By Ken Rigby
Bullying is now broadly recognized as a significant challenge that aff ects many childrens in colleges. it could actually take many varieties, together with direct verbal and actual harassment and oblique types similar to planned exclusion and the focusing on of people utilizing cyber technology.
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You can invite students who have problems to speak with someone who can help them. Indeed, it is unethical to go further than this. The individual student must choose. The teacher’s responsibility is to work towards providing a climate and a sense of trust in which the students can feel confident in getting the help they need. Can we really trust questionnaire information? While we recognise that individual students may sometimes provide misleading answers, we need to bear in mind that the aim of the questionnaire approach is to obtain a reasonable estimate of what is going on.
About four students in five believe that the school is, in fact, not a safe place for such children. 7 Rigby and Slee (1995) Among both boys and girls less than 20 per cent see the school as a ‘safe place’ for vulnerable students. To ascertain whether there was much variation between schools in perceived safety, I compared eight coeducational high schools for which there was data for practically the entire student populations. In each case, the numbers exceeded 200. qxd 19/9/07 12:45 PM Page 45 WHAT IS GOING ON IN SCHOOLS?
A confession—my own experience A few years ago, I was taking a tutorial class at the University of South Australia on research methodology in which a young man read a paper he had carefully written on aspects of the scientific method; not a good paper in my opinion. ’ Bewildered by this astonishing regression into childishness, flabbergasted in fact, I appealed to the group. Surely, I wasn’t picking on him. ‘Yes, you are’, was the verdict. The student was ‘in a corner’; he couldn’t defend himself (he was trying to defend himself, not his arguments); and he was suffering dreadfully.