Tips for Teachers

 

A Sampling of Classroom Strategies 

  • Teach the Bullying Prevention Lesson Plans available for preschool - high school (click on "Products" at this website).
  • Have a campaign against bullying and harness energy of students by using poems, skits, posters, T-shirt design contest, door decorating contest, logo contest, songs, bracelets, peers for peace club, student council involvement, students could help make and discuss anti-bullying bulletin boards, banners and posters.
  • Help students recognize and understand bullying.
  • Encourage students to reflect on past bullying.
  • Provide training in anger management.
  • Place a Notes-to-the-Teacher Box on the corner of your desk for reporting bullying, complaints, observations of students obeying the Golden Rule, etc.
  • Immediately and consistently respond to bullying.
  • Empower bystanders (teach them how to respond when someone is being bullied).
  • Keep a camera near and use photographs—class scrapbook, class directory, bulletin board (promotes unity).
  • Model the Golden Rule yourself and do not reinforce bullying verbally or nonverbally.
  • Avoid displaying weaknesses (reading out load, working at the board, etc.).
  • Ask students to display strengths (opportunities to shine).
  • Publicly make positive comments regarding students – may influence thinking of listening students.
  • Keep grades a private matter - avoid facial expressions and sounds that might indicate a poor grade.
  • Respond immediately and consistently to bullying.  Apply negative consequences but also use positive reinforcement for the opposite behavior and use non-punitive and pro-social strategies (i.e., No Blame Approach, The Problem-Solving Circle, Reverse Role-Playing, Method of Shared Concern, etc.).
  • Investigate all rumors and unverified reports of bullying.
  • Help students identify similarities.
  • Focus on third enemy (water pollution, animal cruelty, etc.)—creates unity.
  • Involve class in service projects—creates unity.
  • Discuss models of acceptance (newspaper stories, television stories, movies, etc.).
  • To help students identify bullying behaivors, ask them to track bullying on television.
  • Discuss songs about bullying (Don’t Laugh at Me by Mark Wills and One of these Days by Tim McGraw, Mean by Taylor Swift).
  • Discuss bullying scenes in movies (Mask [Universal Studios], Forest Gump [Paramount Pictures], Radio, The Elephant Man, Mean Girls, etc.).

A Sampling of Strategies for Students Who are Bullied

  • Develop a safety plan (i.e., never walk alone, don’t go some places alone, avoid bully when possible, etc.)
  • Complete the Bullying Prevention Intervention Questionnaire and Intervention Plan Form and develop an intervention plan for the student.
  • Discuss with the student strategies from anti-bullying books for students. 
  • Provide parents/guardians access to anti-bullying books (i.e., Protect Your Child From Bullying by Allan Beane).
  • Tell the student not to retaliate.  
  • Normalize behavior (aggressive, disruptive, mannerisms, etc.) of the student.
  • Develop social skills and teach the student how to make friends.
  • Develop the student's body strength, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
  • Develop skills of social value – may net social prestige for the student.
  • Encourage the student to make friends outside school (non-school activities/organizations).
  • Encourage the student’s involvement in school activities.
  • Encourage the student to talk openly about his/her disability.
  • Encourage quality extended family members to befriend/mentor victim.
  • Invite parents of the student to speak to class – may net some short-term social prestige for the victim.
  • Encourage other school personnel to befriend victim and to closely monitor interactions with others.
  • Encourage the student to keep a journal. This can be healing to his/her emotions.
  • When appropriate suggest professional counseling for the student who is bullied (one-to-one or small group of victims).
  • Provide the following assertiveness training/information for students who are bullied and for bystanders.

Assertive Strategies for Students Who are Bullied

 

Note: Use the following information only with the recommendation of your teacher or counselor and your parents. These strategies should also be used with other strategies to keep you safe.


General Strategies:

  • Look confident (assertive body language) by standing tall and holding your head up.
  • Don’t cry and run off. Instead move closer, turn sideways, and have non-threatening eye contact.
  • Keep your facial expressions neutral. Don’t look sad and don’t look angry.
  • Hold your arms beside your body. Don’t hold your arms up like you want to fight.
  • Make your assertive comment and then walk off confidently and start a conversation with a student, or a group of students, or an adult. 

