Category Archives for Elementary school
Posted: February 9, 2016
Not since the days and months immediately after September 11 has the Muslim community faced the level of anti-Muslim bias and bullying that has been seen over the past several months. In the wake of Paris and other terrorist attacks, combined with the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a lack of information among the public about Islam, and the tendency to associate Islam with terrorism, there has been an increase in expressions and incidents
targeting the Muslim community and those who are perceived to be Muslim, such as members of the Sikh community. There has also been an increased wave of anti-Muslim sentiment in our public discourse, political rhetoric and everyday interactions. Schools have not been immune. Youth have been called, “terrorists” or “ISIS.” There have been... Continue Reading
Posted: January 14, 2016
The library is one of the safe places at school – where everyone can feel welcome and comfortable asking for advice and resources. Librarians are nurturers, caregivers and protectors.
We take this role especially seriously at our middle school, where 57 percent of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and many are transitioning to the United States from other countries. This year we emphasized that it’s possible to overcome a reputation our students may not be proud of – online and offline. We can all have second chances.
We’ve built our school as a community. As educators, we have the greatest impact on our students when we help them develop both a sense of self and community. We’ve found that a key piece of bullying prevention lies in helping students feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Our school builds many of these kinds of... Continue Reading
Posted: October 21, 2015
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.
Posted: October 14, 2015
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: September 10, 2015
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: August 6, 2015
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: May 27, 2015
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: May 12, 2015
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 ReadingPosted in Risk Factors
Posted: April 21, 2015
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 ReadingPosted in Risk Factors
Posted: April 15, 2015
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?Posted in Cyberbullying