In the USA~October, 2014 marks the ninth PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month that unites communities nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention. This event includes activities, education, and awareness building for the entire month.
According to the National Association of School Psychologists, bullying is the most common form of violence in our society. In a 2001 national survey of students in grades six through ten
• 13% reported bullying others
• 11% reported being a victim of bullies
• Another 6% said that they both bullied others and were bullied themselves.
• These numbers mean that over five million children are affected by bullying. Source: Surfnetkids
A Quick List to What is Bullying and Harassment?
Bullying is the conscious desire to hurt, exclude, or put someone else down to make you feel better. Bullying can be in looks, actions, or words. Bullying is not a joke. It is unacceptable. Each person/student has the right to feel safe, happy, and wanted.
BULLYING COULD INCLUDE:
• Being ignored constantly.
• Being excluded from the group.
• Having rumors spread about you.
• Being made fun of.
YOU ARE HELPING A BULLY BY:
• Providing an audience.
• Not supporting someone who is being bullied.
• Passing on harassing notes.
• Passing on rumors.
• Laughing at a bully’s actions.
ARE YOU BEING BULLIED OR HARASSED?
WHAT CAN YOU DO? POSITIVE STRATEGIES TO HELP COUNTER BULLYING…
• Be assertive. Explain to the bully how you feel.
• Discuss it with friends. Get help from them.
• Consider your behavior.
• Avoid situations that lead to bullying.
• Ignore it. Don’t let the bully know that you are upset.
• Go to peer mediation.
• Go to the school Counselor.
• Talk to a trusted person.
• Tell your Coordinator/Counselor.
• Talk to your parents.
• Remember–It’s OK to let someone know what’s happening!!!
VISIT BULLYING CANADA WEBSITE — The website has been created by youth for youth from across the country (Canada)! They are all fully non – paid volunteers and donate many hours a week to the website.
WHY DON’T YOUNG PEOPLE TELL ADULTS? (About being bullied?)
1. They are ashamed of being bullied
2. They are afraid of retaliation
3. They don’t think anyone CAN help them
4. They don’t think anyone WILL help them
5. They’ve bought into the lie that bullying is a necessary part of growing up
6. They might believe that adults are part of the lie–they bully too
7. They have learned that “ratting” on a peer is bad, not cool
• Students typically feel that adult intervention is infrequent and ineffective and that telling adults will only bring more harassment from bullies.
• Students are also reluctant to tell teachers or school staff as many adults view bullying as a harmless rite of passage that is best ignored– unless verbal and psychological intimidation crosses the line into physical assault or theft.
HERE’S HOW THE SCHOOL CAN HELP …
• Provide a reporting method.
• Provide counseling.
• Give advice on how to handle the situation.
• Arrange peer mediation.
• Keep confidentiality if requested.
• Listen sympathetically and carefully and take your problem seriously.
• Support you.
• Investigate all incidents.
• Bring both the victim and the bully together for conflict resolution.
ALL BULLYING AND HARASSMENT WILL BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY…
• The social context and supervision at school have been shown to play a MAJOR PART in the frequency and severity of bullying problems. While teachers and administrators do not have control over individual and family factors that produce children who are inclined to bully, bullying problems can be greatly reduced in severity by appropriate supervision, intervention, and climate in a school.
• Supervision of children has been found to be of prime importance. Just as low levels of supervision in the home are associated with the development of bully problems in individual children, so are low levels of supervision at school, particularly on the PLAYGROUND, SCHOOLYARD, and in the HALLWAYS.
• The social climate in the school needs to be one where there is WARMTH AND ACCEPTANCE OF ALL STUDENTS and one where there are high standards for student and teacher behavior toward one another.
TEACHER ATTITUDES toward aggression, and skills with supervision and intervention, partly determine how teachers will react to bullying situations. Curricula, administrative policies, and support are also very important.
FOUR EASY WAY TO DEAL WITH BULLIES IN THE CLASSROOM OR PROGRAM…
• OBSERVE: Quietly watch students as they interact during free time.
• ASK: An anonymous survey can reveal when and where bullying occurs.
• EDUCATE: Teach students what bullying is and the damage it can cause.
• ENFORCE: Hold bullies accountable for their actions with fair consequences
If your school has anti-bullying activities–join them and take part.
If they don’t–start some of your own. Some schools and programs have taken the following measures to help youth:
Unite with other communities with PACER…It takes a community to prevent bullying of children. Annual National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week, each October, encourages communities nationwide to work together to increase awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children.
