Monday, September 1, 2014

Coz We Can, From Beating Bullying to Random Acts of Kindness - Alex Holmes at TEDxMiltonKeynes

Alex Holmes - "Estimates suggest that half the population is bullied at some point in their lives. Bullying is alive in schools, workplaces, the media, parliament and society! 
For me it was a real issue that was affecting generations, but where to start? I figured that because young people spend an average of 11,000 hours of their lives in full time education it was so important to use this time to shape their understanding of what it means to be a community.
My talk is going to look at some of the creative techniques I adopted to change my school and community, the barriers I faced, the success and how I now want to change the world... Coz I Can!"

Alex Holmes is 24 years old, from Milton Keynes and was bullied at school when younger. As a result he has made it his mission in life to prevent this happening to others. He's received 3 Princess Diana Awards, has made his own TV advert against bullying, introduced 'Smile and Compliment days' into schools and helped young people shape the world around them. He now runs The Diana Award's Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme and is looking to create a national programme called 'Coz I Can' that will build a network of young people who take over their local areas and high streets to carry out good deeds and bridge community gaps.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kid President's Pep Talk to Teachers and Students!

Kid President's Pep Talk to Teachers and Students!

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Veteran elementary teacher Debora Gant offers tips on helping kids make friends

In time for the 2014-15 school year, veteran teacher Debora Gant went on Facebook to offer tips to parents who are worried about their child's ability to make friends. 

debora gant.jpgDebora Gant 
"I wanted to address a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of parents everywhere: Helping your child make friends!" wrote Gant, who teaches second grade and has been a Kalamazoo-area teacher for almost three decades.

"Over the years I have see parents broken-hearted, agonizing over the fact that their child reports they have no friends. No one wants a child to be friendless, or feel that they are friendless."

With her permission, here are Gant's suggestions: 

1. Talk to your child. 
You may ask a few questions like, "Who are your friends? What do you usually do on the playground during recess? Who do you play with?" If the child says, "No one," inquire further. Sometimes children "think" that they don't have friends because they engage in group games, with a lot of children participating. Other children may very well consider your child their friend! Sometimes all that is needed is a paradigm shift, so that your child "sees" that they do have friends!

2. Teach your child what it means to be a friend.
This is an interesting, but very important concept. Get a book from the library about friendship, and read it to your child. This can be a springboard for your discussion on what friends do. Friends care about each other. Friends inquire about how the other person is doing. Friends have things that they like to do together. Friends are kind to each other. Sometimes friends disagree, but they try to work it out. You may use a few of your adult relationships as examples. This will help your child to go from the general concept of friendship to more specific details about what friendship looks like. Avoid saying, "Oh, You're shy just like I am," and leaving it like that. That statement leaves the child with no hope that anything different will happen. 

3. Make suggestions.
Suggestions that may increase opportunities for friendship include, asking someone to play outside before everyone goes out. You child may say something like, "Shonda, Kevin and Mary, do you want to jump rope with me when we go out for recess? I saw that you were jumping double dutch yesterday. Could you show me how to double dutch?" Or, "Do you want to eat lunch at the same table today?" Sometimes, children who share similar interests also become friends!  Also, a buddy from the classroom could also be a good friend for recess. Table or group partners get to know each other very well, and sometimes play together outside as well. 

4. Practice at home
Role playing possible "friend making" scenarios at home may help your child build confidence to try the same thing at school!

5. Expand the definition of what a "friend" is! 
This is an important one! Your child may be only looking at the group they are in, such as children who who to school, for friends. The problem is, that sometimes if children spend a lot of time together, they depend only that group for all social interaction. That is how cliques get started, and in my opinion, there is no room for cliques in the classroom! So ask your child to explore friendships in other groups, or in other classrooms. As a teacher I intentionally "mix it up" in the classroom so children have the opportunity to get to know children who are similar and different from themselves. 

6. Talk to the teacher.
Teachers can help parents get a more complete picture of their child's day. If there are issues, a teacher can be a wonderful ally, and will talk to your child and help them make friends. Children can be moved to different places in the classroom to help them make friends easier, teachers can put students together for partner projects and so on. Please approach the matter in a positive way: "I'm concerned because Penny, says she doesn't have any friends. Have you seen any problems in the classroom?" vs, "My child doesn't have any friends, and the kids are all mean to her! What are you going to do about it?". Together any issue can be addressed.

7. Report any suspected bullying to the teacher.
If you suspect that your child is being bullied, let the teacher know immediately. Bullying is not allowed, and all children must be taught how to interact positively with others. All school districts want to protect children from bullying to the best of their ability. No one should suffer in silence.

Concludes Gant: "One of the goals of any teacher is to help children learn to develop positive relationships with peers.This is a lifelong skill that will serve them well, all the days of their lives! Have a great school year!"

