Preventing bullying what teachers can do.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Preventing bullying what teachers can do.
What Teachers Can Do
First Published: April 2003
Revised: February 2004
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 2
About This Booklet…
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do provides guidelines to help school staff to
better understand and manage the problem of bullying in school settings. It was first published in
April 2003 and was revised in February 2004.
About the Author...
Jim Wright is a school psychologist who lives and works in Syracuse, NY. He
has worked for the past several years as a program developer and trainer for
the School-Based Intervention Team (SBIT) Project for the Syracuse City
School District. Jim has presented extensively to educators in the Syracuse
area, across New York State, and in other parts of the country on effective
school-based academic and behavioral interventions, Curriculum-Based
Measurement, and violence prevention. In November 2001, the New York State
Association of School Psychologists selected Jim for the “Leadership in School
You can email Jim at email@example.com
This resource guide, Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do, is protected under
U.S. Copyright and is available to educators for non-commercial use only. This document is
available solely firm the Intervention Central web site (http://www.interventioncentral.org).
Table of Contents
Bullying: What It Is & What Schools Can Do About It..................................................................3
Bullies: Turning Around Negative Behaviors..............................................................................7
Victims: Preventing Students from Becoming 'Bully-Targets'.....................................................11
Bystanders: Turning Onlookers into Bully-Prevention Agents ....................................................14
Locations: Transforming Schools from Bully-Havens to Safe Havens.........................................17
Bully Prevention Websites…………………………………………………………………………………21
Safe at School: A Game for Stopping Bullies……………………………………………………………22
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 3
Bullying: What It Is & What Schools Can Do
Q: What is school bullying?
A: School bullying can be described as a situation in which one or more students
(the ‘bullies’) single out a child (the ‘victim’) and engage in behaviors intended to
harm that child. A bully will frequently target the same victim repeatedly over time. A
child who bullies can dominate the victim because the bully possesses more power than
the victim. Compared to his or her victim, for example, the bully may be physically stronger
or more intelligent, have a larger circle of friends, or possess a higher social standing.
Bullying can inflict physical harm, emotional distress, and / or social embarrassment
Q: What conditions allow bullying to take place?
A: There are three essential components to any bullying situation. To start with,
there must be a bully: an individual who voluntarily seeks out and attempts to victimize
others. Another participant necessary for bullying to take place is a potential victim: a
student who is substantially weaker than the bully in one or more significant ways.
Bullying cannot happen, of course, unless there is also a location in which it can
occur. School locations where bullying is common are often those with limited
adult supervision, such as hallways, bathrooms, and playgrounds.
While not essential, student bystanders are a fourth important element that often impacts bullying:
if witnesses are present when bullying occurs, these bystanders can play a pivotal role by choosing
either to encourage the bully or to protect the victim.
Q: How big a problem is bullying in schools?
A: It is difficult to know precisely how widespread bullying is in any given school. Bullying tends to
be a hidden activity, and both bullies and victims are usually reluctant to disclose to adults that it is
taking place. The incidence of bullying also can vary greatly from school to school. Research
suggests, though, that 7 percent or more of students may be bullies and perhaps 10-20 percent
may be chronic victims of bullying.
Q: What are the different types of bullying?
A: Bullying can be direct or indirect. When bullying takes a direct form, the bully confronts the
victim face-to-face. Examples of direct bullying would include situations in which the victim is
verbally harassed or threatened, physically attacked (e.g., punched, kicked, pushed down), or
socially embarrassed (e.g., taunted, refused a seat on the school bus).
In the case of indirect bullying, the bully attacks the victim’s social standing or reputation—usually
when the victim is not around. A student is engaging in indirect bullying if he or she spreads
malicious gossip or writes insulting graffiti about a classmate, or organizes a peer group to
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 4
ostracize that classmate. Victims are at a particular disadvantage in indirect bullying because they
may never discover the identity of the person or group responsible for the bullying.
Q: Are there differences in bullying between boys and girls or at different age levels?
A: Some evidence suggests that a general shift from direct to indirect bullying takes place as
children advance from elementary to middle and high school. At any grade level, boys are more
likely than girls to report that they are victims of physical bullying. Schools may also tend to
overlook the possibility that girls take part in bullying, both because of gender stereotypes (i.e., that
girls are ‘less aggressive’ than boys) and because girls may prefer to bully using indirect means
such as hurtful gossip that are difficult for adults to observe.
Q: Why do some children bully? What is the ‘payoff’ for them?
A: There are several reasons that a particular student may be motivated to bully. For instance, the
bully may enjoy watching a weaker child suffer, like the increased social status that comes from
bullying, or covet the money or personal property that he or she can steal or extort from a victim.
Children who bully are likely to feel little empathy for their victims and may even feel justified in
inflicting hurt because they believe that their victims ‘deserve it.’
A common myth about bullies is that they bully others to cover up their own sense of inadequacy or
poor self-esteem. It appears that bullies actually possess levels of self-esteem that are about as
positive as those of their non-bully peers.
Q: What are the characteristics of a child who is victimized by bullies?
A: There is no single descriptive profile to help schools to identify those students who are at risk
for being targeted by bullies. One important indicator, though, is the presence or absence of friends
in a child’s life. Children who are socially isolated are easier targets for bullies because they lack a
friendship network to back them up and support them against a bully’s attacks. A second factor
that can predispose a child to be victimized is age. Older children often bully younger children.
There are also two subgroups of bully victims that to present a clearer profile: passive victims and
provocative victims. Passive victims may be physically weaker than most classmates, avoid
violence and physical horseplay, and be somewhat more anxious than their peers. Lacking
friends, these children are an easy target for bullying. Provocative victims may be both anxious
and aggressive. They may also have poor social skills and thus tend to irritate or alienate their
classmates. Bullies often take pleasure in provoking these provocative victims into an outburst
through taunts or teasing, then sit back and watch as the teacher reprimands or punishes the
victim for disrupting the class.
Q: What impact does bullying have on its victims?
