The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is the most researched and best-known bullying prevention program available. With over thirty-five years of research and successful implementation all over the world, OBPP is a whole-school program that has been proven to prevent and reduce bullying throughout a school setting.
The goals of the program are:
- to reduce existing bullying among students
- to prevent the development of new bullying
- to achieve better peer relations at school
- to be used at the school, classroom, and individual levels
- to include parents and the communities involvement and support.
Miramonte Christian School implemented the Olweus program in the spring of 2014, to effect a school wide culture shift based on empathy and Christian values. All School Board Members, School Staff, Students
& Parents/Guardians must participate in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and all Parents & Guardians must attend the OBPP orientation session because Parents & Guardians play a key
role in Olweus. Olweus is
for all families, not just those with children who are bullied or bully,
and definitely for those who feel they know enough about bullying without
attending an orientation meeting, or
that bullying doesn’t apply to their child.
So what is the history behind how Miramonte Christian School began using the Olweus Program?
In 2012, the California State Legislature passed 2 laws that all public schools must implement an anti-bullying program. The Miramonte board recognized the need to implement a school wide anti bullying program that went further than just addressing the bully and wanted a Prevention program, but most programs are bare bone and only address bully and victim. After vetting 8+ programs, the Miramonte board came across the Olweus program which originated in Finland but is housed in the US at Clemson University. In August of 2012, La Sierra University adopted this program and offered it to SDA schools, and since Miramonte was one of the first schools to sign up, La Sierra offered this program to Miramonte as a pilot program with minimal costs.
The Olweus program involves students, parents and community and works by raising the empathy level of all involved to result in a culture change. This is in line with the Christian values and attitudes which we are trying to promote at Miramonte. This program is dependent on everyone (students, school staff and teachers, PARENTS, and community) being on the same page and parents need to understand and promote the empathy necessary to make this program work. This program focuses on prevention of bullying behaviors and ensuring safety for our children which along with Empathy are the key points that Miramonte’s Olweus program emphasizes.
It typically takes at least 3 yrs to fully implement the Olweus program at a school, it isn't just a marketing campaign with a slogan and some posters. It is a systems change that takes into account all of the factors that lead to bullying and violence in the school setting. Even though that is a long time, it is the only approach proven to be effective and sustainable. Olweus focuses on creating a culture that reinforces the positive behaviors that prevent bullying and violence from occurring in the first place. The intent of implementing Olweus is three-pronged: to provide all participants (school staff, students, parents, the community) with a common definition of bullying that is evidence based and can be studied in conjunction with the millions of participants already using the Olweus bullying prevention data base; to provide metrics so Miramonte can study and monitor itself; and to provide everyone at Miramonte a common, unified approach to bullying and violence prevention.
For more information or to reach a Miramonte Olweus Bully Prevention Program Committee member for assistance, please contact the office or email firstname.lastname@example.org