Presented by: Samantha Van Beever, Marcel
Martin and Maria Costa
Stopping Bullying in
Tough Questions for
Educators can look for signs that distinguish bullying
from friendly teasing and horseplay:
Bullying is unwanted, deliberate, persistent, and relentless,
creating a power imbalance between perpetrator's and victims.
Victim blame is a key component, and it is used to justify
social exclusion from the peer group. Victims might be
excluded for looking different; for being homosexual or
lesbian; or simply appearing to be gay. They might be teased
about their clothes, accent or appearance; or for being
intelligent, gifted and talented, or having special needs and/or
disabilities (Hoff, L. & Shariff, S. 2007).
How can an Educator tell if it is Bullying or Teasing?
• Lack of parent attention at the home,
could be due to drugs, alcohol, divorce
•Adult role model is a bully, parents
teachers, coaches are all models
•Low self esteem so bullying makes
them feel better
• lack empathy
Helping educators understand why kids are
bullies may help them understand the bully:
Media has painted an image in our minds of what a bully and
a victim should look like:
The bully is the tough, muscular jock that threatens to
beat up the scrawny nerd.
However, neither the victims nor the perpetrators of
bullying fit into any stereotypical profile.
Researches have discovered that bullies compensate for
their weaknesses and lack of confidence with aggression.
Even though kids are often targeted because of their
appearance, there is no way to characterize a victim, since
virtually anyone can become a target (Lam & Zhao, 2011).
Who is the Stereotypical Bully and Victim?
What are the most common types of
bullying educators should look for?
• Verbal – put-downs and malicious gossip
• Physical – harming someone or their
• Emotional – social shunning and sabotage
• Electronic – hurtful Internet images,
chatroom gossip, text messaging, harassing
In a study exploring high school students’ beliefs and behaviors
associated with cyberbullying, several themes emerged from the analysis,
which uncovers some important patterns (Quing, 2011):
• 15% said the situation got better
• 6% said it got worse
• Two in five students never told anyone
• Nothing changed for 40% of the students
• Only 2.1% students reported that school adults tried to help
In the same study, participants were asked if they would report the incident to a school
counselor, teacher, or administrator.
Less than 18% responded “Probably yes”,
and a staggering 80% answered “No” (Quing, 2011).
• Schools have the right to punish a student for bullying if
done on school grounds and/or interrupting class learning
•Students can be required to sign a “acceptable use policy”
agreeing to acceptable use of the internet.
•Staff members may make general inspections of school
computers and internet accounts. They may make more
specific searches of computers or accounts in cases when
they have reason to suspect content that either (a) is illegal
or (b) may provide evidence of activities that are illegal or
violate school rules (Stoel, 2011).
What are the Legal Considerations for Teachers?
• All fifty states have instituted zero-tolerance
policies against bullying. However this “one size
fits all” approach is inflexible, harsh and lacking
in common sense. What is needed are procedures
to support the policy that provide opportunities
for administrators to exercise fairness, common
sense, and sound discretion (Coloroso, 2008).
• If bullying occurs off school property and
is not interfering with classroom activities,
the school cannot impose consequences for
the student who is bullying another
What can a teacher do to
be a positive role model
•One thing that teachers can
do, yet is often hard, is focus
on the positive.
•Have open discussion in the
classroom about social
responsibility, model the discussion
and make sure to listen to all
•Give bully some leadership
responsibilities, but give them
guidance and understanding of
•Don’t give up or “get frustrated”,
often this is exactly what bullies
get from home. Give praise and
find the positive and don’t set
them up to fail.
Unfortunately, unless a bully receives help, much of
the behavior continues and ends up in a continues
cycle. Our job as educators is to help the bully so
they no longer feel the need to victimize others. “In
order to help a bully, the bully must understand that
they are emotionally wounded. They require a safe
environment in which to open up and talk about
their feelings so they can heal from their hurt and
relinquish their issues of mistrust.” (Costa and
•Managing Impulsivity – Impulsive behavior is a reaction to a
given situations without thinking thoughtfully. Bullies can be
taught to “think before they act.”
• Listening with Understanding and Empathy – Bullies can set
goals for themselves to understand others. They need help in
understanding not only those that they bully, but possibly the
adults that are bullying them.
• Think Interpedently - Bullies need to see themselves as a
part of something, and shift independent mind set to
interdependent. Realizing they are a part of a group that may
have a common goal.
What can educators do to help students solve conflict?