Specific Strategies:

  • Make an assertive statement: Say, “Stop it!” with a serious face and a strong but calm voice. Or say, “This is a waste of my time. I’m out of here.” (Then, walk off confidently and start a conversation with someone.) Or, say something that is appropriate for the situation but doesn’t provoke the bully.
  • Fogging—(admit the characteristic) soft verbal comebacks. For example, “Allan, you sure are fat.” You could say, “You’re right, I need to lose weight.” (Then, walk off confidently and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Admit the Obvious—point out that the bully sees the obvious— “Wow! He noticed I have big ears.” (Then, walk off confidently and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Broken record — repeat “What did you say?” or “That’s your opinion.” or “So.” (Then, walk off confidently and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Confront bully concerning his/her spreading lies/rumors. (Then, walk off confidently and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Expose the ignorance of the student who bullies you. For example, if he is bullying you because of your medical problem or disability, tell him the facts about it. (Then, walk off confidently and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Give permission to tease– “Well, it’s okay to say what you want. It doesn’t bother me.” (Then, walk off confidently and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Use sense of humor (do not make the bully feel like he/she is being laughed at). For example, if the bully says, “You sure do have big ears.” You could say, “I know, sometimes I feel like I am an elephant.” (Then, walk off confidently and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Make an asset of characteristic. For example, one boy was teased because he lost his hair because of cancer treatments. He said, “Well, I guess Michael Jordan and I are alike, we both don’t have much hair.” (Then, walked off confidently and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Throw something and run when you are at risk of being hurt or you are in danger.

Assertiveness Strategies for Bystanders

 

Note: Use the following information only with the recommendation of your teacher or counselor and your parents. These strategies should also be used with other strategies to keep you and others safe.

General Strategies:

  • Look confident (assertive body language) by standing tall, with your shoulders back
  • Move closer to the bully, beside the victim, turn sideways, and give the bully non-threatening eye contact
  • Keep your facial expressions neutral
  • Keep your arms beside your body
  • Make your assertive comment and then walk off confidently with the bullied student and start a conversation with another student, or a group of students, or an adult. 

Specific Strategies:

  • Make assertive statements for the victim: Say, “Stop it!” with a serious face and a strong but calm voice. Or say, “This is a waste of Bobby’s time and my time. Come with me Bobby.” (The, walk off confidently with Bobby and start a conversation with someone.) Or say something else that is appropriate to the situation but doesn’t provoke the bully.
  • Use “Fogging.” For example, admit that you also have the characteristic the bully is using to tease someone): “You know, Bobby and I both need to lose weight. Come with me Bobby.” (Then, walk off confidently with Bobby and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Exhaust the topic (repeated questioning about putdown). For example, “How many people do you know that are fat?” “How overweight do you have to be to be fat?” “How long do you have to be overweight to be fat?” “Come with me Bobby.” (Then, walk off confidently with Bobby and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Broken record — repeat: “What did you say?” or “That’s your opinion.” or “So.” “Come with me Bobby.” (Then, walk off confidently with Bobby and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Confront the bully concerning his/her spreading rumors and lies about someone. Refuse to spread the lies and demand that the rumors/stop.
  • Expose the ignorance of the bully when he/she is teasing someone because of their disability or medical problem. Reveal the facts. Then ask the victim of bullying to walk off with you. (Then, walk off confidently with Bobby and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Give the bully permission to tease: “Well, it’s okay to say what you want. It doesn’t bother Bobby and it doesn’t bother me. Come with me Bobby.” (Then, walk off confidently with Bobby and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Take on the characteristic used to tease someone and use a sense of humor: “You know Bobby and I both have big ears, sometimes we feel like elephants. Don’t we Bobby?” or “You know, Bobby and I both are pretty stupid. Come with me Bobby.” (Then, walk off confidently with Bobby and start a conversation with someone.)
  • Make an asset of the characteristic used to tease someone: “Well, I guess _______ ______ (a famous popular person) and Bobby look alike, they both don’t have a lot of hair. I wish I looked like Bobby. Hey Bobby, come with me.” (Then, walk off confidently with Bobby and start a conversation with someone.)