Families, students, schools, organizations, and other groups can unite with PACER to prevent bullying in several ways. Activities and materials such as contests, toolkits, and online bullying prevention training are available to help reduce bullying in schools, recreational programs, and community organizations. PACER has designed free web sites, downloadable activities, and helpful information for teachers, administrators, parents, and community organizations to engage and educate children about bullying prevention in grades K- 5.
There are resources designed for teens, teachers, administrators, and parents, and other professionals to engage, empower, and educate students, schools, and communities about bullying prevention for middle and high school students.
older students volunteer to discuss things such as bullying, friendship, or drugs with groups of younger students.
SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES…HELP STAMP OUT BULLYING AND CELEBRATE ‘UNITY DAY’ BY WEARING ORANGE
On Wednesday, October 22, 2014…
Join the Facebook Event — Make it ORANGE and make it end! Unite against bullying!
Sponsored by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center since 2011
What are your true colors when it comes to bullying? If you care about safe and supportive schools and communities make your color ORANGE on Unity Day. That’s the day everyone can come together—in schools, communities, and online—and send one large ORANGE message of support, hope, and unity. For many ideas visit the Pacer’s page
GOOD IDEAS SOME SCHOOLS HAVE STARTED:
1. BULLY BOXES…
Kids can put notes in the box if they are too worried to tell someone. If your school has boxes like these use them wisely. Advise the kids to always make sure that anything they write about is the truth.
2. SET UP A BUDDY-SYSTEM…
Older students can sometimes volunteer to help new or younger students coming into the school or your program by getting to know them.
3. SPECIALS CAMPAIGNS
such as a “no-bullying day” can be a big help.
is a good way of talking to someone.
Can you have someone come in and talk about Kids who are being bullied, or who are bullying others? Some schools have set up PEER COUNSELING where kids volunteer to learn how to help other kids.
Some schools and programs have introduced mediation where two people who disagree about something agree that a third person, either an adult of another student, HELPS to find a solution to a problem. This can be helpful in many situations, but not in all cases of bullying…
A bully may refuse to take part because they have no interest in ending the bullying. A victim may feel that a negotiated solution is not fair when it is the other person who is completely in the wrong.
6. Taking part in PLAYS AND OTHER DRAMA ACTIVITIES
can help people to understand what it feels like to be bullied and to think about what they can do to stop it. This is something that Classroom and After School programs can facilitate.
7. PEER SUPPORT
where older students volunteer to discuss things such as bullying, friendship, or drugs with groups of younger students.
POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES FOR BULLIES…
• Confronting the Bully with the victim.
• Have the bully listen to the victim’s hurt.
• Initiate peer mediation with the victim.
• Contact parents/guardians.
• Insist on and monitor a behavior contract.
• Take away privileges.
• Suspend Bully from school.
• Ask Bully to leave the school.
• Take legal action. If you are bullied or harassed you CAN do something about it!
8. PRACTICE… Tip From Barb Shelby (KidActivities.net) There are several good ideas in this category; many of them will give you information and activities to help derail Bullying. When you come right down to it (After you read and get ideas for what to do) rather than spending a lot of time discussing problems, have children actually PRACTICE WHAT TO DO to prevent or stop those problems.
• THIS MEANS…teach children skills and give them the words and tools to handle conflicts, bullying, and challenges. Have children practice. Practice with their voices and with their bodies and non-verbal communication. Coach them to experience success.
• As far as challenges in your classroom or program? Don’t allow it. Build a strong “Program Community” where the kids connect and feel good about themselves and their group. Some of the activities in the “Connecting & Feeling Good Category” may help with this.
9. To initiate a discussion with children, USE MESSAGE BOOKS as learning tools! Stories are a great way for children to learn what other children are doing in similar situations.
There are “Bully Theme and Message Book suggestions” for children on KidActivities.
10. In sharing bullying prevention strategies in School-Age Notes, Nancy Mullin proposed providing activities that promote self-confidence, build self-control and resilience, and foster community connections among children…
• Bullied children benefit from participating in a wide range of activities that help them develop common interests with peers, hone friendship-making skills, and build relationships.
• Children who tend to be easily left out because they lack social graces or have difficulty reading social signals need guidance to practice pleasant ways of entering play, making conversation, and “understanding” the nuances of give-and-take relationships.
• Form friendship circles to provide isolated youth with social supports. Children who tend to bully others benefit from opportunities to practice self-control, perspective taking, prosocial behavior, and positive ways to engage their peers. Offering cooperative alternatives to competitive games can also help reduce aggression.”
