Monday, January 3, 2011

Bullying: What You Need to Know

For the couple of weeks before and after winter break, Cluster 2 is working on educating itself about bullying. As a topic that has been in the news recently, and one that affects too many kids, the teachers all feel that it's so important to keep the lines of communication open between kids and adults. Here are the main points of our work:

Our Cluster, Our Culture
Cluster 2
High Rock School
Winter 2010-2011

What Is Bullying?
  • Any unwanted or cruel behavior that targets a person or a group
  • To bully is to physically,verbally, socially, emotionally; hurt, frighten, tease, or threaten a targeted group or individual.

Who Is Involved?
  • Aggressor: (Bully)  behavior meant to harm, hurt or intimidate someone physically, emotionally or socially
  • Target: The person being bullied, attacked, insulted or excluded
  • Bystander: witnesses or hears about an individual  being bullied and  does not say or do anything about it. Enables the bullying to continue and grow worse.
  • Ally: speaks up or acts to help the person being bullied

Bullying Includes: Physically Hurting or Threatening Someone
  • Pushing, kicking, hitting, shoving, spitting, and other forms of violence
  • Size-ist taunting someone because of their height or weight
  • Threatening to harm someone
  • No one has the right to put their hands on you unless your say it is okay!

Bullying Includes: Hurting Someone Socially
  • Cutting someone off from close friends
  • Isolating the person by making them feel excluded /rejected from the group
  • Name-calling
  • Spreading rumors and gossip

Bullying Includes: Racial, Ethnic, and Religious Put-Downs
  • Making mean or hurtful comments associated with someone’s skin color, ethnicity, native language, or national origin
  • Attacking someone for their religious beliefs or the group they belong to

Bullying Includes: Put-Downs Based on Someone’s Physical, Mental or Learning Disabilities
  • Calling someone "retarded," "stupid," or "SPED"
  • Making fun of someone because they wear glasses, or a hearing aide, or are in a wheel chair.

  • Changing other people’s online personal profiles (Facebook)
  • E-mails or IMs that include physical threats or malicious gossip or slander
  • Using other people’s user name and pretending to be someone your are not

Effects of Bullying
  • The target may become sad or depressed
  • Feel lonely and isolated
  • Feel bad about him/herself
  • Avoid or fear going to school
  • Do poorly in school
  • Withdraw from family and friends
  • Feel sick or get stomach or headaches

What Can You Do If You Witness Bullying/Harassment?
  • Refuse to join in
  • Confront the bully
  • Persuade the person being bullied to tell an adult they trust: parent, teacher, guidance counselor
  • Offer to go with them or to speak for an adult on their behalf
  • Offer kind words

Being an Ally
  • Ally: someone who speaks and acts in ways to support the person being harassed or targeted
  • Allies  are people who:
    • Speak up in front of peers
    • Are friendly with kids who might be shy and isolated
    • Willing to be friendly to kids who are less popular 

Conflict vs. Bullying

  • Conflict:
    • Between Friends
    • Happens Occasionally
    • Disagreement
    • Less serious
    • Both people are upset
    • Working it out is important
    • Goal: maintain the friendship
    • Both take responsibility 
  • Bullying:
    • Target feels less powerful
    • Ongoing and repeated
    • Hurting on purpose
    • Emotional/physical harm
    • Only target is upset
    • Winning more important
    • Gain power & control
    • Blame without feeling sorry

What Do We Need to Know?
  • Recognize
  • Report
  • Respond

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