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Establish An Anti-Bullying Program

Students discuss what a bully is and identify different types of bullying they've seen. Then they create an anti-bullying program with rules for how to act, advice for younger students, guidelines for social media or ways to counter bullying through a positivity campaign.

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, define the word bully. Then tell students to think about a time they've been bullied or seen someone else being bullied. Rather than describing any incidents, ask students if they wish they'd handled the situation differently. 
  2. Point out that bullying is hard on everyone involved. Those being bullied may not know how to stick up for themselves. Those bullying may not know how to stop. And those watching may be torn between stepping in and stepping away. Tell students that the best way to deal with a stressful situation like this is to have a plan.
  3. Have students brainstorm ideas for an anti-bullying program in your school. Encourage them to discuss what the school needs and identify ways those things can be accomplished. Then have students write a clear set of guidelines for everyone to follow. If you wish, invite the school counselor to join the class as you complete this activity.

ASSESSMENT: 

Review the plan to ensure that the guidelines pertain to everyone involved—the bully, the bullied and those who observe the acts taking place. 

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:    

Grades 3-4:
Discuss bullying and write guidelines for an anti-bullying program as a class. Provide art supplies and construction paper. Encourage students to write messages to inform others about the anti-bullying plan. Post the messages throughout the school.

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Encourage each group to make a list of things they think should be included in the anti-bullying program. Inform students that bullying is a learned behavior, so they should include items that will help younger students understand what they should do, too. Rejoin as a class and have groups share their ideas. Combine ideas to create one master plan. Have students present their program to students in younger grades.  

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct groups to brainstorm ways to deal with different types of bullying they've seen, including bullying that takes place online. As they write their guidelines, encourage them to include the names of people who can help. Rejoin as a class and have groups share their ideas. Combine ideas to create one master plan. Have students post the final guidelines on social media sites. 

Grades 9-10:
Discuss bullying as a class. Then encourage students to brainstorm ideas about how to counter bullying through a positivity campaign. For example, students could create a Positivity Wall where they post messages to inspire others. Or, they could write positive messages on sticky notes and anonymously place them on other students' lockers. Provide whatever supplies are needed. Encourage students to continue the campaign throughout the school year.