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Home » Newspaper News

Olweus attempts to address stereotyping of high schoolers at Byrnes Freshman Academy

March 20, 2014
James F Byrnes Freshman Academy

Students at BFA are being stereotyped by some student’s everyday into groups by what they wear, their interests, and their hobbies.  Olweus, a program out of Norway, has been incorporated this year at the academy to confront this issue positively.

 A dictionary definition of stereotyping is “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”

BFA holds an Olweus program, an anti-bullying program, because stereotyping is one form of bullying. The students meet once a month in their homeroom classes for about 30 minutes. They watch videos on students that have had problems and been through these kinds of things, and then they talk about how they can stay away from those types of issues.

The Olweus website said,” Since 1980, we have created research-proven programs and provided professional development services to help schools and after-school programs become caring, inclusive communities and stimulating, supportive places in which to learn. Our programs build students’ academic skills while simultaneously facilitating their social, emotional, and ethical development. Helping all students become good learners and good people—that is our mission.”

Becca Rich, student at BFA, said her definition of stereotyping is “putting people in a certain group by the way they dress or who they hang out with.” She also said, “I stereotype both positively and negatively. At first, I stereotype them by their appearance.”

Becca also thought that it would not affect anyone if the person did not know that the/she was stereotyping them. Becca then admitted that she somewhat fits the stereotype of a follower, “I don’t copy people, but if I see something I like I will buy it. I guess I can say I wear what’s in style.”

A student at BFA, whose name is being withheld, said his definition of stereotyping is “the judgment of people that you know or don’t know.” He also admitted that he feels he fits into the stereotype of a cocky person and a bully because he picks on people. 

The Olweus program would advise his classmates to quit being bystanders and become up standers around him.  A bystander is someone who stands by and does not intervene in bullying.  On the other hand, an up stander is a person who confronts the bully in a civil way and/or attempts to protect the victim. 

Olweus propagates notifying an adult of inappropriate bullying behavior.  Stereotyping can lead to serious bullying.

Morgan Zepeda, student at BFA, said her definition of stereotyping is “how you classify somebody by how they dress or who they hang out with, without really knowing them.” Morgan went on to say that she has never been stereotyped/made fun of for her clothes but for other things, like her hobbies and her interest in friends.

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