A: Victims of bullying may experience problems with academics, because they are too
preoccupied with the task of avoiding the bully to concentrate the teacher’s lecture or school
assignment. They may engage in specific strategies to dodge the bully (e.g., feigning illness and
being sent to the nurse to avoid gym class) and may even develop an apparent phobia about
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Bullying can also leave a lasting imprint on its victims. Victims of bullying are often socially
marginalized to start with, having few if any friends. Unfortunately, as these children are bullied
over time, they may experience increased rejection by their peers—who blame the victims for the
suffering that they endure at the hands of the bully. In time, these victims too may come to believe
that they themselves are responsible for the bullying. Individuals who were chronically bullied as
children may show symptoms of depression and poor self-esteem as adults.
Q: What role do bystanders play in helping or preventing bullying?
A: The term ‘bystander’ suggests that those children who stand on the sidelines and witness
incidents of bullying are neutral observers. In most instances, though, bystanders are much more
likely to provide encouragement and support to the bully than they are to actively intercede to help
the victim (Snell, et al., 2002). Furthermore, in situations in which a group of students is bullying a
child, bystanders may actively join in by taunting, teasing, or ostracizing the victim.
Teachers are often surprised when they see a group of otherwise-friendly children egging on a
bully or engaging in bullying behaviors themselves. One explanation for why bystanders may
cross the line to help bullies is that, as part of a group, bystanders may feel less accountable for
their individual actions (Olweus, 1993). Another possibility is that bystanders feel justified in
bullying the victim because they have come to believe that he or she ‘deserves’ such treatment.
Q: Schools are supposed to be well-supervised settings. How could widespread bullying happen
A: Because bullying is a covert activity, adults seldom see it occurring. There are other reasons
why bullying can go unchallenged in school as well:
• School staff may misinterpret aggressive bullying as harmless physical horseplay and
therefore fail to intervene.
• When questioned by adults, victims often deny that bullying is taking place. (Victims may lie
about the bullying because the bully is present during the questioning or because they do not
believe that the adults in the school will be able to intercede effectively to make the bullying
• There may be too few supervising adults in those unstructured settings where bullying is most
likely to occur (e.g., gym class, lunch room, playground). Or those supervising adults may not
be trained to intervene early and assertively whenever they see questionable behavior
Q: What can schools do to stop bullying?
A: All segments of the school community must work together to address the problem of bullying.
This means that teachers, administrators, parents, and students need to cooperate as they assess
the scope of the bullying problem in their school and come up with ways to respond toit effectively.
While every school will adopt an approach to bully prevention that meets its unique needs, all
schools would benefit from the following guidelines (Batsche & Knoff, 1994):
• Conduct a thorough building-wide assessment to uncover the extent that bullying is a problem
in your school. Use multiple methods to collect information. Consider administering staff
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 6
surveys and anonymous student surveys, facilitating student and parent focus groups on the
topic of bullying, analyzing the pattern of student disciplinary referrals to see if bullying patterns
emerge, have adults observe and record bullying behaviors in less-supervised settings such as
the cafeteria and on the playground, etc. Pool this information to identify significant patterns of
bullying (for example, where and when bullying happens to occur most frequently; which
students appear to engage in bullying behavior and which are victimized by bullies, etc.).
• Reach consensus as a staff about how your school defines bullying and when educators
should intervene to prevent bullying from occurring. Rates of school bullying drop significantly
when all staff members are able to identify the signs of bullying and agree to intervene
consistently whenever they observe unsafe, disrespectful, or hurtful behaviors.
• Compile a ‘menu’ of appropriate consequences that educators can impose on students who
bully. This menu should include lesser consequences that might be given for minor acts of
bullying (e.g., mild teasing) and more stringent consequences for more serious or chronic
bullying (e.g., inflicting physical harm, harassing a victim for weeks). Train staff to use the
consequences-menu to ensure fairness and consistency when they intervene with bullies.
• Establish a policy for contacting the parent(s) of a student who has engaged in bullying. At the
parent conference, school staff should attempt to enlist the parent to work with them to stop the
student’s bullying. If the parent denies that a problem exists or refuses to cooperate to end the
child’s bullying behavior, the parent should be told clearly that the school will monitor the
child’s behavior closely and will take appropriate disciplinary steps if future bullying incidents
• Monitor the school’s bully-prevention efforts on an ongoing basis to see if they have in fact
reduced the amount of bullying among students and improved the emotional climate of the
building. The school can use the same monitoring methods to track progress in bully-
prevention as were first used to assess the initial seriousness of the bullying problem (e.g.,
focus groups, surveys, direct observation, tracking of disciplinary referrals). Share these
results periodically in the form of a ‘progress report’ with school staff, parents, and students to
build motivation throughout the school community for your building’s bully-prevention initiative.
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Bullies: Turning Around Negative
Bullying in school is usually a hidden problem. The teaching staff typically is
unaware of how widespread bullying is in their building and may not even recognize
the seriousness of bullying incidents that do come to their attention. Teachers who
are serious about reducing bullying behaviors must (1) assess the extent of the
bullying problem in their classrooms, (2) ensure that the class understands what
bullying is and why it is wrong, (3) confront any student engaged in bullying in a
firm but fair manner, and (4) provide appropriate and consistent consequences for bullying.
Assess the Extent of the Bullying Problem. By pooling information collected through direct
observation, conversations with other staff, and student surveys, teachers can get a good idea of
the amount and severity of bullying in their classroom. To more accurately assess bullying among
students, a teacher can do the following:
• Drop by unexpectedly to observe your class in a less-structured situation (e.g., at lunch, on the
playground). Watch for patterns of bullying by individuals or groups of students. Signs of
direct bullying could include pushing, hitting, or kicking. Also be on the lookout for prolonged
teasing, name-calling, and other forms of verbal harassment. If you should overhear students
gossiping about a classmate or see evidence that an individual has been excluded from a
group, these may well be signs of indirect bullying. Note the names of children who appear to
be instigators of bullying, as well as those who seem to be victims.
• A single teacher alone is not likely to see enough student behavior to be able to accurately pick
out bullies and victims in his or her own classroom. Ask other school staff that interact with
your students (e.g., gym teacher) whom they have may have observed bullying or being
victimized within your class or other classes in the same grade. Note the students whose
names keep coming up as suspected bullies or victims. Monitor children thought to be bullies
especially closely to ensure that they do not have opportunities to victimize other children.
