The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, recognized worldwide as one of the most effective programs available to schools, is currently being implemented at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

The program, also known as OBPP, is designed to improve peer relations and provide students with the safest and most positive environment in which to learn and develop. Created for students aged five to 15, it is being administered to ninth graders at RFH by Student Assistance Counselor Suzanne Fico assisted by School Nurse Linda Nill and Special Education Teacher Kevin James.

OBPP has been proven to reduce incidents of bullying among students, prevent the development of new problems, and promote better relations among the student body.

As the first step, an anonymous school-wide survey was completed by the entire RFH student body to elicit candid information on when and how bullying occurs and how students respond to it. This information was then used by Fico, Nill, and James to fine-tune the components of OBPP in order to best address the environment at RFH.

The program is being administered to the ninth graders in four separate sessions during their study hall period.

Bullying is defined as an intentional aggressive behavior that can take on many forms and isĀ  often repeated over time. A recent U.S. survey has shown that 17 percent of students across the U.S., or one in five, has experienced bullying behavior “sometimes” or more often at some point in grammar school and/or high school.