Sharon Greene, MA is the Executive Administrator of ACHIEVA/The Arc of Westmoreland, a National Trainer and Technical Consultant for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.
What led you to this career path?
I was the director of a school for children with autism. I had a classroom of adolescents. These children had been bullied so badly in their public school’s that they came to us to feel safe. The classroom filled up and I opened another classroom with students with the same scenario. This is when I began to research a program that promoted bullying prevention and that had data that reflected fidelity and success.
What advice would you provide families of students who are being bullied?
Meet with the principal and ask the following 3 questions:
· Is there a program that is implemented at the school to show that all teachers and staff have the same interventions and expectations?
· Ask the school district if they know the definition of bullying. Make sure to know the definition and if your child meets the criteria.
· Ask the school district if there is policy that has spelled out consequences.
What constitutes bullying?
An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
What can school personnel do to address bullying?
· Implement a program that has research and fidelity.
· Have a policy that follows the PDE.
· Have a kick-off annually that involves families, communities, students and faculty.
· Make sure that ALL staff has the same on-the-spot intervention when witnessing bullying.
How can employers tackle bullying in the workplace?
· Know that only 20 percent of workplace aggression can be considered harassment.
· The remaining 80 percent is legal- could still be rude, disrespectful and inappropriate.
· Check to see if your workplace has a policy on bullying prevention.
· Talk to a friend that may be able to help you with the situation.
· Talk to the person bullying you.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Training and teaching staff of individuals with disabilities strategies to keep the individuals we serve safe. It is a great feeling to walk out of a training and feel that everyone in the room learned and believed in what was just taught.