The issue that I chose for this project is elementary school bullying. It is not a new problem
and everyone had to deal with it at some point in their life. For a long while bullying was not
even considered a serious issue.
“Boys will be boys”
Most parents and teachers would say “boys will be boys” and think that bullying is a natural
part of growing up that everyone has to go through.
Even though it is true for most kids, who grow up to be happy individuals and forget about
that bigger older kid that made their life hell in third grade...
... Some kids are highly effected by bullying, become depressed and have a risk of developing
serious psychological disorders. A lot of bullied kids become insecure, which is not fatal, but
deﬁnitely doesn’t help out in the adult years.
Overt and aggressive
There is a pretty big difference between girl and boy bullies. Boy bullies are more overt and
Sneaky and mean
...girl bullies are usually sneaky and often times brutal. With boys bullying is usually
physical, but girls use humiliation and exclusion as their primary weapons.
Ever present cell phones
The presence of cell phones and mobile devices does not help the issue, making cyber
bullying a huge threat.
Gossip and catty behavior promoted in popular TV series does not help the issue either.
How can I help?
So how can I help?
I think that by teaching kids how to deal with bullying and abuse in elementary school,
speciﬁcally 2nd and 3d grades, I can prepare them for what awaits them in middle and high
school, where bullying is a lot more severe and aggressive.
-nice and friendly
-willing to play with other kids
-a little bit socially awkward because of her sheltered upbringing. She usually spends lunches
by herself and tends to play alone in recess.
Annie’s parents are avid environmentalists, which is a good thing.
-live in an eco-friendly house
-eat only home-made organic foods
-let their daughter play with environmentally-friendly toys only
-wear natural clothes
This, however, makes Annie stand out from the crowd and makes other kids hesitant to play
Katy, 8 1/2
-a natural leader; bossy
-wears nice clothes and has nice toys and phones
-she often has sleep-over parties where the girls are treated to expensive meals and fun
Katy’s parents arelive in a big house in the suburbs, eat out for every meal.
Give their daughter expensive toys and designer clothes to make up for the little time they
spend with her.
Annie’s vulnerability and different upbringing makes her an easy target for more popular
Katy. Katy does not allow Annie to play with her and her group of friends, making her feel
isolated. She also calls Annie names and makes fun of her. Other kids, who don’t cheer on,
simply ignore the situation because they don’t want to be bullied themselves.
There are always two sides to every story.
Even though Annie is obviously a victim, Katy is also a child crying for help.
Craving attention like any other kid and lacking it at home, Kathy tries to get it by being the
“queen bee” and torturing weaker kids. This allows her to fake the feeling of self-importance
and raises her self-esteem.
I, however, want to focus on kids like Annie, who are usually the targets of stronger, bossy
Sunflower Elementary School
For my research I went to an elementary school in Lenexa, Kansas.
This school seems to be very nurturing and provides nice healthy facilities for the students.
Something that differentiates the school from other elementaries is the ABC program, ABC
standing for Active Learning, Being Safe and Caring. You can see posters like this for every
facility in the school that describes how students should behave.
The problem, besides the use of Comic Sans, is their obviously failed location
And disengaging layout that is not interesting for a grown-up, let alone an 8-year-old kid.
Even though the school has the program, it does not seem to target the kids very efficiently
and this is something that I want to participate in.
My interviews with parents and the principal of Sunﬂower Elementary helped me ﬁnd out an
interesting fact. If a child gets bullied, but develops a friendship or has someone that will
stand up for him, the bully stops. The older kids get, however, the less they are prone to tell
on the bully.
My research showed that most students are bullied in schools. The same number of them,
however, does not stand up for another kid if they see them getting bullied.
I also found out that most bullies have a “support team” that is cheering them on and the
most common actions are name-calling and physical contact like beating.
My solution would be creating a system that will teach the kids how to differentiate between
being a tell-tale and reporting someone who is a threat to everyone’s safety.
I want it to become cool to stand up for someone. I would like it to be something that
children will be able to have with them at all times, alongside the ABC posters that should be
more engaging and interesting.