The following are several simple but powerful rules for turning enemies into friends you can
pass on to your students.
1. Refuse to give people the power to get you angry. Anger is the main reason we become
victims of bullying. It feels like others make us angry, but we really do it to ourselves. We get
angry because we want people to stop abusing us, but it makes them continue.
2. Give people freedom of speech. When you try to stop people from saying nasty things to you,
they continue. When you permit them, they stop. Even when they are insulting or cursing
you, respond as if they are trying to tell you something valuable.
3. Don’t be afraid. We fear enemies. Plus, fear gives people power over us, so they will continue
doing what scares us. But if we treat them like friends, we don’t need to fear them because
they won’t want to hurt us.
4. Don’t defend yourself. We defend ourselves from enemies, and we lose because the
defensive position is the weaker one, so they will continue attacking.
5. Don’t attack. Even if people attack you first, don’t retaliate. Then they’ll probably stop
attacking you. But if you retaliate, they now feel justified retaliating against you.
6. If people hurt you, let them know you are hurt, but don’t get angry. You want people to feel
bad when they hurt you. But if you get angry with them, they will get angry back. If you just
let them know how they hurt you, they will probably feel bad and apologize. If people are
mad at you, realize that it is because they feel you hurt them. So ask them how you hurt
them, and if appropriate, apologize.
7. Don’t tell on people. Getting people in trouble is one of the meanest things you can do. If you
are having a problem with people, they will like and respect you more if you talk to them
directly. Only tell when it’s an emergency or because you want to be taught how to handle
the problem on your own.
Yes! Many websites
share videos of
students standing up
Show all students parts of
everyday shows that they may
watch were bullying takes place
and discuss it, or use Meetups
where students can see all
Use Facebook to start a
“Not in Our School”
Make all students aware
of “Cyberbully Hotline.”
Have students make
movies on how they would
want to be treated at
Use school’s website to
help circulate support
materials and websites
that inform parents about
bullying and attach
website’s for students
What are some activities that can be done
with students to spread awareness
What does bullying feel like? Look
like? Sound like? Discuss in small
groups and share responses with
Activity 1: The Senses of Bullying
Draw (or obtain) a rough map of the school
and school grounds. Have students indicate
any spots where they feel unsafe. Is there
something that could be done to create a
safer environment? Who could help?
Activity 2: Hot Spots
Distribute to each student a stereotype card that has a message on it.
Students should hold their card on their forehead without looking at
it. Students interact treating each other according to the stereotype.
After five minutes, ask students to group themselves with those they
think they would hang out with. In these groups, students guess their
stereotyped character and then look at their cards. Students then
discuss how they felt about the way they were being treated.
SAMPLE CARDS: Bully – be afraid; Loner – ignore me; Popular – try to
be my friend; Loser – make fun of me; Rich – agree with me; Funny –
laugh with me; Different – laugh at me; Good looking – flirt with me;
Really nice – be my friend; etc.
Activity 3: Stereotypes
a) Trace a life-size outline of a person on paper and introduce
the students to their new “classmate.” Explain that new students
often have a difficult time fitting in.
b) Invite the students, one at a time, to say something mean to
their new classmate. Each time a mean thing is said, tear off a
piece of the paper classmate and hand it to the person who
made the comment (make sure you rip large chunks).
c) After everyone has had a chance to say something mean,
they must apologize. As they apologize, they must tape their
piece back in its proper place. When they are finished, discuss
how the student will never be quite the same even though they
apologized. They hurt their classmate’s feelings and the scars
Activity 4: “The New Student”
What would a bully-free school look
like? Feel like? Sound like? In pairs,
create a poster showing some of the
images and ideas discussed.
Activity 5: A Bully-Free School
Safe Teen: A Life Skills and Violence Prevention Program
by Anita Roberts
Offers an in depth look at issues and skills such as:
•How to access inner strength and form healthy relationships.
•The importance of building and respecting boundaries.
•How to deal with bullying and sexual harassment.
•The importance of embracing differences and understanding the
roots of racism, sexism, and homophobia.
What are some examples of programs addressing
the prevention of teen violence that have been
implemented in schools?
Personal and Social Responsibility and Mastering Anger
A two-part curriculum series for middle and high school students
These courses address the following:
• Identifying the consequences before taking action
• Recognizing the impact of the student’s actions on others
• Getting what the student wants in ways that maintain dignity
and respect for himself and others
• Mastering anger, not surrendering to it
• Resolving conflicts peacefully