STOP BULLYING NOW! Education World offers lessons designed to teach students to respect diversity and resolve ideological differences peacefully. It includes activities for teaching kids about empathy, anger management, and effective conflict resolution. For the following activities Visit Here…
1. KIDS BULLYING KIDS
Students anonymously complete a survey about their experiences with bullying, evaluate the results, and discuss solutions to the problem.
2. COLORING A PEACEFUL WORLD
Students discuss conflict resolution techniques and color posters about those techniques.
3. THE AVERAGE KID
Students determine the traits they have in common with other students in the class and create a visual profile of the “average” boy and girl in the class.
4. PLANET X
Students work together to create a Bill of Rights for a colony they are founding on a distant planet.
5. REACTING TO CONFLICT
students learn about the different ways people respond to conflict and then explore some sample scenarios to learn about their own conflict styles.
6. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO
Students learn a song to help them deal with anger.
7. SIMON SAYS “WHO ARE YOU?”
Students play a variation of Simon Says that highlights their similarities and differences.
8. UNDERSTANDING NEEDS AND FEELINGS
Students learn about needs and feelings, then write an ending to a story showing how a child deals with his or her needs and feelings.
DISPLAY BOARD & PROACTIVE IDEAS…
MAKE YOUR CLASSROOM A ‘DRAMA FREE ZONE’…
Here’s an idea used by Jennifer Nance of Oakland County Schools in Michigan
If any of my fourth graders are caught entering The Drama Zone and causing distress to any of their classmates via gossip, negativity or bullying, then they must grab a Post-It, and write 3 POSITIVE things about that person as penance. I worked like a charm today.
HANDS ARE FOR HELPING BULLETIN BOARD…
Children and adults alike trace and then decorate and sign their hands as they pledge, “Hands are for Helping, not for Hurting.” The hands are then displayed. This has been a project around the world…
Happy School Board and the photo is courtesy of Classroom Display Blog
“I’m particularly fond of Happy School as the idea for this hall display came from a child with some special needs who knew exactly the kind of school he needed, one where bullying just wasn’t tolerated.” LindaH-Classroom Displays
Creator of the Love One Another display is unknown…Please contact us if you know the artists!
BULLY OR BUDDY Suggested Grade Level: 3-5
Multi-colored construction paper and left over art scraps(fur, feathers, etc.)
This is a wonderful idea for any class, school or after-school program!
Bully or Buddy board is from PE Central—made by Pam Johnson at Prince Edward Elementary School, Farmville, VA. “Each year our students sign an Anti-Bullying oath and in all classes we discuss the characteristics of a “Buddy” and the contrasting “Bully”. This board called “Bully or Buddy?” shows several creatures that either the students or the teacher can make. (Big noses, wild hair and large feet make them more appealing). A buddy or bully characteristic is printed on the front of the creature. The students, after reading the trait, will decide which one it is describing.
Some traits to use are: takes turns; helps people and says encouraging words; likes to push people and hit them; can’t follow class/program/school rules; likes to tease people and call them names; kind and considerate; cares about other peoples’ feelings; has a lot of friends, etc.” Pam Johnson
This could just as well say “LET’S HARVEST KINDNESS!” This idea works well with an Autumn Harvest Theme-but also addresses Aniti-Bully Week and World Kindness Week in November. It can stay up all Fall!!!
Each time a deed of ‘Good Character’ (Kindness) is noted-it is recorded on a small card and placed on a pumpkin and through-out the garden! Great for September through November…
This board was created by Barbara Huttle for University Christian School. Thank you Barbara for letting KIdActivities display your wonderful idea!
180 Ways to Be Kind is courtesy of Classroom Display Blog
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT…
Lyn Mikel Brown is concerned that “bully prevention” programs gaining prominence in public schools are ‘more of a problem than panacea’. Writing in Education Week (March 5, 2008) she proposes “10 Ways to Move Beyond Bully Prevention.” The first suggestion she offers is to “STOP LABELING KIDS”…
Bully-prevention programs typically put kids into three categories: bullies, victims, bystanders. Labeling children in these ways denies what we know to be true: We are all complex beings with the capacity to do harm and to do good, sometimes within the same hour. It also makes the child the problem, which downplays the important role of parents, teachers, the school system, a provocative and powerful media culture, and societal injustices children experience every day.
Labeling kids bullies, for that matter, contributes to the negative climate and name-calling we’re trying to address.
You may also be interested in…
- “Kids Connecting and Feeling Good Activities
- Building Self-Esteem Tip Page
- ‘Kindness’ Category ‘Acts of Kindness’ and ‘Service’ go far in building altruism and preventing Bullying!