    A Sampling of Strategies for Changing Students Who Bully

     

  • Discuss with the student who bullies strategies from anti-bullying books for students.
  • Provide parents/guardians access to anti-bullying books for parents (i.e., Protect Your Child from Bullying by Allan L. Beane).
  • Develop an intervention plan for the student who bullies.
  • Demonstrate a zero tolerance for bullying by consistently applying negative consequences for bullying behavior. Be prepared to apply the appropriate consequences for lack of cooperation.
  • Teach the student that power can be experienced by doing good things
  • Require the student to apologize and ask forgiveness (in writing) and make amends
  • Monitor the student's behavior - provide more supervision.
  • Require the student to monitor his/her behavior and report to you—self management.
  • Use a Behavioral Contract with the student who bullies.
  • Use a No Contact Contract (Stay Away Contract) with the student.
  • Help the student find an area of interest and a hobby, a job or a way to provide a community-service.
  • Ask some adult(s) to mentor the student.
  • Require the student to be responsible for the safety and well-being of targeted student(s).
  • Immediately reinforce/reward positive and accepting behaviors
  • Learn about the student and his family — communicates that you value him/her as a human being and that you care about his/her future.
  • Learn about his/her family—visit home and hold regular parent conferences.
  • Develop impulse control, anger control and empathy—how to make friends.
  • Assess the self-esteem—if negative, enhance.
  • When appropriate, consider professional counseling for the student who bullies.

Share the Following Administrative Strategies with Your Principal

 

The following strategies are discussed in great detail and associated documents and resources are provide in the book, Bullying Prevention for Schools:  A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing a Successful Anti-bullying Program by Allan L. Beane (click on "Products" at this website).

  • The principal must demonstrate a committment to preventing and stopping bullying. When students see him/her in the halls, they know he/she is there listening for and looking for bullying.
  • Encourage faculty and staff to attend sessions at conferences on bullying.
  • Ask that a Bullying Prevention Program Kit  be purchased for your school. (click on "Products" at this website) – www.bullyfree.com (books for the counselor, books for the library, posters for the classrooms and high-risk areas, books (pdf files) for parents and schools placed on school's website (allowed to print unlimited number of copies), brochures for teachers, students, and parents, and four of program implementation manual: Bullying Prevention for School: A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing a Successful Anti-bullying Program by Allan L. Beane, Ph.D.)
  • Form and train a Bullying Prevention Program Team/Committee and follow steps to establishing a program. Each committee member receives a copy of Bullying Prevention for Schools: A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing a Successful Anti-bullying Program by Allan L. Beane, Ph.D.
  • Train all school personnel (Bullying Prevention Awareness Session)
  • Establish anti-bullying policies and procedures for reporting and handling bullying situations or modify existing harassment policy.
    • Students bullying/harassing students.
    • Students bullying/harassing teachers.
    • School personnel bullying/harassing students.
    • School personnel bullying/harassing other school personnel.
  • Modify student conduct code books to include bullying behaviors.
  • Administer Bullying Prevention Surveys (Students, Teachers, and Parents).  These are provided in the Bullying Prevention for Schools book by Dr. Beane, mentioned above.
  • Adopt bullying prevention classroom rules – posted in every classroom.
  • Ask schools to create more places for students to belong or feel connected to the school.
  • Establish a Peers for Peace Club – Bullying Prevention Club in each elementary and middle school.  Give each high school the Handbook for Student Council by Allan Beane.
  • Identify high-risk areas, train supervisors to provide quality supervision and develop a Supervision Plan (increase supervision, use technology, improve quality of supervision through training and add structure to unstructured times).
  • Remind school personnel to model acceptance and kindness (with students and with each other)
  • Install “Bully Boxes” or “Not in My School Box” or “Bug Box” or “Drop Box”
  • Ask schools to systematically remove hurtful graffiti and make a record of graffiti
  • Use School Resource Officers.
  • Ask students to sign a Bullying Prevention Pledge.
  • Ask school personnel to sign a Bullying Prevention Pledge for School Personnel.
  • Ask parents to sign a Bullying Prevention Pledge for Parents.
  • Ask community representatives to sign a Bullying Prevention Pledge.
  • Develop and adopt a student involvement and empowerment plan.
  • Develop and adopt a parent education and involvement plan.
  • Develop and adopt an anti-bullying community involvement plan.
  • Develop a plan for posting anti-bullying bulletin boards, banners, and posters.
  • Post a bullying prevention poster in each classroom.
  • Post bullying prevention posters in high-risk areas.
  • Disseminate bullying prevention brochures to students, parents, and educators.
  • Implement Welcome Wagon Program for new students.
  • Conduct a Bullying Prevention Assembly Program for students.
  • Conduct a Bullying Prevention Awareness Presentation for Parents (community-wide presentation).
  • Reach agreement on behavioral expectations for high-risk areas.
  • Develop or adopt a Bullying Prevention Discipline Rubric (reach agreement on creative negative/reductive consequences).
  • Develop or adopt a Bullying Prevention Response Plan (How to Respond to Bullying).
  • Train personnel and volunteers to utilize the response plan (on-the-spot responding) and discipline rubrics.

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