• Create a simple survey on the topic of school bullying. Have your students complete this
survey anonymously. Questions to ask on the questionnaire might include “Where does
bullying happen in this school?” and “How many times have you been bullied this year?” If
your school administrator approves, you may also ask students to give the names of specific
children whom they believe are bullies.
NOTE: When administering this survey to students, you should also share with them the
names of trusted adults in the building with whom they can talk in confidence if they are
currently victims of bullying.
Ensure That the Class Understands the Definition of ‘Bullying’. Children may not always know
when their behavior crosses the line and becomes bullying. Two important goals in asserting
control over bullying are to create shared expectations for appropriate conduct and to build a
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 8
common understanding of what behaviors should be defined as ‘bullying’. To accomplish these
objectives, a teacher can:
• Hold a class meeting in which students come up with rules for appropriate behaviors. Rules
should be limited in number (no more than 3-4) and be framed in positive terms (that is, stating
what students should do instead of what they should avoid doing). Here are several sample
q Treat others with courtesy and respect.
q Make everyone feel welcome and included.
q Help others who are being bullied or picked on.
• Create a shared definition for bullying with the class by having them identify behaviors that are
‘bullying’ behaviors. List these behaviors on the board. If students focus only on examples of
direct bullying, remind them not to overlook indirect bullying (e.g., gossip, excluding others
from a group). Tell the class that when you see examples of bullying occurring, you plan to
intervene to keep the classroom a safe and friendly place to learn.
Confront Students Engaged in Bullying in a Firm But Fair Manner. When a teacher
communicates to the class that bullying will not be tolerated and then intervenes quickly and
consistently whenever he or she observes bullying taking place, that instructor sends a clear
message to students that bullying will not be tolerated.
Bullies are often quite skilled at explaining away situations in which adults have caught them
bullying. When confronted, they may say, for example, “I was just kidding around” or “Nothing
happened”--even when the evidence clearly suggests otherwise. You can avoid disputes with
students by adopting the ‘I-centered’ rule for evaluating misbehavior.
• Tell your class that it offends or bothers you when you witness certain kinds of hurtful student
behaviors (e.g., teasing, name-calling). Emphasize that when you see such behavior
occurring, you will intervene, regardless of whether the offending student meant to be hurtful.
• If you witness suspected bullying, immediately approach the child responsible, describe the
negative behavior that you witnessed, explain why that behavior is a violation of classroom
expectations, and impose a consequence (e.g., warning, apology to victim, brief timeout, loss
of privilege). Keep the conversation focused on facts of the bully’s observed behavior and do
not let the bully pull the victim into the discussion.
• If the bully’s behaviors continue despite your surveillance and intervention, impose more
severe consequences (e.g. temporary loss of playground privileges).
Here are additional tips to keep in mind when confronting students who bully:
• When you confront a student for bullying, do so in private whenever possible. A private
discussion will remove the likelihood that the confronted student will ‘play to the audience’ of
classmates and become defiant or non-compliant. If you must call a student on his or her
bullying behavior in public, do so briefly and in a business-like manner. Then arrange to have
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 9
a private discussion with the student at a later time to discuss the bullying incident in greater
• Find an adult in the school with whom the student who bullies has a close relationship. Enlist
that adult to sit down with the bully to have a ‘heart-to-heart’ talk. The adult should be willing to
discuss with the student the problems created by his or her bullying behavior, to express
disappointment with the student’s conduct and to encourage the student to stop his or her
bullying. This conference is not intended to be punitive. However, the student should feel at
the end of the talk that, while he or she is valued, the student’s bullying behavior hurts and
disappoints those who care about the student.
Provide Appropriate and Consistent Consequences for Bullying. Schools should remember
that the relationship between a bully and his or her victim is coercive in nature, and that the bully
always wields power unfairly over that victim. Strategies for addressing student conflict such as
peer mediation, therefore, tend to be ineffective in bullying situations, as the bully can always use
his or her power advantage to intimidate the victim. The most sensible disciplinary approach that
teachers can use with bullies is to make sure that they are watched carefully and that adults follow
up with firm consequences for each bullying incident. When providing consequences for bullying,
the teacher should consider these strategies:
• Assemble a list of appropriate behavioral consequences for bullying. Include lesser
consequences for isolated instances of bullying and greater consequences for chronic or more
serious bullying. Share those consequences with your class. (In fact, you may want to enlist
students to help generate items on the list!) Whenever a student is observed bullying a
classmate, intervene and apply a consequence from the list. For example, a student who
bullies during lunch might be required to spend several days seated away from his or her
friends at a supervised lunch table.
If a group or class participates in a bullying incident (e.g., children at a lunch table socially
ostracizing a new student), hold the entire group accountable and impose a disciplinary
consequence on each group member.
• If one of your students takes advantage of unsupervised trips from the room (e.g., bathroom
break) to seek out and bully other children, restrict that student’s movements by requiring that
the student be supervised by an adult at all times when out of the classroom. When you are
satisfied that the student’s behaviors have improved enough to trust him or her once again to
travel out of the room without adult supervision, let the student know that he or she is ‘on
probation’ and that you will reinstate these school ‘travel restrictions’ if you hear future reports
• When you observe a student engaging in a clear pattern of bullying, arrange a conference with
that child’s parents. At that conference, share with them the information that suggests that the
child is bullying other students. Enlist their help to stop the child’s bullying. (You will probably
want the child to attend that conference so that he or she will understand clearly that the
school is monitoring his or her bullying behavior and will impose negative consequences if it
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 10
• Develop a ‘reward chart’ for the student who bullies. Tell the student that you will put a sticker
on the student’s chart for each day that you do not receive reports from other teachers or from
students and do not directly observed bullying or ‘unkind behavior’. Let the student know that if
he or she manages to collect a certain number of stickers within a certain number of days (e.g.,
4 stickers across a 5-day period) for good behaviors, the student can redeem them for a prize
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 11
Victims: Preventing Students from
Children who are chronically bullied are often deeply unhappy in school, suffer from low
self-esteem, and often find themselves socially rejected by their classmates as a result
of the bullying. Teachers are likely to see another ‘hidden’ cost of bullying: as
students are victimized, their grades frequently suffer.
