How to use social and emotional learning to stop bullying

Betty Ray Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia

I've been haunted by this story of the South Hadley High School girl who hung herself after 3 months of relentless bullying by her peers. Yesterday, prosecutors announced that nine students were charged with multiple felonies - felonies! The NYTimes story below suggests that this unusually sharp legal response is designed to send a message that bullying - both online and offline - won't be tolerated.

We assembled a number of links to help parents, educators and lawmakers in creating a proactive approach to bullying in our schools. If you know of any others, please add them!

Michael Pritchard's Lessons from the Heart video:
Combining humor and honesty, Pritchard speaks to schools about the effects of bullying and invites kids to share their experiences and insights. It's amazing to watch, esp when he takes his presentations to a tough crowd of urban high school kids.

Emotional Intelligence Overview video:
A good overview including examples of programs that teach emotional intelligence - from high school, middle school and elementary schools. Features interviews with Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and Edutopia blogger, Maurice Elias.

Resolving Conflict Creatively Program
Educating the heart is teaching a skill, a tool, to help us solve problems. The RCCC program at Patrick Daly school in Brooklyn gives kids these tools, including skits and role-playing, which help them see that constructive options for resolving conflicts.

Interview with Daniel Goleman
The writer of the book Emotional Intelligence makes the case for SEL in schools, recorded at the annual CASEL conference.

Here are some articles, too:

"She Used to Be Pretty": Schoolyard Harassment Goes Online (Middle school bullying)

Fear Factor: Harassment Hurts

10 Tips for Creating a Caring School

Safe Schools Ambassadors Help Keep the Peace on Campus

Creating a Safe Place: Lessons on Managing Emotions Pay Off

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Observing young children and

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Observing young children and how they bully or are bullied by one another is amazing. The start of it begins at a very young age and a sence of fear is associated with it. Adults need to be more aware of this aggressive behavior.

Creator of Genna & Russ, The Generous Kids

Bullying has become an

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Bullying has become an epidemic in this country. We MUST focus on social emotional development at an early age. Little ones need to have the virtue of generosity instilled when they are developing. Check out this website for inexpensive tools for teachers and parents:

I feel like I was called into

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I feel like I was called into action years ago. I received a commissioning and funding ( by Tilles Center For The Performing Arts, NY and The US Dept of Justice) to “speak” to children and adolescents through art. My art is theater and music, so I wote a musical play for gr. 4-8, and then I continued to create other kinds of programs (K-8) in different formats to address SEL. I have been to 5 states Since Sept 1…. rural, suburban and urban communities. I have noticed over and over that there are significant differences between each kind of region and community. One of these differences is in how each community of children saw themselves in terms of the world. I have observed that in suburban and rural communities children were not easily able to identify themselves as bullies (or having bullying behavior). However, children in urban communities did, both willingly and overwhelmingly, see themselves as bullies. They wanted to be bullies for the power and the respect that goes along with it. Most were proud…you could see it in their stature and hear it in their voices. I have been in places where students do not know the definition of “bullying.” They are confused. They think that if a person is mean to another person one time that is bullying. Their perception is a result of the “zero tolerance” policy that’s delivered through lip service. My name is Lyle Cogen. Please come see what I do and share your thoughts. Facebook: LYLECOGEN

It’s horrible that anyone,

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It’s horrible that anyone, especially children, have to deal with bullying. As time passes, this issue isn’t getting dealt with any more effectively than when I was a kid. It’s more in the open now and being talked about more in homes and in schools, yet there seems to be nothing truly happening to stop this problem. It’s a social problem that everyone needs to address and help prevent, not just parents and teachers, as it happens everywhere and not just in schools. Here is a great article on the long lasting affects of bullying:

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