Educators

Bullying Questionnaires

Lower Elementary (Download)
Upper Elementary (Download)
Middle School/High School (Download)

Across all ages and backgrounds, bullying stands as a universal issue. Ensuring that children and youth have safe, caring, and respectful places to learn and socialize has been among the top concerns of the general public over the past 40 Years (Bushaw & Lopez, 2010). Not addressing bullying can be devastating for both the perpetrators and victims. The emotional toll of being bullied includes anxiety, socially withdrawing, academic problems, and low poor self-image. Bullies have higher tendency towards criminal behavior into adulthood.

Bullying is a complex, multi-dimensional phenomenon. There is no single script to address bullying, but requires comprehensive, ongoing approaches. There are defined characteristics of effective violence prevention strategies, and we need to implement a systemic framework or process through which these strategies actually might prevent the development and occurrences of violent behavior for all students.

To deal with bullying, we must first understand WHY some kids bully:

  • Student may come from home where physical or verbal lashing out is the norm
  • Home environment may lack healthy affection or empathy
  • The behavior over time reinforces feelings of elevated authority, social status, and power
  • Some lack social skills to productively manage social situations
  • Some bully as a defense mechanism, reacting to threats to their feelings of competence, self-determination, or connection to others
  • others it becomes a natural part of their everyday lifestyle where they derive pleasure in how the bullying behavior affects others

Addressing Bullying

Common Bullying Misconceptions

MYTH

REALITY

Bullies have low self-esteem. Bullies have at least an average sense of personal worth, but what they lack is empathy.
Putting others down makes bullies feel better about themselves. Bullying may serve a variety of purposes from getting a sense of power, superiority, or satisfaction in hurting someone.
It’s a good idea to sit the bully and victim down to mediate the situation. Bullying is about an imbalance of power. Talking about the circumstances not address this central issue, and may serve only to re-victimize the bullied students.
Kids that are bullied often need to toughen up anyway. The harmful effects of bullying on everyone involved, from the victim, bystanders, and perpetrator, have been well-documented by research.

TATTLING or TELLING?

Tattling involves normal childhood conflicts, and the goal is to get another student in trouble. Telling is different—when someone is purposefully using power to hurt another person, the motive behind telling an adult is to PROTECT oneself and others

Effective bullying prevention programs continuously combat bullying from 3 angles:

  1. SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Some students truly lack appropriate social skills and tools for building positive relationships. Role play, direct instruction, and reinforcers enhancing motivation to develop appropriate social skills may effectively help students acquire necessary social skills.
  2. PREVENTION: Prevention is ongoing and comes in many forms. It may include promoting a positive school climate, formal anti-bullying education, utilizing informal teachable moments, fostering positive peer collaboration, school assembly programs, creating an anti-bullying week, establishing an antibullying/school violence leadership committee, and giving annual school-climate questionnaire to assess and monitor progress.
  3. INTERVENTION: Periodically, we must analyze the effectiveness of overall school bullying policies and programs. What is working? What is ineffective or poorly implemented? Programming options can be overwhelming; don’t try to do it all right away, but instead focus on doing a few things with quality. On an individual student level, it is critical to identify the various motivational considerations behind behaviors, and if the student already has the necessary social skills, assess why they are not using them. Then a personal intervention plan can be created with the staff, student, and family.

Remember, as educators we need to also encourage compassion towards bullies, realizing how they often:

  • Have been bullied
  • May not know how to make meaningful friendships
  • Could be lonely or hurting

Suggested Anti-bullying classroom lessons and activities:

All ages:

