teacher”, 2004,
children who are bullied at
school show signs of
depression and anti- social
behavior. Those who were
involved in school shootings
also displayed depression and
anti-social behavior.
Bill Dedman has rightly said
that “When you see aggressive
or angry behavior of a child,
always look for the pain
behind it……...”
School and Family are two basic units where the child receives and thus knows the value of love, tolerance,
respect for each other and other such human traits. Unfortunately, the onslaught of materialism and
modern life-styles have disoriented families from an ambience of “living together” in love and
harmony. Parents are too busy to take care of the emotional needs of the children.
Materialism has spread
darkness in the world. In
every corner of the earth
there is strife, discord and
warfare of some kind.
Mankind is submerged in
the sea of materialism and
occupied with the affairs
of this world. They have
no thought beyond earthly
possessions and manifest
no desire save the
passions of this fleeting,
mortal existence. Their
utmost purpose is the
attainment of material
livelihood, physical
comforts and worldly
enjoyments such as
constitute the happiness
of the animal world rather
than the world of man.
In such an atmosphere, school has to assume a challenging two-fold role: the first to foster
an ambience of love and fellowship at the school itself, and secondly, to bridge the gap
between the two generations by convening appropriate get-togethers, seminars and
motivational programmes for parents encouraging them to ‘socialize’ themselves in the
lives of their children. The role of the teacher also has to be re-defined not just as an
“ imposer of material learning” but as a “motivator of souls”.
Nothing better than these soul-stirring words can spur them to this new role……..
“God has chosen you for the purpose of investigating reality and promulgating
international peace; God has chosen you for the progress and development of humanity,
for spreading and proclaiming true education, for the expression of love toward your fellow
creatures and the removal of prejudice; God has chosen you to blend together human
hearts and give light to the human world. The doors of His generosity are wide open to us;
but we must be attentive, alert and mindful, occupied with service to all mankind,
appreciating the bestowals of God and ever conforming to His will.”
True education is not just
teaching some branches of
sciences and arts. We must
remember that those who
had blown the “Twin
Towers” of America and
attempted to explode the
Indian parliament, or those
who are fueling the fire of
hatred in Kashmir,
Chechenya or Gaza are all
mostly well-educated people
versed in modern
technology. But the only
thing lacking in them is
love for mankind. Those
who do not receive love
during childhood from their
families, cannot give love.
What we witnessed on September 11
2001.. One man’s brain malfunction
augured hazards and threats for an
undreamt catastrophe. A satanically
devised but meticulously calculated
and culpable mass homicide ….!!
Just imagine, this most wanted
terrorist of all times .. if only he had
used his brain power towards
mitigating problems of poverty,
disease, famines, floods or planned
for improvement in the field of
education, irrigation, electricity,
power production, etc….. What all
achievements could have been done ?
Therefore it can be
rightfully said that
the root problem of
Bullying &Violence
are not on the surface
but they lie deep in
several factors, most
of which need socio-
spiritual redressal
measures. According
to a study, the
following factors
contribute to violent
behaviour in
Factors contributing to classroom bullying
& school violence

Poverty, which lays a foundation of anger and discontent;

Illegitimacy and the breakdown of families, which lead children to seek the stability and caring
environments of gangs;
Domestic violence and child abuse, which foster learning and behavior problems, frustration, and
Society-wide violence rates and juvenile violence rates, which spill over into the school;
The drug culture and its violent distribution network, which encourage students to arm themselves;
Immigration, especially from
countries where formal education
is less valued.
Population mobility, which
creates an atmosphere of
Discrimination, which
exacerbates the frustration and
anger of minority students.
Violent cultural imagery, from
TV shows to sympathetic news
coverage of militaristic foreign
policy, which numbs children to
the effects of violence.
Materialism and advertising,
which creates a culture where
children are manipulated and feel
Competitiveness and high parent
expectations, which make children
lose the identity and uniqueness of
childhood before their time.
Meeting the Challenge

The problem of
classroom bullying and
school violence exists.
The fact being so, we
must strive
enthusiastically to find a
solution. Many argue
that there is no real way
to prevent bullying. Kids
will be kids and we must
accept it. Those who
maintain this “inactive
attitude” may learn from
the following episode of
Confucius, the great
A friend of Confucius believed that children need to grow in the “natural way” without any
parental or scholastic intervention. On the other hand, Confucius was an avid reformer.
However, his arguments were not penetrating his friend. Time passed by and after a month
Confucius invited his friend to a lunch at his home. The friend came and Confucius laid the
dining table in his garden.
However, as soon as the friend entered the garden, he was shocked. All long and unsystematic
grasses and weeds were growing here and there. Plants were not trimmed properly. No
cleaning, no mowing, no trimming! Everything was just haphazard. The friend remarked:
“You have no care for the garden?”
replied: “I
have but I
wanted that
grows in the
natural way.
So I left them
as they want to
grow”. The
The mind of the child is also
like a fertile garden. If we take
no care, do not prune or trim,
do not train and counsel, then
useless weeds and grasses of
unsystematic thoughts prevail
and the beauty and effectiveness
of the garden goes. Meeting the
challenge at school level is
playing the role of a perfect
gardener. Every child produces
something thoughts, notions,
imaginations. We have to
guard, support, orient and
The first thing to be instilled in the
hearts and minds of children is to
convince them that every human being
needs respect and freedom and
violence and bullying is contrary to
the principles of respect and freedom.
Therefore, the children must take a
proactive role in wiping out this bad
practice. For example, often the
students fall victim to the bystander
effect, simply letting the bullying
occur. But, it has been found that if
students take an active resistance
when they see a fellow classmate being
bullied, the bully is less likely to act
out in this way. By simply telling the
bully that what they are doing is not
right, a bully will often cease their
actions because the cause of their
bullying is many times a search for
social acceptance. With these facts in
mind, kids can help combat the
problem of bullying.
Some aspects like “Students Tribunal” within the schools and “Hobby or Friendship Clubs” may work
well. The Students Tribunal may be composed of elected senior students with some prerogatives such
as sentencing “minor punishments” to the guilty child, such as preventing him from the school library
for a week, or boycotting him from the sports for a short span of time, etc. On the other hand, “Hobby
Clubs” within the school will help in cultivating “group understanding” and “friendliness” among
students beyond academic hours.

