Monday, April 18, 2011

Teachers: Make Anti-Bullying a Part of Your Day

According to StopBullyingNow, one of the most highly respected anti-bullying resources in the nation, one of the most important ways to put an end to bullying is to:

Focus class time on bullying prevention. It is important that bullying prevention programs include a classroom component. Teachers (with the support of administrators) should set aside 20–30 minutes each week (or every other week) to discuss bullying and peer relations with students. These meetings help teachers to keep their fingers on the pulse of students’ concerns, allow time for candid discussions about bullying and the harm that it can cause, and provide tools for students to address bullying problems. Anti-bullying themes and messages also can be incorporated throughout the school curriculum. Continue these efforts over time. There should be no “end date” for bullying prevention activities. Bullying prevention should be woven into the entire school environment.

If you'd like to get started right now, here’s a free downloadable lesson you can use that should take about twenty minutes. You can easily follow up in it by doing more role plays throughout the coming weeks, and asking kids periodically how they've been applying what they learned in the lesson:

Weave anti-bullying activities and concepts into the fabric of your day.


- To motivate students to stand up for kids who are being picked on.
- To give students tools for being an upstander

- Sign: “Each person has decency and goodness inside. If they listen to it and act on it, they
are giving the world what it needs most.” - Paraphrased from Pablo Casals

- Chart:   
The Dignity Stance
* Stand tall with your head held high, feet apart.
* Take slow deep breaths to keep your cool.
* Act as if you’re totally confident, even if you feel nervous.
* Keep your body language and facial expression strong but neutral.
* Make direct eye contact.
* Speak in a firm, steady tone of voice.
* Walk away tall and strong, silently repeating a calming statement.

- Chart containing the following words (blank spaces will be filled in with student
Steps You Can Take to Be an Upstander
1. Use “The Dignity Stance” to stand tall to help others.
2. Partner up. Have a friend to join you to confront someone who’s bullying.
3. Use deep breathing to keep your cool.
4. Rehearse your words.

- Direct attention to the following quote and have a student read it aloud:
“Each person has decency and goodness inside. If they listen to it and act on it, they are giving the world what it needs most.” - Paraphrased from Pablo Casals
- Ask students what the quote means to them in terms of helping
people who are bulled.
- Tell students that today they’ll be learning ways take action, and be upstanders for kids who are bullied.
- Ask, “What are you already doing to help when someone’s being bullied?” Discuss.
- Ask, “What stops you from helping?” Address kids’ concerns, emphasizing that each time we look theother way, we allow bullying to continue.
- Read the following quotes from real kids who are upstanders one at a time, and ask for responses:

* “It’s hard when you see someone being bullied for something they can’t help. If you’re
scared to help them, do it anyway. You have the right to stand up.”
* “I tell the bully to quit it. Then I take the person who was being bullied to another place, away from the bully.”
* “I tell the bully that what they’re doing isn’t right and they should stop. I ask them, ‘How would you feel if someone did that to you?’
* “I tell the bully to stop, and try to comfort the person who was being bullied.”
* “I help kids who are bullied by staying with them. I’ve learned that bullies don’t go after people if they have at least one friend.”

- Direct students’ attention to “Steps You Can Take to Be an Upstander”
- Go though steps 1-4 with students. Discuss each one and answer questions.
- Now ask students what other steps they think should be added to the list. Write top choices on the chart.
- If there’s still time, ask for four volunteers to role play the following scenario:
Jeffrey sees Tommy being bullied by Stewart on the playground. He asks Claire to partner up with him to help. They stand tall, breathe deep, think of words to say, and walk over. They ask Jeffery to hang out with them on another part of the playground.
- Debrief with class. How did it go? Discuss how this can be done in real life situations.
- Emphasize that each of us can help end bullying, and we don’t have to do it alone.
Copyright, Naomi Drew,

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