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Paraprofessional/Tutor

It can be done!

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math_6, I currently work in a school district outside of Flint that has embraced the idea of a district-wide anti-bullying approach. I'm not sure if there's a particular program that they're using, but they're serious about extending it to every school and training every staff member - there was a training for non-certified staff just last week. There are regular blue-out days, where students and staff wear blue shirts to show support against bullying, and it's just overall a huge part of the culture here. I work with 5th and 6th graders, and it continually amazes me how quickly and easily they stand up for one another and watch out for each other. I'll add, too, that while this is a mostly-white, suburban district, the school where I work just this year received full Title I status due to the percentage of children receiving free or reduced lunches, so it's by no means an affluent school, and these kids have plenty of problems in their home lives to deal with, too.

Each day I see some sort of

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Each day I see some sort of bullying that goes on at my school. As a staff we took a huge leap in being proactive in putting a stop to bullying, yet it still exists. Once a month, for about an hour to two hour, as a staff we present our students with a lesson on bullying. Each time we get to these lessons the students are frustrated with the fact that they have to go through yet another lesson on bullying. The students say things like "what is the point, bullying will still happen" or "Bullying does not happen here." The reluctance/naivety can be very disheartening with a subject of this magnitude. I agree with all of you though in that the parents need to take more of a proactive role in putting a stop to this. We have even instituted nationally renowned anti-bullying programs (Challenge Day and PBS) at our school, yet bullying still happens.
As a school we have offered seminars and discussions where parents can come in and learn about bullying, however they are poorly attended. Bullying to me is very selfish behavior something that is done in order for one to get attention. However the problem with that is one it is morally wrong and two students don't realize the impact their words can have on some else's life. Each and every life it important but it is also fragile. As educators we must continue to fight bullying so that we can save the lives of students. As fellow educators do you have thoughts on what our next step should be? Any insights would be helpful.

Bullying is something that is

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Bullying is something that is going to take everyones active participation in stopping. Parents, teachers, and the community will have to really come together in order to really make a difference.

Second grade teacher in SW Michigan.

Students

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I struggle with a group of girls in my classroom that treat others poorly. By themselves they seem to follow the rules and do what is expected of them, but once they get together they make a lot of bad choices. They tease other children about their looks, about their families, and about their intelligence. I've tried using seating arrangements which discourage them from engaging in any negative behaviors, and I've worked with the class on anti-bullying initiatives. These girls are still causing problems for others in places where I can't intervene, such as the lunchroom and the playground. If anyone has any tips or strategies that might help with this I'd appreciate your feedback. I've spoken to the parents of the bullying group about their behavior, and I've worked to empower the other students to stand up for themselves and others when they see bullying taking place.

sixth grade math teacher from western, Michigan!

a constant struggle

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As a beginning teacher, I am finding that it is incredibly true when people say that teaching on your own is much more challenging than anyone can prepare you for. I currently teach in an inner-city middle school, and as such, the topic of bullying is close to my heart. I have had a few students talk to me about something that a peer said or did that made them uncomfortable or hurt them. I have had students flat out tell me that they feel bullied in our school. And my heart breaks for them. In fact, people have made comments to me about how they never thought that teachers can effective stop bullying. I try to seek out strategies to share with my colleagues about how we might tackle this issue, but I feel bullying is too big of an issue to tackle just in school. How often do we witness cruelty toward others in our day to day lives?

I like the ideas here about educating and involving the community at large. If we are to effectively squash the bullying in society, it really will take the best efforts of us all.

@Barb - I've never heard of Adina's Deck. I think I'll try to locate that resource and possibly bring it to our next team meeting. Sounds like a very relevant and powerful resource!

Assignment for a class.

Adults

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I really do feel that it all comes back to the adult role models for our youth. Teachers can only do so much to help prevent and protect the students. Parents need to be playing a more active roll in preventing their children from becoming the bully or the one being bullied. The lack of parental involvement is a huge part of this. I also think that teachers and administrators, even the other school personnel could contribute more to the prevention of bullying. I know growing up we didn't have lessons about this in the classroom and we rarely were talked to about this kind of thing. Parents need to step up and prevent their children from becoming the bully.

Teacher Northern California

Teacher

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Adina's Deck, a DVD series, approaches cyber bullying in a way that is fresh, engaging & educational! Assessments of Adina’s Deck have demonstrated significant & substantial results in educating teens about Internet Safety. I highly recommend this series as a strong resource for use in classrooms and mental health agencies in approaching the serious effects of cyberbullying. They also have 2 other DVD's on online crushes and plagiarism which are equally educational and powerful.

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