The best way for any school to assist children victimized by bullies is to adopt
a whole-school approach to bully prevention. (See the References section
at the end of this handout for information about effective school-wide
programs to stop bullying.) Even if working alone, however, teachers can
take immediate action to make life easier for children in their classroom who
are being bullied.
Take Steps to Ensure the Victim’s Safety. Victims are often physically weaker or otherwise less
powerful than the bully. They may blame themselves for the bullying and believe that adults
cannot help them to deal with the bully. When adults intervene to help a victim, they should above
all make arrangements to keep the victim safe from future bullying attacks. Consider these ideas
as a means for better understanding how seriously victims are affected by bullying in your school
or classroom and for helping these victims to stay safe in school.
• Some victims may be reluctant to come forward. Have children complete an anonymous
questionnaire that asks them if they are bullied, whether they have witnessed bullying, and
where and when bullying that they have experienced or observed took place. Act on students’
feedback by taking steps such as increasing adult supervision in locations where bullying takes
place to make them safe for all students.
• Select or create a ‘safe-room’ that is always staffed with adults (e.g., a well-supervised study-
hall, ‘drop-in’ counseling center, Resource Room). During times of the day when the student is
most likely to be targeted for bullying (e.g., lunch period), assign the student to the safe-room.
• Examine the victim’s daily schedule. For any activities where there is likely to be little adult
supervision, either make arrangements to increase that supervision or adjust the child’s
schedule to eliminate these undersupervised ‘blind spots’.
Help the Victim to Develop Positive Connections With Others. When choosing a victim, bullies
typically target children who have few or no friends. If a child has at least one significant friend in
school, he or she is less likely to be bullied –and is usually better able to cope with the effects of
bullying when it occurs. The teacher’s goal, then, is to strengthen the social standing of the victim
with classmates and other students and adults in the school. As people in the school community
develop more positive connections with the victimized student, they may be willing to intervene to
prevent the victim from being bullied. Here are ideas that may promote positive connections
between the victim and other students or adults:
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• Train socially inept children in basic social skills, such as how to invite a classmate to play a
game or to seek permission from a group of children to join in a play activity.
• Pair students off randomly for fun, interactive learning or leisure activities. These accidental
pairings give children a chance to get to know each other and can ‘trigger’ friendships.
Consider changing the seating chart periodically to foster new relationships.
• If a child receives pull-out special education services, try to avoid scheduling these services
during class free-time. Otherwise, the child loses valuable opportunities to interact with peers
and establish or strengthen social relationships.
• Enlist one or more adults in the school to spend time with the child as ‘mentors’. (Once these
adults begin to spend time with the child, they will then be likely to actively intervene if they see
the student being bullied!) Give these adults ideas for how they can structure sessions with
the student (i.e., playing board games, having lunch together, etc.) Suggest to the student that
he or she occasionally ‘invite a friend’ to these activities.
• Train staff, older student volunteers, or adult volunteers to be ‘play-helpers’. Train them to
organize and supervise high-interest children’s game and activities for indoors and outdoors.
(When possible, select games and activities that are easy to learn, can accommodate varying
numbers of players, and allow children to join in mid-activity.) Place these play-helpers on the
playground, in classrooms, in a corner of the lunchroom, or other areas where students have
unstructured free time. The play-helpers may also be encouraged to pay special attention to
those children with few friends are likely to be socially excluded, making sure that these
children are recruited to participate in organized play with adult support as needed.
Teach Assertiveness Skills. After a victim has been repeatedly bullied, he or she may find it very
difficult to ‘stand up’ to the bully. One explanation for the bully’s power over the victim is that the
bully has learned the victimized student’s vulnerabilities. If the victim then starts to resist being
bullied, the bully is emboldened to persistently attack the victim (e.g., through teasing, social
ostracism, or physical harm) until the victim is again overwhelmed and defeated. At the point
where it has become chronic, bullying can be so ingrained that only decisive adult intervention can
free the victim from this abusive relationship.
When a bully first approaches and attempts to dominate a potential victim, however, the targeted
student still has maneuvering room and may successfully fend off the bully by using basic
assertiveness skills. The bully’s goal when targeting a student is to exploit the victim’s perceived
weakness(es) in order to gain dominance over him or her. If the potential victim maintains his or
her composure, stands firm, and continues to behave appropriately even when provoked, the bully
will find that the supposed victim is not so weak as he or she first thought.
A few simple assertiveness rules that you can teach to students are to:
• Respond to taunts, insults, or teasing with a bland response (“Oh”. “That’s your opinion.”
“Maybe.”) Don’t let bullies see that they have upset you.
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• Get away from the situation if you start to get very angry.
• Say “No” firmly and loudly if you don’t want to do something that someone tells you to do.
Stand straight up and look that person in the eye when you say it.
• Refuse to let others talk you into doing something that you will be sorry for--even if they dare
• Report incidents of bullying to adults.
Be sure that your students do not confuse assertiveness with physical or verbal aggression. While
the weaker victim will likely regret aggressively attacking the bully, he or she may well be
successful by simply standing firm against the bully. And even if the potential victim is not entirely
successful when using assertiveness skills during a particular episode, that student might still
manage to stop the bullying from becoming chronic by showing the bully that he or she is not an
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 14
Bystanders: Turning Onlookers into
Most students in a classroom or school do not bully others regularly and are not
victimized by bullies. A common misconception about these student ‘bystanders’,
though, is that they typically remain neutral or try to support the victim when they
see bullying occurring. Unfortunately, the truth is that students who observe
bullying are much more likely to encourage or assist the bully than to attempt to
help the victim! With appropriate instruction and guidance, however, bystanders
can be empowered to take an active role in preventing bullying from occurring and to report
bullying to adults when it does take place.
