Friday, June 12, 2009


Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

There was an article in the NYT this week about bullying. It said that the American Academy of Pediatrics plans to publish a recommendation for a new model of bullying prevention. The model was “developed by Dan Olweus, a research professor of psychology at the University of Bergen, Norway, who first began studying the phenomenon of school bullying in Scandinavia in the 1970s.” The programs are designed to “work at the school level and the classroom level and at the individual level; they combine preventive programs and directly addressing children who are involved or identified as bullies or victims or both.”

What's really cool: “the Olweus approach focuses attention on the largest group of children, the bystanders.” The article quotes a medical authority as saying, “Olweus’s genius is that he manages to turn the school situation around so the other kids realize that the bully is someone who has a problem managing his or her behavior, and the victim is someone they can protect.”

Read At Last, Facing Down Bullies (and Their Enablers)