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Norway - Anti Bullying

Part of the series How Do They Do It In...?

  Screen capture from Norway - Anti Bullying


Norway has reduced bullying in some schools by 50 per cent. Here you can find out why Norwegians are such pioneers in tackling bullying, and explore the key features of their successful approach.

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Norway has a tradition of communal responsibility for its children - from the Norwegian public's compassionate response to a James Bulger-like tragedy, to the view that teachers are responsible for combating bullying.

Learn more with this focus on Norway's most successful anti-bullying programmes. See the programmes in action in two schools which take a zero-tolerance stance towards bullying.


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Extra materials (2)

Supporting information provided by the educational consultant for this programme

A list of publications recommended by the education consultant for this programme

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Comments (8)

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    • emerson emerson


      Norwegian anti bullying song
      31 March 2009 - 16:53

      I watched with interest the zero bullying video as I too am looking at different ways to counteract this at my Australian government school. The straight forward way the teachers dealt with the victim and the bully confirmed my ideas about tackling the incidents promptly and as whole school community approach. Thanks for the video. I would be most interested if possible to get perhaps a copy of the lyrics and an idea of what music to play to the song that they sang at the end of the video. I know some of the words were "don't mess with my friend" and "I'll be standing by my friend" the words seemed so powerful and have so much meaning.

    • Norway Anti-Bullying Program
      22 November 2008 - 02:32

      I found the comment "It takes a village to raise a child" most appropriate and have found that a "whole school" approach to most issues is always the most valuable and the most successful. The video was excellent and the approach is simple and clear to everyone. Speaking as an Australian government school primary teacher, sometimes our teaching day is so busy that we lose sight of the importance of finding that "talking" time as a class. I know that I will be more conscious of it from now on.

    • Bullying
      25 November 2007 - 17:15

      I work with students in an F.E college. Their ages range from 16-19 yrs, many of whom have learning difficulties. Tey have experienced bullying from a young age. This has affected their self esteem. I am going to use this video to explore their thoughts. I have followed the zero tolorance rule. And must say it appears to be working. However, to quote the section in the video. "it takes a village to raise a child'. My colleagues need to act as a village and support the policy not send out mixed signals. Otherwise, students say 'If I call names in ...class they don't say anything to me.' Being consistance and projecting a positive image is far more beneficial to the students and society as a whole. Keep it up! it does really work!

    • Anti-bullying
      22 November 2007 - 17:01

      I was last a full time teacher in 1992 so things may have changed since then. Bullying was not tolerated and I made a special effort to encourage an open session in our daily registration period. Here children would either publicly or anonymously name a bully. I would then interview the bully and explain why we did not tolerate bullies.

      Bullying is bad not only for the bullied but also for the bully. The latter point is often overlooked but it is an important point to make to a bully.

      I would explain that bad behaviour is learned and bullies reflect their environment. They bully because they see grownups bully (often their parents). So if you bully you tell everybody that you come from a bullying background that your Dad beats your Mum or you etc. You are in fact damaged goods and advertising the fact.

      If this had no effect the bully would be asked to come and see me during form period and would then be told quietly why. We made a point of being passive and telling him how sad we would be to invite him back together with the head teacher should he really want to be the school champion bully. It was the whole class speaking as one.

      I do not recall ever needing to carry out the threat

    • Anti Bullying - How Do They Do It In Norway?
      21 November 2007 - 21:02

      Have to say that the subject matter is much debated throughout the world and it would seem that for a country with a population of under 5 million to have such issues and address them publicly tells its own story; schools don't want to pick up a label of having issues with bullying as there is much stigma created which is then difficult to lose that label.

      I like the idea of addressing this as a major issue and with young pupils. The parental involvement and support shows that the schools and parents work together rather than as individuals and this seems to be paramount to the success of dealing with the bullying issue. No decent parent/ guardian wants to be told their child is guilty of bullying and absolutely no parent/ guardian wants to be told that their child is a victim of such a serious issue.

      It is encouraging that the children are made aware of consequences for their choices. Most encouraging article; I still believe though that most children attend schools to be educated and are encouraged to do so; we should not let the minority ruin it for those who do not have behavioural issues and this is a good example of how this can be addressed!

    • Anti Bullying How do they do it in Norway?
      20 November 2007 - 21:19

      As I have a 20month old grandson who was born to a Norwegian mother and British father I have a special interest in this program. Also one of the schools used was in Stavanger where they live. I was a Reception Class teacher for over 26 years and am now retired.
      The crucial points that came out of this program were;
      1 A total commitment by all teachers and a clear laid out formula which adults could use to combat bullying.
      2 Extra adults employed to oversee childrens behavior esp. in playgrounds ie "guards".
      3 An expectation and assumption that adults; especially parents will be involved and totally support the initiatives.
      In Britain the population is multi-cultural and diverse, many areas are seriously overcrowded. This is not so to the same extent in Norway. The attitude of Norwegians is one of allowing children to take risks, children are much freer to roam;wander about and play outside.
      The Nursery where my son started takes children from 6months of age. A teacher was dealing firmly and capably with a bullying incident from a 22month old child when I was there one day! I was fascinated to watch her isolate the child for "time out"!
      I feel, regretfully, it will be many years before similar results can be seen here. There is a different "mind set" and not the same financial input to the bullying campaign.
      I cannot see, the provision of adult guards, paid wages to monitor playground behavior here! Oh, if only!!!What a difference that initiation alone would make.... C James