To ‘win over’ bystanders as bully-prevention agents, the teacher should (1) make bystanders
aware that their own behavior can encourage or discourage bullying, (2) teach skills that
bystanders can use to intervene when they witness bullying, (2) hold bystanders accountable for
their behavior in bullying situations, and (4) structure classroom and schoolwide activities to
encourage bystanders to develop positive relationships with potential victims. Here are ideas for
working with student bystanders:
Train Student to Play an Active Role in Intervening in Bullying. An effective way to reduce
bullying is to teach bystanders that they can (and should) intervene to support the victim when they
witness bullying. Consider using the 4-step lesson plan below to train students to be proactive
1. Introduce the term ‘bullying’. Ask the group to come up with definitions and write these
definitions on the board. Then summarize the student contributions to compile a single
working definition for bullying. (An example of a simplified definition would be “Bullying is
when one person or group hurts another person on purpose by using mean words,
physically harming the person, or damaging their property.”)
2. Tell students that bullying hurts the entire school and that everybody has a responsibility to
help prevent it. Ask the group to brainstorm rules that the entire class can follow to
prevent bullying. Write these rules on the board. Then work with the group to condense
these ideas into a final set of rules of conduct.
NOTE: Limit the final set of rules to no more than 3-4 so that they are easy to remember.
Also, if possible, state each rule as a ‘do’ statement (e.g., “Treat others with courtesy and
respect”) rather than as a ‘don’t’ statement (e.g., “Don’t yell at or insult others.”).
A sample set of ‘anti-bullying’ rules may be:
Ø Treat others with courtesy and respect.
Ø Make everyone feel welcome and included.
Ø Help others who are being bullied or picked on.
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3. Draw a distinction for the students between ‘tattling’ and ‘telling’. Tattling is when a
student tells an adult what another student did simply to get him or her into trouble. Telling
is when a student tells an adult what another student did because that student’s actions
were unsafe or hurt another person. Say to students, “It is important that we tell adults
whenever we see something that is unsafe or hurts other people.”
4. [Optional but recommended] Invite individuals in your school who are ‘trusted adults’ (e.g.,
principal, school counselor, school psychologist, social worker, nurse) as visitors to your
classroom. Tell students that these visitors are staff members to whom students can
safely report incidents of bullying. Allow each visitor several minutes to introduce himself
or herself and to tell students how to get in touch with them to report bullying or other
issues of concern.
5. Tell students that, when they witness bullying, they should never encourage the bully or
join in the bullying. (Remind them that bystanders who egg on or help the bully are
considered to be as responsible for the bullying as the bullies themselves!) Instead,
bystanders need to take action to stop the bullying:
Ø In incidents of direct bullying, the bystander who feels safe confronting the bully
should assertively remind the bully of the classroom rules for treating others and
tell the bully to stop picking on the victim. If the bystander does not feel safe
confronting the bully, the student should tell an adult about the bullying as soon as
Ø In incidents of indirect bullying by an individual or group (e.g., malicious gossip),
the bystander should not participate in the bullying in any way. If possible, the
bystander should also point out to the individual or group that they are engaging in
bullying behavior. If the bullying persists, the student should tell an adult about the
bullying as soon as possible.
Have the group think of other positive ways that a student could respond if they witness
bullying and list those ideas on the board. (TIP: You may want to have students take the
best of these suggestions and turn them into colorful posters to be displayed in the
Hold Bystanders Accountable for Their Actions. Student onlookers need to understand that
they are responsible for their actions when they witness a bullying incident. In particular,
bystanders should know they will face negative consequences if they decide to join a bully in
taunting or teasing a victim, cheer the bully on, laugh at the bullying incident, or otherwise take part
in the bullying. (Help students to keep in mind that onlookers should side with the victim with a
phrase such as ‘Remember, bystanders should never become bullies.’)
Whenever you or another adult witness that a bystander is participating in bullying, schedule a
private conference with that student. Talk about the bullying incident and explain how the
onlooker’s actions (e.g., joining the bully in calling the victim names) were hurtful. Share your
disappointment that the student bystander had not attempted to assist the victim and point out
ways that he or she could have done so. Impose a disciplinary consequence that fairly matches
the bystander’s misbehavior.
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 16
Build ‘Bonds of Caring’ Between Bystanders and Potential Victims. When bystanders already
know, and have a positive attitude toward, a student being picked on by a bully, they are more
likely to attempt to help the victim rather than to support the bully. Here are some ideas that
teachers can use to build bonds of caring between bystanders and potential victims:
• When students transfer to a different classroom or school midyear, they may have few friends
in the new setting and therefore be an easy mark for bullies. To help these transfer students to
develop relationships more quickly, create a ‘welcome committee’ of children whose task is to
orient the new child to the school and to provide him or her with social companionship for the
first several days. For example, the welcome committee could take the child on a tour of the
school, show the student where instructional materials and supplies are stored, preview the
classroom schedule, demonstrate common classroom routines such as transitioning between
activities, and include the new arrival in playground games. While this welcome-committee
orientation would at most last only a few days, it should give the new student a head start in
building peer friendships that can protect children against bullying attacks.
• Older children often select younger children as targets for bullying. One proactive strategy to
‘energize’ student bystanders to intervene whenever they witness younger children being
bullied is to promote positive relationships between older and younger students. You might
consider assigning students to younger classrooms to serve as teacher helpers or peer tutors.
Or you might train older students to be ‘playground helpers’, organizing and refereeing games
and other outdoor activities. Or your entire class may ‘adopt’ another classroom of younger
children and participate with them in various activities. The larger lesson to remember is that
any time that you can arrange a learning or social situation in which older students interact in a
positive manner with younger children under adult supervision, you forge bonds between those
age groups and give older students a reason to wish to protect their younger counterparts from
• A subtle form of bullying can occur when children in a group or classroom decide to socially
ostracize a target child. To guard against group bullying, assign a student to serve as ‘group
ambassador’ whenever you form student groups for a learning activity. The ‘group
ambassador’ is responsible for greeting anyone who joins the group, ensures that all members
understand how they can participate in the group activities, and gives additional support and
guidance to any student who needs it. (‘Group ambassadors’ should be trained to recognize
when a student might need assistance and in how to provide that assistance in supportive,
non-intrusive ways.) In a variation of this idea, lunch aides can appoint a different student
each day to serve as a rotating ‘table ambassador’ at each cafeteria table. Again, this student
would have responsibility for welcoming other children coming to the table and for intervening if
other children attempt to bully a student.
