School bullying among children and adolescents has been the focus of many international studies over the last 30 years, all over the world. It was in the 1970’s that there was a revolution towards the way society viewed bulling. This occurred when Professor Dan Olweus from the University of Bergin began his studies in Earnest in Scandinavia. Not only was he the first to recognise the evils of bullying within schools, but also recognised bullying within the area social science. He was able to examine its nature and certain incidents with care and precision as they occurred in both Swedish and Norwegian schools.
In his research, he described bullying as “mobbing,” and defined it as “an individual or a group of individuals harassing, teasing, or pestering another person” (Janice Koch & Beverly J Irby, 2005, p. 166). After some persuasion and debate with the Norwegian educational authorities, the importance of stopping bullying in schools was recognised. This cause the launch of a national campaign aimed at a systematic reduction of bullying. Two years later, evolution studies showed that the incidences of bullying had been reduced in schools around Bergen by 50 percent, due to Professor Dan Olweus initiatives.
It was this scientifically designed intervention that encourage educationalist in many other parts of the world to believe that something could in fact be done about school bullying. This applied to countries such as America, Canada, Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Australia. As a result, the world started to observe a clearer picture of the frequency of bulling within schools. During a nationwide survey in Norway in 1983, it was shown that 15 per cent of 7 to16 year old students were involved in some form bulling, 9 per-cent as victims and 7 per cent as perpetrators. Of these, 1. 6 per cent was involved in both. Ireland showed that 31. per-cent of primary school aged students and 16. 5 per-cent of secondary school aged students reported being bullied within the last school term. A regional survey conducted in the United Kingdom demonstrated that 40% of pupils reported that they had been bullied “sometimes or more often” during the term in question, with 4% reporting being bullied “at least once a week. ” As for Australia such studies have allowed an estimate to be made that ‘one child in six or seven is being bullied in Australian schools with quite unacceptable frequency. That is, on a weekly basis or more often (O’Moore & Milton, 2004, p. 2).
In Australian it is said that 20 percent of students have experience bullying and harassment, but the real figure may be even higher due to unreported cases. Bullying was previously seen as a curious obsession or a joke. However, in modern society the social implications have been recognised and there is an increasing awareness of the affect these actions have against our children. “Bullying is a process, thus all aggressive act must be challenged in order to interrupt the process” (O’Moore and Minton page 8). From the studies that have been conducted we now have more knowledge of what is classified as bullying and how to deal with.