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Tips for Talking About Bully Prevention

Bullying is a sensitive, yet important topic. We want our students to be prepared, but often find ourselves at a loss for what to tell or them, or even how to handle bullying ourselves. MicheLee Puppets uses puppetry as a disarming and relate-able way to convey these messages to students in A Good Day for Pancake (K-2nd grade) and The Upstander League (3-5th grade). Here are some ways to start the conversation about bully prevention, and tactics that your student can use:

Define BULLYING:

Bullying is intentional behavior that is repeated or has the potential to be repeated. It creates a real or perceived imbalance of power and is used to harm someone and their reputation. Some examples are:

Physical Bullying Hurting someone physically such as hitting or kicking. Taking or breaking someone’s property. (Example: taking someone’s lunch)

Verbal Bullying Using words to threaten, intimidate, or humiliate someone. (Example: Give me your homework, or I’ll punch you in the face)

Social/Emotional Bullying Hurting someone’s reputation or relationships by humiliating or excluding, spreading rumors or gossip, or embarrassing him/her in public.

Cyber bullying Using a device to send hurtful or humiliating emails, texts, or social media posts.

Define ROLES in a bullying situation:

Person exhibiting bullying behavior

Person being Targeted by the bullying behavior

Bystander- someone who witnesses bullying but does nothing to stop it

Upstander- someone who witnesses bullying and does something to stop it

Discuss Tactics that Upstanders can use to stop bullying from happening:

Report the Bullying (used with each tactic): Find an adult that you trust and tell them the facts about the bullying situation: who, what, when, and where. Reporting may be done in person or in a note, which may be signed anonymously. Report until the bullying stops.

Stand Up to the Bully: Disagree with the bully, speaking up for the target. Tell the bully to stop.

Ignore the Bully (not the situation): Don’t give the bully an audience, no matter what they say. Don’t laugh or pay attention to the bully. If cyberbullying, don’t like, comment or share. Show to an adult that you trust, then delete.

 Be a Friend Include the target. When the target isn’t present, refuse to exclude or speak badly about them. Refuse to acknowledge or spread rumors.

 Get the Target Out Give the target an excuse to leave a bullying situation. (Example: The Principal needs to see you)

 Distract the Bully Do or say something that distracts the bully so that the target can get away from the situation.

Be informed. Use these resources for more information on bully prevention:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services www.Stopbullying.gov

STOMP Out Bullying www.stompoutbullying.org

Florida Department of Education www.fldoe.org/schools/safe-healthy-schools/safe-schools/bullying-prevention.stml

Click Here for The Orlando Sentinel’s article on The Upstander League

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