Mrs. Debbie Fisher, School Counselor » Conflict vs. Bullying - What's the Difference?

Conflict vs. Bullying - What's the Difference?

Conflict vs. Bullying - What's the Difference?

 The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP)

 I want to address the differences between conflict and bullying, and explain the program that we use at Valley Elementary to education students on bullying. Bullying has been a buzzword in the media for many years, and because of this many people believe that whenever students have a problem with another student, it is bullying. Sometimes it can be difficult to sort out, but there are some criteria to keep in mind that may help. I would like to explain the difference.

Conflict is a natural part of development. It is a struggle or contest between people with opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals. Not all disagreements and fights are bullying. Conflict is a normal part of human interaction and arises frequently in our day-to-day lives. Part of learning to be independent and grownup is learning how to deal with and respond appropriately to conflict at home, at school, and in your community.

 Conflict is:

  • All parties have equal power to solve the problem
  • All parties have an equal interest in the outcome
  • Children are generally of equal size, age or status
  • Conflict is not the same repeated encounter – it usually happens once.
  • Talking or working things out together or with help from an adult can resolve a conflict.

Bullying is:

  • When one student or a group of students are being mean to another student on purpose
  • A repeated form of mistreatment where the victim cannot defend himself/herself
  • An imbalance of power – usually one person is either bigger, older, or more intimidating than the other or may have a higher social standing (is more popular) and uses this against the other person
  • A form of abuse

Valley Elementary and the Beavercreek City Schools use the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), which is a research-based program designed to reduce bullying in schools. With over 35 years of research and successful implementation all over the world, OBPP is a whole-school program that has been proven to prevent or reduce bullying throughout a school setting.

What Are the Goals of the Olweus program?

  • To reduce existing bullying problems among students
  • To prevent the development of new bullying problems
  • To achieve better peer relations at school

 Each classroom will have regular “classroom meetings” starting in September in which they will discuss what bullying is, our school rules regarding bullying, what to do if bullying occurs, and consequences for bullying behaviors. Students will also be working extensively on building community within their classroom and the school. Students that have attended Valley Elementary in past years are already familiar with these topics. However, classes will be reviewing those topics every year so that all students are well educated on this subject.

Valley’s Anti-Bullying Rules:

  1. We will not bully others.
  2. We will try to help students who are bullied.
  3. We will try to include students who are left out.
  4. If we know that someone is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and at home.


We Need Your Help!

Although this program takes place at school, you can help us achieve results. You can talk about bullying and our anti-bullying rules at home with your child. We want to work with you to prevent and stop bullying from happening in our school. Encourage your child to use their words when they feel picked on and tell the other child to STOP! If they don’t feel they can do that, then encourage them to tell an adult at school. Our goal is to address events that happen, educate the children involved, and teach everyone better ways to handle difficult situations.

 Please contact me if you need my help! My email is: and my office phone number is 458-2575.

Debbie Fisher

Valley School Counselor