There sure are a lot of sad things going on with bullying that have made the news and social media this summer. I'm sure many of you have read and watched the sad video of the grandma being bullied by teenage boys on the bus. There's also been many sad articles out there about children getting plastic surgery because they are getting bullied because of how they look!
Sometimes bullying is just name calling. Other times it's constantly pushing, hitting, or kicking. It can also be passing a note and asking others to check whether the child is nice or mean. Maybe the child is excluding someone from playing in a game, not letting them help in a group assignment, or always picking them last during games. It is bullying when it is continuous and there is an imbalance of power.
Each one of us have sadly either been bullied or we know of someone who has done some kind of bullying. I'll share one such story that involved me growing up. I remember in 6th grade, one day in the cafeteria I opened up my lunchbox and my chips and cookies were gone! I figured maybe my mom had forgot to put my chips and cookies in my lunchbox. Well the next day and the day after and so forth the same thing happened. To solve the problem, I had to go to the teacher give her my lunch to hold on for me and my mom and I went grocery shopping and put some really hot stuff on the chips. After a few days of that my lunch was no longer stolen. Sadly sometimes you have to think creatively at stopping bullies.
What can you do in your class? I am sure many of you have seen the awesome tip online that many have shared where you give each student a piece of paper. They crumble up the piece of paper. Then have them straighten and tell them to get out all the wrinkles. Of course they can't. Then you can explain that it is a good thing to apologize for what you said or did to someone that was hurtful, but it won't all go away. They will have some scars for life.
I also found this floating around Facebook, no author was given, but it said to pass it on and I think it is really good advice. Special advice to children as you go back to school: If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or is being bullied because he/she doesn't have many friends or because they are shy or not as pretty or not dressed in the most "in" clothes - PLEASE step up! Say hi or at least smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school. Your kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone's life.
I have also seen an inspiring poster that I think should be posted in every classroom and discussed with your students. I made my own poster using it. You can get your FREE copy by clicking on the picture! I don't know who orginially came up with this, but if it's you let me know and I'll give you credit!
I also suggest keeping your eyes out on the playground as that is where a lot of the bullying occurs along with in the lunchroom. If a child says that someone won't let them play, then it is likely the start of bullying. It's not fun to be excluded from an activity or always chosen last. I've been in that situation a lot especially in middle school. Together, we can put an end to bullying!
What do you do in your classroom to try to stop bullying from occurring?
As always thank you for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings! Keep on smiling!