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 17
Locations: Transforming Schools from Bully-
Havens to Safe Havens
Bullies are opportunistic, preying upon students whom they perceive as weak. Bullying cannot
take place, though, unless the bully has a setting or location in which he or she is able to exploit
and hurt the victim. The far corner of a classroom, a deserted hallway, the bathroom: these are all
locations in which bullying may happen. Places where bullying is common are frequently deserted
or poorly supervised.
The good news, though, is that when adults are present to supervise a particular
setting, intervene quickly when they witness bullying behavior, and provide fair
and appropriate consequences to the bully for his or her misbehavior, the rate
of bullying in that setting will plummet. A teacher can work with other school
staff to put locations off-limits to bullies by first identifying where bullying
most often occurs in the school and then providing increased levels of
trained adult supervision in those settings.
Uncover Bullying ‘Hot Spots’ in the School & Community. Crime analysts
note that a small handful of locations in the community often serve ‘magnets’
for crime, with multiple criminal incidents reported to police (Schmerler et al., 1998). In
schools, too, just a few locations tend to be the site of many incidents of bullying. Often, these
locations are poorly supervised. When schools identify locations where bullying typically happens,
they can take steps to make these places less attractive to bullies. Ideas that teachers can use to
discover bullying locations in and around a school are to:
• Go on a school walking tour with your class. Ask students to identify ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ areas
of the school, the times of day these areas are most safe or least safe, and the reasons that
they are safe or unsafe. Record student comments. Or hand out maps of the school’s interior
and ask students to color in red those places that are least safe and in blue those places that
are the most safe. (Also, consider asking other teachers to perform similar activities with their
classes and compare your results with theirs to see if shared or dissimilar patterns are found.)
Share these results with other members of your teaching team and your principal.
• Give students street maps of the neighborhood surrounding your school. (To make them
easier for students to interpret, clearly mark well-known landmarks such as stores or fast-food
restaurants on the maps.) Ask the class to identify any locations in the neighborhood where
bullying or other unsafe behavior tends to happen and to mark these locations on the map.
Also, ask class members to identify places in the neighborhood that tend to be more safe and
to mark those on the map as well. When the students share the results of the activity with you,
record their comments regarding both the unsafe and safe locations. Share these results with
other members of your teaching team and your principal.
NOTE: You may also want to share the information that you collect on unsafe neighborhood
locations with your School Resource Officer or a representative from your local police
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 18
department. Invite him or her to visit your classroom to give your students tips on how to stay
safe when transiting to or from school.
Put Strategies in Place to Make Locations Less Attractive to Bullies. After you have identified
locations in and around your school where bullying tends to occur, you can take simple but
effective steps to make these locations less ‘friendly’ to bullies. Among strategies to consider are
• Perhaps the most effective way to decrease bullying is to increase the level of adult
surveillance in hallways, stairwells, and other settings where bullying is frequently
reported—and during the time(s) when it is most likely to happen. You mayalso choose to
enlist older, trusted students to monitor identified locations. Adult and student monitors
should receive training about what bullying behaviors to look for and how to intervene
effectively with bullies.
• Help hallway, lunchroom, and playground monitors to learn the names of students (e.g., by
inviting them into classrooms at the start of the school year to be introduced to students).
Adults can intervene much more effectively in bullying situations when they know the
names of the children involved and their assigned classrooms.
• Separate older and younger students when they are in less-supervised settings (e.g.,
playground) to prevent older children from victimizing younger ones.
• Train non-instructional staff (e.g., lunchroom aides) to intervene promptly when they see
bullying, or suspected bullying, occurring in their areas. Work with these staff to design a
list of specific intervention strategies that are likely to be effective (e.g., set up a ‘time-out’
table in the cafeteria; after one warning, a student who bullies is sent to that table for a 5-
• Increase the ‘natural surveillance’ of areas of the school (e.g., hallways) that are
unsupervised for long periods of time by moving some whole-class or small-group
activities to these locations. For example, students can complete a learning activity on the
metric system by measuring the length of a hallway in meters. As public traffic moves
more frequently (and unpredictably) through a previously deserted area, bullies will find
fewer opportunities to pick on potential victims.
• Change your classroom layout or rearrange seating to eliminate any ‘blind spots’ where
bullies can victimize students outside of your view. Circulate frequently throughout the
classroom so that you can monitor student conversations and behavior.
• Have classrooms ‘adopt’ stretches of public space in your school (e.g., hallways) by
agreeing to help keep that space clean and to put up posters that provide positive anti-
bully messages (e.g., welcoming visitors, reminding students of appropriate behaviors,
giving pointers on how to respond assertively to a bully). When a classroom asserts
ownership over a public space, this action conveys the impression that the space is cared
for and watched over, serving as a kind of extension to the classroom itself. As the public
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 19
space ceases to be anonymous and impersonal, bullies no longer have the assurance that
they can operate in that location unseen and unnoticed.
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 20
Batsche, G.M., & Knoff, H.M. (1994). Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem
in the schools. School Psychology Review, 22, 165-174.
Doll, B. (1996). Children without friends: Implications for practice and policy. School Psychology
Review, 25, 165-183.
Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying in school: What we know and what we can do. Oxford, UK: Blackwell
Schmerler, K., Perkins, M., Phillips, S., Rinehart, T., & Townsend, M.. (1998). COPS problem-
solving tips: A guide to reducing crime and disorder through problem-solving relationships.
Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Snell, J.L., MacKenzie, E.P., & Frey, K.S. (2002). Bullying prevention in elementary schools: The
importance of adult leadership, peer group support, and student social-emotional skills. In M.A.
Shinn, H.M. Walker, & G.Stoner (Eds.) Interventions for academic and behavior problems:
Preventive and remedial approaches. (2nd ed., pp.351-372). Bethesda, MD: National
Association of School Psychologists.
US Department of Education (1998). Preventing bullying: A manual for schools and communities.
