Olweus Bullying Prevention Program

We are committed to the emotional and physical safety of every child while they are at school, and Olweus is the platform from which this important message is delivered to all members of the school community.

It's estimated that 100,000 U.S. students stay home from school each day as the result of bullying and relational aggression.

Bullying, in all its forms, creates serious issues for the students who are bullied, those who bully others, and the schools in which the incidents occur. However, positive, systematic change is possible when all parties work toward the common goal of a safe school environment for all.

In 2008, Lawrence adopted the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, (pronounced Ol- VAY-us), which is the most researched and most effective bullying prevention program available. OBPP has been identified by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) as a "model" prevention program as well as a "Blueprints for Violence Prevention" model program. These are two of the highest honors a prevention program can achieve.

More recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program as a model for all schools to adopt as related to the prevention of bullying on school grounds. The OBPP has been researched extensively and consistently shows reductions in relational aggression among students between 20 and 70 percent at each school that has been evaluated.

What makes the OBPP different from other bullying prevention/intervention programs is that its focus is only partially on the students who are bullied and those who bully others.

Bullying needs to be addressed at all levels of a student's experience – not just in the classroom and for a limited period of time. OBPP addresses bullying at the school-wide, classroom, individual, and community levels.

Accordingly, students receive a consistent, reinforced message about bullying over an extended period of time and in a variety of settings. The goal is to change the norms around bullying behavior and to restructure the school setting itself so that bullying is less likely to occur or be rewarded.

Since the program was launched in 2008, we are proud to say that Lawrence School has seen reductions in bullying behavior between 25-50 percent, depending on grade level. In order to ensure that we are constantly challenged to modify and improve our implementation of Olweus, student surveys are distributed each spring, asking students to tell us about their experience at school, and whether or not bullying is a concern for them. We as a school then make programmatic, staffing and curricular decisions based on the results of the surveys.