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Category Archives for Elementary school

  • Posted: October 21, 2015
    Girl comforting friend.

    Throughout the year, StopBullying.gov featured a series of blog posts co-authored by bullying prevention subject matter experts at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and other key partner organizations. The series, called “Take Action Today” shared compelling and personal stories of teachers, school nurses, law enforcement officials, and others who work every day to prevent bullying in their schools and communities. The collective efforts of these groups, such as the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), Sesame Workshop and the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) are helping to create safer social climates for children and youth across the country.

    In recognition of October being Bullying Prevention Awareness month,... Continue Reading

    Posted in Prevention
  • Posted: October 14, 2015
    Melissa Mercado headshot

    Longer ago than I like to admit, I was a Puerto Rican middle school student. I remember witnessing fellow Hispanic or Latino kids endure name calling and rumor spreading nearly every day over many years. I also recall hearing about other kids being beaten up or getting physically hurt because of bullying. Personally, I experienced bullying through social isolation — hearing after the fact from my  peers about how much fun they all had at that awesome birthday party, quinceañero (Sweet 15th), movie or beach outing to which I was not invited.

    Why were my friends and I targeted? Was it because we were Hispanic? Not at all. We were all Puerto Rican kids, growing up and attending school in Puerto Rico (a U.S. territory), and being bullied by kids of our same ethnicity.

    But we were seen as... Continue Reading

    Posted in Specific Groups
  • Posted: September 10, 2015
    line graph depicting aggression levels for students grades 6 through 12

    Bullying can take many forms: hitting or pushing (physical bullying), teasing or calling others bad names (verbal bullying).  And it also involves relational forms, such as manipulating peer relationships by spreading nasty rumors, threatening to terminate friendships or excluding someone from a social group.  Students who are bullied in any of these ways may suffer from depression and anxiety, and have academic problems.  

    In the past two decades, relational aggression has received an abundance of media attention.  Books, movies and websites have portrayed girls as being cruel to one another, thus creating and reinforcing the stereotype of “mean girls.” However, this popular perception of girls being meaner than boys is not always supported by research. While data from the U.S. Department of Education shows some differences between how boys and girls experience bullying – for example, girls were more... Continue Reading

    Posted in Specific Groups
  • Posted: August 6, 2015
    Adult and children coloring with crayons

    The earlier we start, the better the outcomes. Brain scientists, educators, economists and public health experts agree that the foundation for healthy relationships begins at birth. The earlier children can adapt and develop critical social-emotional skills – like attentiveness, persistence and impulse control – the earlier they can engage in healthy social interactions with their peers.

    Given the tremendous amount of social and cognitive development that occurs from birth through age 5, it is no wonder there is a growing body of research which shows that even very young children can be at risk for bullying. Before characterizing situations among young children as “bullying,” however, it is especially critical to recognize that... Continue Reading

    Posted in Prevention
  • Posted: May 27, 2015
    Dr. Stephen West

    Bullying is tough on all kids. A few years back, I had to deal with a situation in a middle school that exemplifies this. There was a young lady who had been called terrible names on the bus for more than a month.  As her frustration and humiliation became too much, she came to school with a stick and assaulted the young man who was bullying her.  As a result, not only did the young man who was bullying her have consequences, but so she did as well because of her reactive actions. It really showed me how complex bullying can be, and the importance of encouraging students to report incidents and of addressing these issues before they escalate. If she had reached out for assistance, instead of suffering in silence then using violence to stop the bullying, there may have been a different outcome.  It’s one of... Continue Reading

    Posted in Prevention
  • Posted: May 12, 2015
    girl sitting alone on bench

    It was time for everyone in my 6th grade class to line up in the school gym for our annual weight/height measurements by the school nurse. My stomach was already churning, because, if past experiences taught me anything, I would need to brace for the bullying that would ensue after my weight was called out within earshot of my classmates.

    Sure enough, after my weight was announced, I heard laughing and whispers. In both the halls and classrooms, I was called names like “whale,” “heavy chevy” (a shortened version of my name), and “cow.”  Even my best friends called me names while we played together on the playground.

    That happened almost 40 years ago, but I can remember it plain as day, as if the words were permanently seared into my skin as reminders.

    I can also remember choking back tears all the way home and slinking upstairs to my room. I locked the door behind me and pried up a... Continue Reading

    Posted in Risk Factors
  • Posted: April 21, 2015
    Sad girl in classroom

    Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Studies suggest that this type of peer victimization is a pervasive issue — 28% of children and youth reported being bullied at school during the 2011 school year. Research since the 1990s shows that children who are bullied are more likely than their peers to develop mental and physical health problems. Now, new neurobiological research... Continue Reading

    Posted in Risk Factors
  • Posted: April 15, 2015
    Police officer speaking to school children

    More and more, law-enforcement officers are being called in to handle cases of cyberbullying among kids and teens. If you aren’t familiar with the term, cyberbullying is bullying through technology, such as computers and cell phones. You may have seen cases in the news where police were involved as part of the investigation. Is it appropriate for law enforcement to be involved in these cases? When should they leave it to parents and schools to resolve?

    When staff from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children ... Continue Reading

    Posted in Cyberbullying
  • Posted: April 2, 2015
    Big Bird changes himself to try to become a member of the “Good Birds Club” in a Sesame Street episode developed specifically to address bullying. © 2015 Sesame Workshop.  “Sesame Street” and its logo are trademarks of Sesame Workshop.  All rights reserved.

    Big Bird changes himself to try to become a member of the “Good Birds Club” in a Sesame Street episode developed specifically to address bullying. © 2015 Sesame Workshop. “Sesame Street” and its logo are trademarks of Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.

    Sesame Street has always been a destination for children and parents to laugh, learn, and grow. Over the past 45 years, the show has focused on the whole child by addressing academic skills, social, emotional, health and societal issues. Many difficult topics have been addressed through the seasons, and Sesame Street has always been there... Continue Reading

    Posted in Prevention
  • Posted: February 19, 2015
    AWOD logo

    The Anti-Defamation League’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute works with schools and communities around the country to build safe, inclusive and respectful learning environments for students of all ages. ADL developed its education program on the notion that in order to develop academic knowledge and skills, students need to be part of engaging, safe, respectful environments. Continue Reading

    Posted in Prevention


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