Show Students What a Bully Does and How to Respond Appropriately
Bullying can be a big problem at school for many kids. Just as prevention is best to control classroom behavior, prevention is also best at preventing bullies. Even so, students need to understand what a bully is, and how to respond to a bully.
Make Students Aware of What a Bully Does
Some students may not even know they are being bullied. Teach students what a bully is, and how to know if they are being bullied. A bully is a child or an adult who does not treat you with respect. They make you feel unsafe in places that should be safe, such as the classroom, lunchroom, and the playground. A bully can be the same age as you or older.
A stereotypical bully is one who will threaten a younger child out of lunch money. Today’s bullies may be more subtle in their methods, but that makes them no less dangerous. A bully may call you names, push you around, and scare you into giving up a toy or game that you want to play with. Have a class discussion with role-playing for students to learn what a bully does.
Teach Students How to Respond to a Bully
Students need to understand the appropriate manner of handling themselves in the presence of a bully. Depending on the method of bullying, students should know how to respond without escalating the situation. All bullies should be reported to a teacher immediately. Teachers should take appropriate action when a student reports a bully. All such reports should be taken seriously, in order for students to feel safe and be willing to seek help when necessary.
Have students role play again, this time to teach them how to respond to various situations they may find themselves in with a bully. For example, how should you respond when another student calls you a name? What should you do when another student pushes you on the playground? Through discussion and role-playing, you will be able to help students learn what to do in each situation.
Through your education in identifying and responding to a bully, take time to watch your students for silent signs of bullying. Students who spend a lot of time at the nurse’s office, or who dread going to school may be being bullied. Students who are reluctant to play at recess time or who show an unusual lack of self-confidence may be being bullied as well.