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Author Paige Rawl offers tips on dealing with bullies

In sixth grade, Paige Rawl told her best friend that she was born HIV-positive. Within days her entire school knew and Rawl's life would never be the same. Cruel names fueled by ignorance and misunderstanding began to follow Rawl through the halls and it wasn't long before the stress became too much. Then Rawl took control and becoming a spokesperson for HIV, AIDS and bullying. While traveling the country and lobbying for stricter laws to prevent bullying, the now-19-year-old Rawl also took the time to write a memoir aptly named Positive — a recognition of both her HIV status and her overall attitude toward the world around her. Here, Rawl shares a list of seven tips for helping kids deal with bullies and overcome negative experiences.

1. Tell a teacher, trusted adult, or administrator
It's not right for anyone to bully for any reason, and it's not something that should be handled lightly. Telling someone about what is happening is the first step. Parents, teachers, administrators, or counselors all are there to help you. Do not worry about the bully getting revenge, the adults in your life are there to protect you. If the first person you tell doesn't listen, or dismisses your fears, tell someone else. Keep telling until someone does something about it.
2. Stand up for others
If you see someone else being bullied at school or elsewhere, then it is important to do what you can to stop it. If you feel safe in doing so, step in and tell the bully that what he or she is doing is wrong. If you don't feel safe, find an adult and tell them what's going on. Stopping the bully can quite literally save a life. That's why speaking up against this behavior, even when it isn't directed at you, is so very important.
3. Find a coping mechanism
Bullying is something that a person lives with for the rest of his or her life, and it can have long-lasting effects on the victim. Even though I was out of the (middle) school where I endured the bullying, I was most in danger from bullying during my high school years because I hadn't really dealt with what I had been through. Speaking and sharing my story became a way for me to cope with all that happened. Finding the thing that gets you through — whether it's a sport or physical activity such as dancing, a hobby you can immerse yourself in, or a counselor you can really feel comfortable unloading to — it is incredibly important to find that go-to thing that will get you through hard times.
4. Don't react to the bullies
Bullies say and do things because they are looking for a response from you. If you get upset in front of bully or you say mean things back to him or her, then the bully is getting what he or she wants. But if you just walk away and continue to live your life the way you want to live it, eventually the bully won't say or do the things he or she was doing. It is hard, and this shouldn't be the ONLY way you deal with a bully, but it can certainly be PART of an effective strategy for getting bullies to leave you alone.
5. Don't blame yourself
In the beginning, when I first began being bullied due to my HIV status, I would wonder whether I deserved what was happening. I brought myself down really low thinking that maybe somehow I did. But the truth was there was nothing wrong with me. No one deserves to be bullied for any reason — not because of what they have, or don't have, or what they look like, or what they do, or anything. HIV does not define who I am. Be proud of the person you are, despite what the bully says.
6. Find support
Pulling friends, family, and other kids that like the things you do in close around you can be a great support during hard times. Be sure you are surrounded by people you can trust, who you can talk to about what's going on and express how you feel. During the bullying that I endured, it helped to know that I had my mother there to talk to, along with close friends who were on my side. It's OK to reach out for help. If you look around, you do have people who love and care for you for who you are despite what the bully says.
7. Become an advocate
As someone who was bullied, I turned my negative experience into a positive by telling my story and speaking for those who don't yet have the courage to do so themselves. I have chosen to take a very public stand against bullying. You can, too. You can become an advocate against bullying by joining an anti-bullying group or helping to organize a bullying awareness and prevention campaign in your school or neighborhood.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Anti-Bullying tips 2014

If you know or have been told you have a habit which irritates people in your group then try to change your behaviour. Get an adult you trust to advise you.

If you are being 'picked on' for no reason at all then do not change your behaviour. Trying to please bullies will not make any difference. It is important you ask an adult for help.

If someone sticks up for you when you are being 'picked on', always say 'Thank you' to them. They deserve it.

Focus on long term goals. Think about what you want to become when you leave school.You will not have to mix with bullies forever.

If you are in a group and want to stay in, copy some aspect of the group’s behaviour, but never everything.

Learn everything you can about the bully. Try and find out why they are bullying you.Knowledge is power.

Guard your secrets carefully.

Write all events down in a diary.

Treat it as a challenge to outwit your bully

Try not to engage in fighting back either physically or verbally.

Stand and walk tall. Don't look like a victim!

Don't react aggressively and always avoid danger.

If someone stares you out, do not engage in a staring match but look them in the eye and then move your gaze somewhere else. DO NOT LOOK DOWN.

Apologize when you are genuinely in the wrong.

Tell them you don't want any trouble.

Make sure you talk to your bully in a calm way with normal volume. Don't whisper or shout.

Never react to insults if you can help it. These are only to provoke you. Tell yourself that they are only words and they cannot harm you unless you let them.

Keep yourself at a safe distance from bullies but being alone can attract attention. Try to have some company at least some of the time.

Be aware of your surroundings, i.e. your classroom. When you enter a room try and take in who is in there and where they are. Try and find somewhere you feel comfortable to sit. Be aware of where the doors are and don't isolate yourself in a corner.

