• Your cart is empty.

Is it Possible to Conquer Bullying In Schools?

“Hey, half-caste! Get back to where you came from!”

I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me. With Linda, the school bully and her gang chasing me around the schoolyard, till the bell rang to go back in. The bullying went on and on, every day for months. 

I never told anyone about the bullying. I was too scared. I tried to tell my dad about the bullying,.

Bullying in Schools - my fist came out and hit her

 He said ‘Sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you. He was wrong! But one day something exploded inside of me. Instead of running away, I turned around and put out my arm to protect myself from Linda and her gang who were running to grab me. 

I didn’t realise it, but at the end of my arm, a fist had formed, and it went straight into Linda’s mouth. Wham! Blood and teeth went everywhere. “We’re gonna tell Mrs Lane, what you did. You’re gonna be in so much trouble.” They went away with Linda crying and holding her bloodied mouth.

As a teacher you can imagine this is something I never want any student in my care to experience. Let’s explore what we can do to prevent bullying or help those kids who are being bullied.

As a teacher you can imagine this is something I never want any student in my care to experience. Let’s explore what we can do to prevent bullying or help those kids who are being bullied.

Physical signs

We need to teach students to recognise and understand bullying. A student might have unexplained bruises, cuts and scratches, or they might be hungry because the bully stole their lunch.

A right solution is to set up a meeting with parents, head of the department, and the welfare coordinator. At the meeting, it’s good to discuss the issues that are affecting the student. By working with others, you can identify the time, activities, places and even people that affect the student and how to cope with them.

Try to get programs into your school that promote awareness of students on the spectrum as 63% of students bullied in schools are on the autism spectrum. Then, develop a teaching programme to help students on the spectrum, develop play and social skills. Teach all your students social skills to minimise the bullying of all students.

choolkid bullying a sad boy in corridor at school

Behavioural and Psychological Signs

Spend time with your targeted student. If there are times or areas where bullying is more likely to occur, get together with others and develop a plan for adult supervision. Breaks, movement in between lessons, bus rides or particular lessons, that are more problematic. Make a plan and work with others on how to implement it; To proactively prevent bullying in schools.

At times, detecting bullying is very difficult. A bully may harass a student by manipulating him to do things he does not want to do. The bully may tell the student “I won’t be your friend anymore unless you steal this video game”. So, teach students to know the difference between a friend and a bully. Don’t just leave it to chance and expect that every student will understand.

 

Emotional Signs

A student might seem unusually anxious, nervous, upset, unhappy, down, angry, withdrawn and secretive. Try to remind a concerned parent that these signs may not necessarily mean that their child was bullied. They could be signs of other issues like depression and withdrawal. If you and the parent/s are more concerned, consult a psychiatrist or practitioner.

 

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a relatively recent phenomenon. Research has found that students who are victims of cyber bullying were also victims of school bullying. Both types of victims tended to exhibit low levels of popularity and low self-esteem. Some victims also become bully-victims, usually in response to being bullied as a way of “fighting back” or “letting off steam”.

 

How Can we stop bullying in schools?

Establishing connections with kids is mandatory to stop bullying in schools. Building meaningful relationships will help students to share and discuss the entire problem being faced by him/her. Building a Circle of Friends for a student with ASD, to build supportive, friendly relationships is a must. In this way, you as a teacher can start to solve the problem at school. It will also help you to show parents how you are trying to minimise bullying.

Conquer bullying with communication skills

Develop students’ communication and social skills

Remember my story? Linda and her crew were going to tell Mrs Lane about me. The bell rang. We all lined up in the yard before going in for the afternoon. That’s how it was those days. Mrs Lane, the headmistress, strolled out to speak to us all. I felt like a million eyes were boring holes into my back. Everyone seemed to know what I did! Oh no!

Mrs Lane said something to us all, but somehow I wasn’t listening. I was dreading the interview with Mrs Lane. I hadn’t told anyone about the bullying accept a small mention to dad. The bell rang a second time, and Mrs Lane dismissed us. As we were heading in, suddenly, Mrs Lane was walking beside me. How did that happen? She indicated to go with her to her office and not back to class where the others were going.

We sat down, and what happened next, I couldn’t believe it. “Sylvia, we’ve been aware for some time now about Linda and her friends bullying you. We have been trying to find a way to stop it.” She said some more things which I can’t remember. Then she pronounced judgement! 

“Sylvia, we don’t condone hitting another student, but we understand the pain Linda’s provocations have caused you. You are not in trouble this time, but please don’t do it again.” – Wow! What a relief. Mrs Lane became a friend and we would meet each week for a short time. It was easy to chat together. 

After that incident, Linda never bothered me again. I tried to make friends with her when we got to high school, but she ran away from me.

 

A Practical lesson to stop bullying

A teacher named Jamie read a post about a guy called Dan who was bullied in primary school. She was so struck by the story that she decided to do something in her class about it the very next day.

2 apples to teach about bullying in schools

Jamie found a creative way to explain the damage of bullying to her students. She stopped by the shops and bought a couple of apples to take to school. Both apples were identical. 

In the morning circle, Jamie explained to the class that they were going to try something different and showed them the two apples asking them to list any differences. There were none!

Jamie held up one of the apples and said, “Gross. This apple looks disgusting” and dropped it on the floor. Jamie asked the students to join in and say more bad things about the apple. The kids were a bit shocked but well the teacher said to do it, so they joined in. 

They dropped the apple every time each one said something “I hate your skin”, “You must have worms inside you” and “You’re an ugly colour of red”. By the time the apple had gone round everyone, it didn’t look nice! Jamie then asked the kids to list the differences a second time. But there was no difference. Not on the outside that you could see.

 

Anyone for a Piece of the App?

Jamie asked if anyone wanted a piece of apple. Of course, everyone wanted a bit. Jamie cut the apples in half and asked the kids to look at the apples. On the inside, the bullied apple was bruised and mushy. In contrast, the ok apple looked nice and juicy to eat. The kids didn’t want the bullied apple. 

Jamie went on to explain “But didn’t we all make the apple look this way?! We did this, so why shouldn’t we eat it?” They all became very quiet. Jamie went on to explain how this is the way we are with each other. “We have to stop dropping each other”. 

The kids got it! Different ones came up and hugged her later to tell her that they were so happy that a teacher “got it”.

She posted about the bullying lesson on facebook and it went viral. Obviously we all want solutions.

 

Create an Activity to Conquer Bullying in Schools

Bullying in schools is still around, students are hurting, and some even turn to violence. Whenever I have a new primary class, at some point, an incident happens; just the smallest murmur of bullying. I stop and tell my story. Only the funny parts that will make them laugh. They get it, and they like that their teacher understands too.

Let’s give some creative thought, to the way we approach all our students. Please choose a subject and create a lesson that will help your students understand the pain, that will help them change their behaviour. If you do, please share your idea below or how it went with your students. 

If you need help with this or want to chat about it, please contact me.

Spread the word . . .  .

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
2 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
sylvias - avatar
About the author: 5000 Credits 10000 Credits 15000 Credits PRO Badge sylvias Visit My Stall
I am a K-12 Australian Teacher, with 25+ years of teaching experience. My Honours research investigated how teachers succeed in teaching English in a TEFL context. Originally from the UK, I lived and worked for 15 years in the Pacific Islands. During that time I was Principal of a school for 5 years, training teachers, teaching a class, and building a school from the ground up. I'm now back in Australia teaching and having fun!
2
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x