Here is one method that is more effective in counteracting bullying than punishments:
SCHOOLYARD bullies are more often stopped by meetings with their victims than by being punished, new research has revealed.
A study of 25 Australian schools found the best way to curb bullying was through restorative practice — asking a bully to reflect on the damage they have done and “act restoratively”.
Mediation and improving the social skills and assertiveness of victims also helped, schools said. But direct sanctions, such as verbal reprimands and detentions, were labelled least effective.
Researcher adjunct professor Ken Rigby, from the University of South Australia, said schools weren’t going soft on bullying by tackling the issue with mediation and meetings.
“You can’t stop all cases of bullying,” Prof Rigby said. “But teachers are increasingly seeing that direct sanctions don’t work particularly well.”
The study, published in the Australian Journal of Education, found some schools used direct sanctions in cases of extreme bullying or when restorative practice had failed.
Elwood Primary School uses mediation and meetings with students to stop bullying, but doesn’t punish kids with detention.
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