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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Bullying

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Bullying has been in the headlines for some time. Many school districts are addressing the issue with full force. For instance, my school district has had numerous seminars and assemblies to discuss how to handle and identify bullying. As well, we have a new no tolerance policy on bullying which includes allowing kids to report bullying anonymously with a form that can be found in every classroom. Thus far, the normal problems with bullying and hazing have started to decline. When a student dislikes behaviors of others, they will tell each other. The problems have started to remedy themselves. Even the trouble makers have committed to accepting the policy. There were less suspensions and fights as a result this past year. We even had a group of 12 sixth graders form a group called Help Michigan. The group has volunteered time to teach kids how to handle bullies, raised money to have guest speakers, tutored during lunch, and become recognized by the community. The only problem that has come to my attention is the number of tattletales produced. Kids have been informed of the differences of bullying and isolated incidents. But, it almost seems like the students want to tattle on someone in order to get attention themselves. How can I eliminate this issue?

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Hubert V. Yee's picture
Hubert V. Yee
social media and marketing manager of startup

Hi Jeff,

Having worked with "challenging" children and youth I take bullying seriously. I examine bullying on a case-by-case basis and keep watch on the students' behaviors. I look at the behavioral trends that are going on with the students and make my decisions from there. For students who need attention I usually have them assist in constructive team projects. I also evaluate their family situation.

I don't necessarily agree that bullying is on the decline but rather it has evolved. How do we track cyber bullying? How do we track bullying off school campus? As language is dynamic, what words are considered threats? Are teachers in tune with new culture? Lots of unanswered questions.

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