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Compiled By: NCPinkTchr

Teachers share ways to handle the problem of bullying

Posted by: A from Delaware

There is usually a hidden reason that children bully-I'm sure you've heard it all. They need to feel accepted or maybe need to be left out sometimes. In my classroom, I do partner and small group activities a lot. So, I tell the bully that they will have to work alone until I think that they can work well with others. As I moniter the groups I compliment appropriate behavior and at some point speak alone with the bully about what they plan to do differently so they can be in a group.

I've found that it is best not to get in a power struggle or embarrass a child like that. Although you may feel they don't deserve it sometimes-go out of your way to show them respect and talk to them alone.

Posted by: Connie

Role playing is a good way to get the kids involved. The obvious roles would be the victim and the bully. Don't forget to include the witnesses and their roles. The students need to play the other children plus have one student be a teacher (or another adult bus driver, lunch lady). Include the difference between reporting and tattling. Let the kids know what the adults will do to help the victims. Brain storm what they have learned and list them. To assess what they have learned have the kids make bullying posters after the lesson to hang around the school.

Posted by: Debbie

I am also having this problem. These are the solutions I have come up with:

Recess: If a student claims that so and so is picking on me I have both students sit down. The one I suspect is bullying (I explain that it is because they do not need to be involved in anything that by sitting down I can prevent. The other because they need to be supervised so that others do not bother them.) After about 10 min. I suggest they go their seperate ways and stay away from each other.

Bathroom: I am fortunate that we have a male assistant principal and a male janitor. I will often ask one of them to monitor my boys in the restroom. They are more than willing to because the janitor likes to keep the restroom clean and the assistant principal wants to keep correct behavior.

Lunch: I have been forced to assign seats to my students.

Thank You Mr. Falkner
Posted by: Kay

I always start out the year reading Thank You Mr. Falkner by Patricia Polacco. It is about a girl who could not read and a boy who made fun of her. Her new teacher, Mr. Falkner, helped her learn to read. The surprize at the end is the best when the reader finds out that the author was that little girl. This book gave me an opportunity to discuss class bullies and overcoming reading difficulty. The children always enjoy the book.

Posted by: KAN

I teach middle school. I use a mailbox for students to write to me about any problems or questions they have that they do not want to discuss in front of the class. Over the years I have had students write about problems at home, with bullies, or just understanding a concept. Middle school age kids are so worried about being cool and accepted by their friends that is sometimes hard for them to speak up when they have a question. A couple times a week I will have the entire class answer a question on a scrap of paper and have them put their responses in the mailbox on the way out of the room as an "exit pass". I do this to allow students who are afraid to being seen leaving me a note a chance to do it without standing out.

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Posted by: Sue Vernand

I have weekly meetings with my classroom, usually on Fridays. The students put their names on the board and I preside over the meeting. I usually have a secretary taking minutes of the meeting, so we can see if the problem was solved at the next meeting. Students are allowed to use names and speak frankly about their problems, from bullying to recess problems to friend disagreements. If the other party is in the classroom, they are also allowed to speak a rebuttle. Witnesses can be called. It usually gets problems out in the open and once students can voice their problems, they usually go away.

anti-bullying program
Posted by: Dawn

Our middle school is in the 2nd year of a strong anti-bullying campaign. The guidance office and admin have made it a big priority. This is what they have done:

1. Guidance counselors have come into each classroom and done a lesson and discussion on bullying. They defined it, listed examples of it, and told the students that bullying in any form is not tolerated by anyone at our school.

2. They have set up a peer mediation program to help resolve conflicts between 2 students in a mutually beneficial way.

3. They have placed packets of "BINT" forms (Bullying Is Not Tolerated") on the hallway walls throughout the school. These forms have lines for students to list any incident in which they have felt threatened. They give the BINT form to any teacher or school employee, and the situation is referred to guidance/admin for resolution.

I don't know if your situation warrants this whole-school action, but could you possibly take some of these actions on a classroom or grade-level basis?

Regarding the boys' bathroom, I think you need to ask for male teacher/employee assistance. Sometimes you have to just WATCH them to get the point across that they must be accountable. If the incidents occur during class changes or whole-class breaks, you might have to find a male supervisor to be sure they boys behave. If the incidents occur when students are given a bathroom pass during class time, maybe those should be restricted in order to protect the students from themselves.

Posted by: mj

Check out Dr. Phil's website. He had a show about bullying. On the website, he has an anitbullying pledge for students, teachers, and parents to sign (1 pledge for each). His son went to a middle school and gave an antibullying pep talk and asked students and teachers and students to sign the pledge. The students were excited and motivated by this and signed the pledge. It is now posted in the school hallway for all to see and the situation has improved in that school. I think his son might speak at different schools. The middle school where I live had students create posters and write essays discouraging bullying and supporting bullies. The posters were great and the kids seemed to like having there work displayed.

Posted by: Kate

Our school currently has adopted 2 bully-proofing programs. We have been using the 2nd Step (Conflict Resolution) program for some time. The program inlcudes lessons across the grade levels. Last year we implemented the Steps to Respect program for grades 3-5. I really like this program. It really focuses on bullying. It teaches the kids what bullying is - how to recognize it, how to refuse it, and how to report it. It gives them role play activities to practice refusing bullying. Many times at the elementary level kids bully without even realizing that is what they are doing. Now in my classroom when someone comes to me about being bullied I ask the offender, "Were you asked to stop?" If they say yes, I ask "and did you?" If they say no, I remind them that that is one of the definitions of bullying. Most of the time they are very remorseful and will make ammends.