Seventh and eighth graders at Abington Junior High School will participate in a bullying questionnaire during the week of April 30 as part of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, according to an April 17 letter sent home to parents of these students. The Olweus program will be implemented in the school during the 2012-13 school year.
According to the Olweus program website, www.violencepreventionworks.org, a person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself."
And, according to its website, the Olweus program was evaluated by six large-scale evaluations involving more than 40,000 students; the program cut the number of students reports by an average of 50 percent in those evaluations according to the website.
Calls to the school district were not immediately returned.
In the letter, Abington Junior High School Principal Mark Pellico said:
"Bullying in schools is a reality that can have a long lasting impact ... [The program] raises awareness of the issues in our schools and creates a common language for students and teachers to recognize and report bullying incidents.”
The questionnaire comprises 42 multiple choice questions and is taken anonymously. According to the letter, it is designed to measure several aspects of bullying problems in schools.
Parents may choose to have their children excluded from the survey.
The Abington School Board recently amended its harassment and bullying policy Aug. 9 to include “intentional electronic transmissions or communications.”