Retrieved 3 April 2003 from: http://www.cde.ca.gov/spbranch/ssp/bullymanual.htm
Recommended Bully Prevention Programs
No Bullying. From not-for-profit Hazelden.
Visit the main Hazelden site at: http://www.hazelden.org/
Go to the Hazelden online bookstore to locate No Bullying teacher manuals, etc.:
Steps to Respect: A Bully Prevention Program. For information, visit the Committee for
Children website at: http://www.cfchildren.org
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 21
Selected Bully & Violence Prevention
Websites & Internet Resources
(Updated on 03 April 03)
Early Warning, Timely Response
Safeguarding Our Children: An Action Guide
These two guides were co-produced by the US. Departments of Education and Justice. Together, they
contain valuable information on how a school can assess the degree of bullying, harassment, and
violence in the building and how the entire school community can then take proactive steps to improve
safety and reduce disrespectful or hurtful behavior.
Committee For Children (http://www.cfchildren.org/). This Seattle-based non-profit
organization produces Steps to Respect, a respected school-wide violence prevention curriculum. The
site features several well-chosen articles on school bullying and related topics.
ERIC/CASS Bullying in Schools
(http://ericcass.uncg.edu/virtuallib/bullying/bullyingbook.html). This ERIC Clearing House on
Counseling and Student Services (ERIC/CASS) page provides links to a whole library of Internet
resources to prevent or reduce school bullying. Materials are tailored to teachers, administrators, and
parents. A good starting point to research the issue of bullying!
No Bully (http://www.nobully.org.nz). Based in New Zealand, this site is co-sponsored by that
country’s national law enforcement agency. No Bully has sensible, compassionate advice for schools
on how to intervene to break the cycle of bullying. It also provides guidance to parents whose children
may be targets of bullies.
Preventing Bullying: A Manual for Schools & Communities
(http://www.cde.ca.gov/spbranch/ssp/bullymanual.htm). First published in 1998 by the US
Department of Education, this short, helpful manual gives schools specific and helpful ideas that
administrators, teachers, and parents can use to assess the seriousness of bullying in their school and
then do something positive about it. Included case studies of several districts that have dealt
successfully with bullying in their schools.
These resources were compiled by:
Jim Wright, School Psychologist
Syracuse (NY) City Schools
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 22
Purpose. ‘Safe at School’ is a game designed for 2 or more players. Players
compete against a make-believe character, the Bully. The purpose of the game
is for all players to use teamwork and their knowledge of effective bully-prevention strategies to get
at least one of their game pieces into the ‘Finish’ box--before the Bully does! This game provides
students with a fun opportunity to review essential concepts in bully prevention and also requires
teamwork to win.
Materials. You will need the following materials to play ‘Safe at School’:
• ‘Safe At School‘ game-board
• A game piece for each player & one for the (make-believe) Bully. (You can use poker chips,
coins, or other tokens as game-pieces. Just be sure that you can tell each player’s game-piece
apart from the others.)
• A pair of dice.
• Two or more players and one Game Leader
• A copy of ‘Bullying Challenge Questions’ for the Game Leader
• One or more rewards for which players must compete against the Bully
Preparation. The ‘Safe at School’ game requires that students grasp basic bully-prevention skills.
(The information that students should learn is contained in previous sections of this manual.) Prior
to playing this game, students should know how to:
• Define bullying
• Recite the classroom or school-wide rules of conduct that address appropriate interpersonal
behaviors (e.g., “Treat each other with respect.”)
• Seek out trusted adults in the school to report incidents of bullying
• Respond assertively rather than aggressively when picked on by a bully
• Take responsibility to stop (or at least to avoid encouraging) bullies when they find themselves
bystanders to bullying situations
• Intervene in bullying situations in ways that will keep them safe.
• Distinguish between ‘tattling’ and ‘telling’
• Take appropriate action when faced with a variety of possible bullying situations
Rules of the Game.
1. Each player places his or her game-piece in the ‘Start’ box.
2. During the game, players take turns throwing the dice. Each time that the dice is thrown, the
Game Leader reads off a question from the ‘Bullying Scenarios’ sheet.
• If the player answers the question correctly, that player moves his or her game piece
across the same number of spaces on the game-board as appear on the dice.
A Game for Stopping Bullies
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 23
• If the player does not answer the question correctly (despite encouragement and
support from the Game Leader), that player does not move the game piece.
The Game Leader (e.g., classroom teacher) has the final say about whether a student’s
response is acceptable. If an answer is partially correct or shows promise, the Game
Leader can encourage the student to elaborate his or her response or provide helpful
‘hints’ that lead the student to the correct answer. The ultimate point in the game, after all,
is to motivate students to review and fully understand bully-prevention concepts.
3. Whenever each of the players has taken a turn, the Game Leader then rolls the dice. This is
called the “Bully’s Throw’. The Game Leader moves the Bully’s game-piece the same number
of spaces as appear on the dice.
4. Whenever a player (including the Bully!) is lucky enough to finish his or her move on a circle
with a blue star (“Bonus Star”), the player doubles his or her dice score and moves that
additional number of spaces on the board. For example, if a player rolls a 5 on the dice and
ends up on a Bonus Star, that player doubles the dice amount and moves another 5 spaces.
NOTE: A player can use only one Bonus Star per turn.
5. The object of the game is for at least one of the players to get to the ‘Finish’ box before the
Bully does. To accomplish this goal, any player who rolls the dice and correctly answers a
bully question may choose to forgo his or her move and instead donate his or her points to
another player to help that player to catch up with or pass the Bully. Players may need to work
cooperatively to ‘beat the Bully’!
6. If at least one player beats the Bully to the ‘Finish’ box, all players earn the reward selected for
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 24
# ‘Safe at School’ Bullying Challenge Questions Acceptable response(s)
1 You walk up to two friends as they are talking and laughing
in the hallway. You realize as you approach that they are
saying very mean things about another student in your
classroom. What should you do?
• Tell your friends to stop saying
unkind things about a
• Refuse to participate in the
2 A new kid in your class walks into the crowded cafeteria and
looks around. He seems unsure about where to sit. You
don’t know him very well…but there is a seat open at the
table where you and your friends sit. What should you do?
