George Lucas Educational Foundation

Bullying in the Middle School

Bullying in the Middle School

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Bullying comes in many different forms, and by middle school the damage that a bully can inflict can last for a lifetime. For some kids the bullying is an extension of that which occurred in elementary school. For others, it begins in middle school, when the differences in sizes, shapes, and personalities become more evident, gaining more attention from peers and schoolyard enemies.

For middle schoolers, the internal conflict of "Who am I? Am I the same as everyone or different from everyone?" takes on an external nature and, at times, manifests itself in bullying.

But are we doing enough to combat the different forms of bullying? Does the staff at your school know what forms bullying takes, where bullying occurs (both on and off campus), and what their role in fighting bullying is?

Are students at ease in finding an adult to confide in?

Do students really know what bullying is, or do they "suck it up" and keep quiet because it's "just the way things are?"

For that matter, do teachers feel it's just the way things are, or worse, do teachers bully as well?

What happens when the formally oppressed become the tormentors? Does that change how a school reacts to a bully?

It is our duty as teachers to look at ourselves clearly and honestly to help find answers to these questions. It is our responsibility to keep these students safe in our care as well as to help them achieve. And, let's face it, a frightened student does not an achiever make.

Join in the discussion and share your thoughts, anecdotes, and solutions.

-Heather WG

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Jamie Armin's picture
Jamie Armin
Health Science & Life Skills Middle School teacher from MA

Many students come to me about bullying and I make sure that it is dealt with. There are a number of ways to do this. Students and parents can seek help from guidance or admin. Students can also tell a teacher that he/she knows will listen and act on the info. Parents are key to helping since a lot of the bullying that occurs is happening in cyberspace and outside of school. When what happens outside of school trickles into school and affects students at school, the adults at school must step in. As a health educator, I am trying to give the kids the necessary tools and skills to deal with the bullying. "It takes a village" and it just can't all be rectified in school.

shanebravo's picture
In the world the parent-child relationship is one of the longest lasting so

Nice thoughts you can share with us and it post is 100% true. The Bullying is somewhat that will forever happen. It is something that cannot be closed, but as we produce older bullying is not as big of a deal as it is when one is in their youth years. That is my opinion the bullying has increased, and has always been a huge problem in our social order. We may not observer someone being bullied physically, but that is because bullying is now increasing through many social networking websites. This is a suicide caused from the effects of bullying.

Things to do with Kids

Jessica's picture
Building Confidence in Students, One Child at a Time

Bullying is something which every individual faces at a young age. Bullying is an activity which is wrong as it mentally disturbs a person. A student getting bullied should immediately inform his teachers, so that teachers and the school can take actions. Thus, it is the responsibility of the school to keep the students in a safe place.

Jessica's picture
Building Confidence in Students, One Child at a Time

School bullying refers to all types of bullying done on school property, whether it is peer-to-peer bullying, bullying of younger children by older children, or bullying in which a teacher is either a victim or a culprit. Keep reading for more information on school bullying.

Dr. Rob Garcia's picture
Dr. Rob Garcia
Former High School Engineering Teacher now Author and EdD

For Anti Bullying Month, I am GIVING AWAY my new book, Teen Juggernaut to any Edutopia readers that email me at, and ask for it. Its fully illustrated and has chapters on self esteem, dealing with bullies, choosing a career, doing better in school, military life, going to college for reduced or free tuition, and much more. Its written for teens 12-18. The preview can be found by typing Teen Juggernaut in the lulu website. Thanks for all you do. I only taught for five years but loved every minute.

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