Reading the packet about bullying made me want to learn more about how teachers can use education to prevent bullying and what kinds of coping methods they could suggest to their students who were experience bullying. As I look for the answers to these questions I found an article by Ellen R. Delisio on EducationWorld.com (from 8/11/2005) where she interviews Stan Davis. He wrote the book Schools Where Everyone Belongs: Practical Strategies for Reducing Bullying, and believes that the most effective way to end bullying is school wide policies that combat bullies. In order to this schools need to set an enforce behavior standards that lead to feelings of safety for all, building positive staff-student relationships, supporting targets of bullying, helping bullies to find other ways to meet their needs, and finally empowering peer bystanders to act. He argues that school wide polices are less time consuming and more effective because it is a cause-effect which is standard for all incidence of bullying and lets bullies know that teachers do not like their behavior but that does not mean they are not liked. EducationWorld.com also had many powerful lessons that could be used in the classroom to allow students how their words and actions can be harmful to other students. Finally KidsHealth.com had an article about how to help children deal with bullies (from 9/2010). The article’s major suggestions included initially praising children who come forward and talk about being bullied and reassuring them that they are not do anything to deserve being bullied. Then after you know a child is being bullied the article’s advice is to walk away, hang out with other children, tell an adult who is near or in charge, maintaining a poker face (don’t let the bully see that they upset you) and finally remove any incentives for bullies to pick on them. Learning this new information I have a whole new set of questions.

Do you think bullying should/can be prevented school-wide? Do you think that lessons about bullying are worth integrating into the classroom? Should education about bullying take precedence over preparing for high-stakes testing?
Your comments: (Please put your initials in red in front of your comments. Thanks.)
AL - Bullying is going to be difficult, at best, to eliminate from schools. Kids are are emotional, especially in middles school, and they are always going to find ways to take those emotions out on each other. The entire mindset behind bullying needs to be changed, and the best way to do that is by educating students on bullying. Kids need to learn empathy, and they need to find constructive ways to deal with their emotions. I think that education about bullying has to come before testing, because if a student does not feel safe or accepted at school, there is no way he can learn to the best of his ability.
BG - I completely agree with Alex that lessons about empathy and preventing bullying in school should come before testing. I think these sorts of lessons should start earliest, and progress to broader subjects as students get older. Going back to the videos we viewed in class, incorporating these things into school can help prepare students for life outside of the classroom, which is an essential part of schooling since that's where a child spends a good portion of their earlier years of their life.
BR - I believe that this issue can be handled from two sides. While the traditional lessons of how not to be bullied should be taught in the classroom I also believe that it is important to teach lessons regarding what it means to be a bully. The objective of this lesson would be to show the bullys of the class how negatively they are viewed by their peers and how much they hurt other people. I also believe that this lesson should be taught very early on even before preperation for high-stakes testing is necessary. If these lessons are revisited at the begining of every year students will hopefully understand the negativity associated with bullying.


Sources to reference: (Please put your initials in red in front of your suggested references. Include direct links to websites and complete citing info for published works. Thanks.)