Approximately 32 percent of students report being bullied at school. Bullied students are more likely to take a weapon to school, get involved in physical fights, and suffer from anxiety and depression, health problems, and mental health problems. They suffer academically (especially high-achieving black and Latino students). And research suggests that schools where students report a more severe bullying climate score worse on standardized assessments than schools with a better climate.
There's nothing funny about bullying, but appealing to students' comic sensibilities might help open discussions about this serious subject. That's the idea behind the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Comic Challenge. During October, students and teachers can join a nationwide dialogue about bullying prevention that will play out through the engaging medium of comic strips.
Ira Socol is a graduate research and teaching assistant at Michigan State University. He also blogs at SpeEd Change.
Social networking sites like Google+ present powerful classroom opportunities, but they are also designed to create hierarchies.
"Let's face it, [The Social Network] presented [Mark Zuckerberg] as a relentless bully with a computer instead of muscles. It also made Facebook's creation seem like a ploy to get back at a girl, rather than the simple desire to create." -- Mike Eisenberg, ScreenRant
The driving force behind my work is a commitment to social justice, ensuring that all students get what they need in our public schools regardless of race, class, ethnicity, home language, ability, gender, and sexual orientation.
Now that we're heading into summer, it's a perfect time to start planning a pledge for your students. I used to be skeptical about the value of pledges by students, particularly around things like harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB). But I have changed my mind. The new school year is a time to consider any such pledges, and now is the time to think through your position on the topic.
Tim Brennan is the Founder of the DREAMER Institute for Connective Living. He is also a life-long public educator and has been pursuing a deeper understanding of the importance of social, emotional and character development (SECD) well before he was familiar with those terms. I believe his perspective adds important depth to our collective understanding of SECD and what it means to learn authentically and well.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion called "Culture Shift, Alternatives to Suspension: Creating Connections for All Students," which highlighted the effectiveness of a restorative justice and youth court as an innovative approach to juvenile justice.
When Debbie Heimowitz talks about cyberbullying at school assemblies or presents training events for teachers, she speaks with authority. She knows the statistics. She understands the potential for real harm if bullies use the anonymity of technology to gang up on their victims.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project always provides a wealth of resources for those of us interested in how technology affects our personal and family lives and our work. Every month or so, the project releases a research report focusing on one broad topic.