In a recent university class, we were having a group discussion about racism and bullying in schools. The teacher asked all students who encountered or witnessed some form of bullying during their internship to raise their hand. In a class of around 30-40 students, almost all raised their hand. Bullying is an ongoing battle with occurrences happening in our school, at home, and in the community. It is our responsibility as teachers to help fight back against bullying and teach our students the skills needed to stand up against bully’s and say NO to bullying. Perhaps the individual being bullied may not have the courage or skills needed to stand up for themselves, we need to also teach all the bystanders to step up and support those being bullied. Read this article, Saying No To Bullies for an example of what teachers can do in their classrooms to stand up against bullying.
For more informational about International Stand Up To Bullying Day check out their website. They also have great resources for teachers and information about how they can raise awareness about these issues.
Bullying Information Center is also a great resource to learn more about bullying.
Also, literature can be used to have discussions with students about bullying.
Title: Stop picking on me: A first look at bullying
Author: Thomas, Pat
Illustrator: Harker, Lesley
Year of Publication: 2000
Publisher: Hauppauge, NY : Barron’s Educational Series
Genre: Informational, Realistic Fiction
Theme Covered: This book discusses many topics surrounding bullying, such as describing characteristics of bullies, reasons why someone may choose to bully, and how a person could feel if they are being bullied in kid friendly language. If also offers strategies on ways to interact and deal with a bully if you or someone you know is being bullied. This informational book offers a kid friendly storyline and interactive questions for the audience to facilitate a group discussion while reading the story. There are also suggestions for parents, teachers, and schools in preventing and handling bullying situations in the back of the book (page 28,29).
Title: Bullying: Deal with it before push comes to shove
Author: Slavens, Elaine
Illustrator: Kerrigan, Brooke
Year of Publication: 2003
Publisher: Toronto, ON : James Lorimer & Company Ltd
Theme Covered: This graphic picture book provides insightful information and strategies children can take when faced with bullying including what to do if they’re a target, a bully, or a witness. As students learn about the many forms of bullying: direct, indirect, sexual, and racial, through inviting colourful comic strips, they also read about real-life stories of bullying. Question and answer, myths and facts, “Do’s and Don’ts”, and quizzes all facilitate interaction with the book and also can be used in a classroom setting to facilitate discussion among students. The back of the book offers additional Canadian resources such as helplines and organizations, web sites, books, and videos.