However, the study of bullying as a social and psychological phenomenon began with the seminal paper of Olweus, justifiably called the ‘founding father’ of school antibullying programmes (Carrol-Lind & Kearney, 2004). Despite a vast amount of literature reported on school bullying a consensus on its definition is yet to develop (Naylor, 2006; Smith et al., 2002). Olweus’ defines school bullying as a subset of aggressive behaviour so that the “person being bullied or victimized when he or she’s exposed, repeatedly and overtime, to negative actions on the part of one or more other students” (Olweus, 1994). The major actions that characterize bullying include acts that hurt physically such as hitting or punching; verbal assaults including teasing and abusing; indirect acts leading to emotional pain such as social and psychological exclusion, spreading rumours etc (Demary & Malecki, 2003). Thus not all bullying is violence (Olweus, 1999), yet the two acts are significantly overlapping (Slee, 2003), with power imbalance being the uniformly accepted aspect of bullying (Ross, 2002; Rigby, 2002). School bullying has been an age old and traditionally misconstrued phenomenon considered to be essential for toughening of children (Cartwright, 1995). However, the suicide of three Norwegians boys in early 1980s partly as a consequence of severe school bullying by peers and many similar incidents immediately following it; jolted the world. Scientific fraternity thereafter conducted many researches attempting to understand the various aspects of school bullying. Despite the various regulations and interventions to control bullying, the rates are still high ranging from 5-38% for girls and 6-41% for...
Lack of social and communication skills, added to physical, behavioural and emotional uniqueness of special needs children makes them stand out in the mainstream schools, rendering them vulnerable as frequent targets of bullying. Interventions designed to deal with bullying for mainstream children are not always applicable for special needs children. This is followed by a study of the implications of interventions by investigating the correlation of bullying and special need children, effective anti bullying interventions with special reference to peer support group and finally the status of bullying and anti bullying interventions in Saudi Arabia.
This essay declares that effective interventions designed to control bullying include a systemic perspective involving a whole school approach. Addressing exclusively the bully and the victim is insufficient and researches have been conducted on exploiting the involvement of peers, school staff, principal parents etc for the control of bullying incidents. The role of peers can be considered to be more important compared to the rest because peer group often is a participant in the bullying incident either as a co victim, a bully or as a bystander. On one hand researches show that the first person approached for help by the victim is usually a friend rather than an adult. And on the other hand the issue has been reported to evoke a bigger response from children in general by Children’s commissioner for England.