Student and teacher responses to violence in school: The divergent views of bullies, victims, and bully-victims

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School bullying is a worldwide worrisome phenomenon that occurs within a broad context in which pupils and teachers can either reinforce or undermine violent behavior through interaction. Based on a nationally representative sample of students in Israel, this study examined patterns in student perceptions of student and teacher responses to school violence and differences in perceptions according to bully/victim participation (bullies, victims, bully-victims, and not involved). Student perceptions of responses to school violence, safety, not attending school due to fear of violence, and students’ sense of the severity of the violence problem in their school were examined. Findings indicated students and teachers did not actively accelerate violent episodes, but were reluctant to respond positively by intervening to stop violence. Positive responses to violence were related to positive school experiences among students. Students who were not involved in school bullying had the best perceptions of positive responses to violence. However, significant differences were not found among the three other groups (bullies, victims, and bully-victims). Findings suggested any participation in school violence involves a significant decrease in perceptions of positive responses. The importance of promoting a safe school environment and positive climate through increased awareness, involvement and supervision, and clear rules and strong norms against violence is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-503
Number of pages19
JournalSchool Psychology International
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2013.


  • Bullying
  • Israel
  • School climate
  • School experience
  • Student responses to violence
  • Teacher responses to violence
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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