Rinaldo writes, “Bullying is much less common in schools where kids take the time to
make friends with students outside their regular social group.”
There are also groups like Students Against Violence Everywhere
(SAVE) that serve as mediators and helpers when bullying arises. It
is natural to assume that where there is bullying, there is violence,
and the members of SAVE are aware of this fact. SAVE attempt to
take a group of individuals – who are often powerless against the
pains of bullying – and turn them into a cohesive group. However,
careful efforts need to be made to save such groups from
‘politicalization’ or it will be counter-productive.
In brief, handling
school violence is
much in the hands of
the students and the
teachers. The
teachers need to listen
and watch. They
have to pick up on the
clues that a child is
being bullied. As for
students, to embrace
the victim is to tell the
bully that what they
are doing is
unacceptable. The
bully will stop if the
bully knows that they
are not getting the
kind of attention they
sought through
Universal Participation
& Physical Security
Meeting the challenge of school violence
is not the exclusive of the school itself. It
is also a problem which needs
participation of all: the community, the
administrators, the teachers, the parents,
and the students all together. According
to the American NCES survey, 84% of
public schools have inadequate security
system. They have no guards or metal
detectors or other essential security
measures to hold back weapons out of
the school campus. Only 2% have
'stringent security' which means they
have a full-time guard and use metal
detectors. One important security
measure being adopted by many schools
is issuing identity cards to be worn by
students at all times. Although this won't
stop students from causing violence, it
could stop outsiders from easily
appearing on campus.
Schools can also institute violence
prevention programs and zero
tolerance policies to prevent school
violence. In addition to these basic
security measures, schools must
also have a systematic counseling
unit functioning within the school.
Obsessions with violent games,
lack of anger management skills,
violence towards animals are some
of the early symptoms found in
children before they become
practically violent. A good teacher
should watch for the above
warnings signs. On the other
hand, the students should also be
encouraged to play their roles in
several ways which include:
refusal to succumb to negative
peer pressure, especially when
violence is involved, report any
knowledge of weapons on campus,
tell the teacher about suspicious
behaviors of other students, etc.
Classroom bullying and
school violence is a
widespread scenario
which affects almost all
countries of the globe.
But it can be prevented.
The most acceptable fact
is that the basic root of
school violence is in lack
of moral attitudes and
respect for the other
being. Prejudices of
many sorts fuel its fire.
Gender discrimination and
racial discrimination are the
most rampant causes but
religious and cultural
intolerance are also
accountable. In the wake of
this scenario, the schools
need to reassess their
commitment to preventing
and addressing bullying
around racism, culture and
religion and these should be
clearly stated in the school
prospectus. Racist or casteist
bullying include reference
not only to prejudice around
colour and appearance but
also to prejudice around
religion and culture.
Each school should have a
written code of practice which
clearly outlines specific
procedures to be followed for
recording and dealing with
racist and sexist bullying, as
also with other kinds of abuse
and bullying, on the school
premises, and while coming to
and going from school in the
buses. This commitment to
preventing and addressing
racism and bullying should be
clearly stated in posters and
displays in corridors and
In addition, the schools

should also display
prominently the
Universal Declaration
of Children’s Rights as
envisioned by the UNO
and the curriculum
must be adopted which
does not only
accommodate the
diversity of language,
culture, religion and
appearance but also
incorporates a sound
spiritual training.
• 1 The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every child, without any exception shall be
entitled to these rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his
2 The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means,
to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and
in conditions of freedom and dignity.

3 The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.
4 The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end,
special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and post-
natal care.

5 The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the special treatment, education and
care required by his particular condition.
6 The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall,
wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an
atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional
circumstances, be separated from his mother.

7 The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He
shall be given an education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity,
to develop his abilities, his individual judgement.

8 The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief.
9 The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of
traffic, in any form.The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age or education,
or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.
10 The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of
discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and
Last but not the least, all violence
emanates from a feeling of lack of
love and insecurity. Bullying is also a
result of feeling powerless.
So the last check-point is: What is our
school doing to ensure that our
children and young people do not fee
powerless in the school community ,
that all are loved and respected, value