• Invite the new student to join
3 You are on the playground and see an older student push a
smaller kid around. There are no teachers around. The
older student is a lot bigger than you. What should you do?
• Get help; tell an adult
• Band together with friends and
confront the bully (assertively,
4 Name two trusted adults that you could go to if you need to
talk with someone about bullying.
• [The student names any two
adults in school that are logical
persons to discuss bullying
5 When a student leaves the classroom to get a drink, another
student puts a tack on her seat. Several kids see this
happen, including you. Some of the kids are laughing. The
student will walk back into the classroom at any moment and
might sit on the tack. What should you do?
• Tell the student who put the
tack on the seat to remove it.
• Remove the tack yourself.
• Warn the student returning to
her seat about the tack.
• Tell an adult.
6 You are walking into school one morning and notice that
some unidentified person spray-painted graffiti on the wall
near the entrance to the building. The graffitiinsults a
student that you don’t know very well. A small group of kids
are already gathering around the graffiti and commenting on
it. What should you do?
• Join the group and tell students
that whoever wrote the graffiti
isn’t playing fair, because they
won’t take responsibility for
what they wrote.
• Help to clean the wall.
• Tell an adult.
7 If you know a student who is being picked on a lot by bullies,
what would you suggest the student should do?
• [Accept any response that
includes positive steps that the
victim can take: e.g., talk to a
trusted adult, use assertiveness
8 On the playground, you see a group of boys that you are
friends with pushing around a student from another
classroom. At first, it looks like everybody is having fun, but
then you notice that the student being pushed looks a little
scared. What should you do?
• Join the group and suggest
• Tell the group to stop picking on
• Tell an adult.
9 What are our rules for how people in this class should treat
• [Accept any response that
includes relevant classroom
rules for appropriate
interpersonal conduct: e.g.,
“Treat others with respect”, etc.]
10 During math class, you notice that students are passing a
note down the classroom row that you’re sitting in. Each
student that looks at it laughs, and then passes it on. When
• Throw away the note without
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do Copyright © 2003 Jim Wright www.interventioncentral.org 25
student that looks at it laughs, and then passes it on. When
the note gets to you, you see that it is a cartoon drawing of a
girl in the class that most kids don’t like; she is drawn to look
like a witch and her name is on the drawing. What should
• If you know who wrote the note,
approach them when you can
and tell them not to send hurtful
• Turn the note over to the
• Make an effort to be friends with
the student being picked on.
She can use your support!
11 You sit next to a boy in your class named Jerry who almost
everybody in the room finds annoying. Jerry bothers people
by humming to himself a lot, tapping on the desk with his
pencil, and squirming in his seat. Today, the teacher gives
the class a bunch of directions and Jerry is not paying
attention—as usual! Now, as the rest of the class gets to
work, Jerry looks lost and confused: He is starting to get
upset, and other kids are beginning to tease him. What
should you do?
• Quietly approach Jerry and
repeat the directions to help him
• Approach an adult and let
him/her know that Jerry needs
• Tell kids to stop picking on
12 You learn that some friends of yours plan to trick another
student into inviting them all to a party at her house--and
then not show up. They think that this will be a really funny
idea. They expect you to play along with this trick. What
should you do?
• Confront your friends and tell
them not to play this trick. Ask
them how theywould feel if
someone played a trick like this
• Refuse to play along.
• Let the victim know that she is
13 You are standing on the sidewalk in front of the school when
you see a student walk by who is from the classroom next to
yours. You yell out a joke about the student’s clothes. Even
though you were just kidding, you can see that youreally
hurt that student’s feelings a lot. Now you feel pretty bad.
What should you do?
• Approach the student and offer
an apology. And be sincere.
• In future, don’t make joking
comments that could hurt
14 You know that some kids in your school hang out in the
hallway next to the gym during lunch and sometimes hassle
students that walk by. These kids don’t mess with you but
they do like to pick on another student in your class who is
shy and keeps to herself. Both you and the shy student
need to walk past the gym to get to the cafeteria. How can
you help this shy student?
• Walk with the student to the
cafeteria; confront the bullies if
they pick on her.
• Tell an adult that bullies are
hassling students down by the
15 How would you define bullying? • [Accept any response that
includes one or more of the
following:(1) power difference
between bully and victim; (2)
chronic nature of bullying; (3)
inflicting of physical harm,
verbal harassment, emotional
abuse, or social embarrassment
16 When you walk to school, older students who walk the same
route to a nearby high school will sometimes tease you and
even slap you around. You are sick of it. What should you
• Tell an adult at school (e.g.,
School Resource Officer)
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even slap you around. You are sick of it. What should you
• Tell your parent(s)
• Take a different route to school
until the problem is taken care
17 A tough kid from another classroom walks up to you on the
playground and says that, if you don’t give him your lunch
money, he will “flatten you.” (He has never hassled you
before.) If you give up that money, though, you won’t be able
to eat lunch! What should you do?
• Use assertiveness skills (e.g.,
tell the bully “No” firmly)
• Tell an adult
• See if your teacher will let you
leave your lunch money in a
safe place in the classroom
every day until you need it.
18 One day, you walk into the classroom late because you had
a doctor’s appointment. Students are grouped at tables
doing a worksheet activity. You see an open chair next to a
friend, so you begin to walk toward it. When your ‘friend’
sees you coming, though, she puts her books on the chair to
block you from sitting there. The other kids at the table
giggle. What should you do?
• Approach the table. Politely ask
your friend to move the books
so that you can sit at the table.
If your friend refuses, calmly sit
at another table.
19 You have a few close friends in your classroom that you
spend a lot of time with. There is another group of students
in the room, though, that are always saying negative things
about you and your friends behind your back. You are
starting to get really annoyed at them. What should you do?
• Keep calm and don’t try to
retaliate by saying unkind things
about other group in retaliation.
• If the comments really bother
you, tell an adult.
20 What is the difference between‘tattling’ and ‘telling’? • Tattling is when a student
tells an adult what another
student did simply to get him
or her into trouble. Telling is
when a student tells an adult
what another student did
because that student’s
actions were unsafe or hurt
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