  1. Students create an antibullying pledge http://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-pledges-against-bullying-harrassment-maurice-elias
  2. The class collaborates to develop an informative wiki on bullying for the school and others
  3. Role-playing In groups: Students are given or create scenarios showing proper and improper ways to respond to a bullying incident.
  4. Create a bullying PSA using www.Animoto.com or other user-friendly picture/video editing programs
  5. Students make an interactive bulletin board with facts, statistics, questions, prevention, their own photos mimicking various situation surrounding bullying
  6. Read an age-appropriate book that deals with bullying, http://livingbullyfree.com/resources. Students discuss the story and then make their own book.
  7. Create an award certificate for doing something nice for another person that can be given by the teacher or classmate. For example, it could be a “Fish” certificate if the class read “The Ugly Fish,” and attach a candy bar when presenting the award. Read fish award note over daily announcements or include in class newsletter. This award can be ongoing through the school year.
  8. Watch and discuss video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j6YA03hm4k&feature=related. Draw three columns on the board: Before, During, and After. Describe what each person could have done to make a positive difference in the situation shown in the video. Students may go to the board to record their answers.
  9. Watch the following video on cyberbullying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbtajOvAU10&feature=related. Draw a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting in-person versus cyberbullying. Ask students for instances of cyberbullying. Discuss how cyberbullying can be even more complex and difficult to address. Ask how students should and should not respond to cyberbullying. Also list ways to protect against cyberbullying. Refer to http://www.olweus.org/public/cyber_bullying.page to help guide your discussion.
  10. Power of the bystanders: watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY7Gvq0P4hc. Discuss the large variety of emotional responses between the groups involved. Identify an area in school where students may be more likely to be bullied. Have students recommend what bystanders can do to intervene.
  11. Writing prompt tasks: create responsive writing tasks for students. See attached document for sample prompts
  12. Plan and promote annual Mix it Up at Lunch Day.  For more information, see http://www.tolerance.org/mix-it-up/what-is-mix
  13. In gym class, have a “Different Abililty Day” where students perform physical activity with only one hand, blindfolded, etc.
  14. Respect-themed door decorating contest
  15. Have students take “Are You a Cyberbully?” quiz available here through stopcyberbullying.org. [insert file]

Elementary Schools:

  1. Coloring book created by National Bullying Prevention Center: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/bpaw/coloringbook.pdf
  2. Bullying video clips: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/bpaw/bullyvids.asp

School-Wide Anti-bullying Campaign:
Sample week-long activities below. 

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Elementary

Middle

Secondary

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Introduce poster contest Bullying overview: Students fill in simple graphic organizer of verbal, physical, and social bullying, describing each type in words or by drawing a picture. [Download Document] Introduce poetry or short story contest Bullying/cyberbullying overview: Students draw a graphic organizer of verbal, physical, social, and cyber bullying, providing three examples of each type.[Download Document] Introduce poetry or short story contest Students define bullying and cyberbullying Students draw a graphic organizer of verbal, physical, social, and cyber bullying, providing three examples of each type.[Download Document]
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Coloring book created by National Bullying Prevention Center: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/bpaw/coloringbook.pdf Watch and discuss video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j6YA03hm4k&feature=related. Draw three columns on the board: Before, During, and After. Describe what each person could have done to make a positive difference in the situation shown in the video. Students may go to the board to record their answers. Students work in partners to pose for pictures and create bulletin board photo montage of do’s and don’ts, captioning photos as necessary to describe the scenarios.
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Role-playing In partners: Students create scenarios showing improper and proper social interactions using puppets. Role-playing In groups: Students are assigned or create their own scenarios showing proper and improper ways to respond to a bullying incident and perform for class. Role-playing In groups: Students create their own scenarios showing proper and improper ways to respond to a bullying incident and perform for class.
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Visit http://www.pacer.org/bullying/bpaw/bullyvids.asp to download video, “What You Can Do.” After viewing the video, list the different ways to respond to bullying. Then have students create a picture on the page here [Download] to be displayed as a class bulletin board. Watch the following video on cyberbullying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbtajOvAU10&feature=related. Draw a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting in-person versus cyberbullying. Ask students for instances of cyberbullying. Discuss how cyberbullying can be even more complex and difficult to address. Ask how students should and should not respond to cyberbullying. Also list ways to protect against cyberbullying. Refer to http://www.olweus.org/public/cyber_bullying.pageto help guide your discussion. Students will examine tragic outcomes of cyberbullying from http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/what-should-the-punishment-be-for-acts-of-cyberbullying/ and write a response regarding what the punishment should be for cyberbullying.
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Students collaboratively draft and sign an antibullying pledge. Students collaboratively draft and sign an antibullying pledge. Students collaboratively draft and sign an antibullying pledge.