RMB Group: BACA Takes a Closer Look at Bullying
The aim of RMB group is to educate students and inform parents about the difference between conflict and bullying, mainly looking at the differences between rude behaviour, mean behaviour and bullying. Intervening appropriately to respond to or prevent bullying is very important. A good starting place for understanding bullying is to ask students. The group will give students a safe space to discuss their ideas and evaluate how the school deal with bullying and what they think the school should be doing.
Bullying is an issue that affects everyone. Both students and their parents call every unpleasant exchange between peers bullying. It is a word that is increasingly used to describe any situation where a person has gotten their feelings hurt whether intentionally or unintentionally. No matter how few times or infrequently a young person experiences an unkind remark, teasing, or physical interaction, it is called bullying. Some students will often use bullying as a scapegoat, when the attention is on them for some wrongdoing. These students have learned they can instantly control any situation and shift the focus of teachers, and especially their parents, from their troubles if they claim they are being bullied.
RMB group is intended to change this culture and the language used by both students and parents/carers. Through the group work, we will be encouraging and empowering the students to self-reflect on their actions and behaviour. Knowing exactly what bullying is and understanding why it happens are critical to finding positive and lasting solutions for everyone involved. Therefore, we used the following approach to help the students best understand bullying, (remembering the 3 P’s):
- It is done on Purpose; there is nothing “accidental” or unplanned about bullying
- It is a Pattern; the cruelty happens over and over again
- It is all about Power; the cruel person has more control and influence than his/her target
Promoting students participation in reforming and developing BACA’s anti-bullying policy is a good way to make them feel respected and listened to. The feedback from the sessions are that it went really well. It was rated 4.5/5 stars on average and 75% of the group now feel confident about what bullying is and feel that they could confidently explain the difference. All the students in the group signed an anti-bullying pledge and said they would refer a friend to the group.
Statements from students that were made about RMB Group:
- “The thing I like about the RMB group is that we got to talk about how to make the school better and stop bullying”
- “I liked the RMB group, because we talked about what to do if we were being bullied”
- “One thing that I’ve learnt from the RMB group is what bullying, mean and rude is”
- “Reflecting on the RMB Group I have realised I would like to improve how I can help my friends when they get bullied.
- “I’ve learned the difference between rude behaviour, mean behaviour and bullying”
- “I have learned how to stand up for myself when getting bullied”