See if you can join a club out of school to learn a new skill which will rebuild your confidence.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

7 things to remember...

  • You are NOT responsible for being bullied.
  • Bullying is NOT just a normal part of childhood.
  • Bullies will NOT stop if you just ignore them.
  • Talk to an adult. Parents, teachers, coaches, principals and guidance counselors really can help you.
  • Try role-playing or practicing what you might say to a bully, such as, I want you to stop now.
  • Don't fight back. Bullies are meaner than you are, and they'll beat you at their game.
  • Show confidence (even if you're not feeling it) and hold your head high.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bullying: You Are Not Alone



Bullying: You Are Not Alone

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Top Tips to deal with Trolling:

Trolling is a form of baiting online which involves sending abusive and hurtful comments across all social media platforms. It is another term used for bullying as no matter how you dress it up, it incites people to make comments to people that elicit further comments such as “go away and die” or “you are so disgusting, I hate seeing you around”. The messages are meant to cause the most distress they can and no consideration is given to the victims by the people who troll online. Trolls go to great lengths in making their messages as hurtful as they can so that the recipient of the messages sent believe and are convinced that what has been said is true. The difficulty is that most of the people who troll online send the messages anonymously and therefore makes it difficult to identify who the sender is. The person on the receiving end of these comments often feels isolated and does not tell anyone that they have been receiving such distressing messages.  

Top Tips to deal with Trolling:
  • Resist the urge to respond to abusive messages; this inflames the situation and demonstrates it has upset you
  • Do NOT delete any of the messages, save, copy or paste messages to your inbox or send to an adult for safe keeping
  • Report any incidences of trolling to the moderator on the site in which the message has been sent; as an example, if it is via Twitter, or Facebook, report it detailing exactly what has been said. The providers of the social media platforms have a legal and moral duty to protect their users  
  • Tell an adult you trust, your parents, carers, teacher, youth worker or someone you trust. It does not matter who you tell, as long as you tell someone!
  • Do not suffer alone; trolling is a form of bullying and it is inexcusable
  • Inform the school as even if it is taking place outside of school, it may be from someone in school who is known to you and could impact on you at a later date
  • Report it to the police with copies of the saved messages
  • Confide in trusted friends and if the same is happening to your friends, encourage them to report it

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Watch out, cyber-bullies: Kids have new tools to fight back


A growing number of teenagers say they've been bullied online. But now new technology is empowering kids, parents and schools to fight back against cyber-bullies. CBS News' Naomi Choy Smith reports.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Good friend/bad friend chart for kids





Good friend/bad friend chart for kids

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Ways That Being a Bystander Shows You Agree With a Bully.





Ways That Being a Bystander Shows You Agree With a Bully. Encourage kids to speak up for bullying targets not to be a bystander!

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Five things you can do to help avoid being a target for #bullying





Five things you can do to help avoid being a target for #bullying

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Classroom Idea: Friends/ Bullies 1st grade anchor chart

Classroom Idea: Friends/ Bullies 1st grade anchor chart

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20 Quotes to start the School Year!

Your words carry amazing power. So when you speak make sure you uplift someone and never put them down.

Stress Less -
Focus on the positive in your life.
Think about the good times.
Look for the opportunities in every challenge.

Always remember, that no matter how useless you think you are, you are still someone's reason to smile

Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts your life will start to change.

Find something good within your life and give every ounce of energy you have towards it. Watch how your life changes.

The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about.

Keep people in your life who truly love you, motivate you, encourage you, enhance you, and make you happy

In the end some of your biggest pains become your biggest strengths.

There's no reason to look back when you have so much to look forward to.

You are made to make a difference, so embrace every opportunity to do so.

Sometimes life will test you but remember this: When you walk up a mountain, your legs get stronger.

No matter what pain you've been through, tears will dry, broken hearts will heal, and somewhere a person who truly cares is waiting for you.

Never let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.

When times are difficult, remind yourself that no pain comes to you without a purpose.

We are made strong by the difficulties we face not by those we run from.

Perhaps strength doesn’t reside in never having been broken, but in the courage to grow strong in the broken places.

Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change.

Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.

Never get tired of doing little things for others. Sometimes, those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts

Give but don't allow yourself to be used. Love but don't allow yourself to be abused. Listen to others but don't lose your own voice.

By The Bully Blog with No comments

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


BULLY/BUDDY LESSON CHART. This would be a great pre-activity to use when starting a lesson on bullying. It would help students realize what bullying all entails and maybe make them think twice about how something so "small" could actually be very hurtful to someone else. It would be a great activity to get students talking with each other and about the issue. 

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Activity for the classroom: How to Help your Child Handle a Bully

Kids cannot be expected to respond perfectly to a bully the first time, no matter how much we talk to our kids about it. What really helps is to role play bullying situations with kids. These role plays will help you kids deal with bullies. Girl bullies and boy bullies require different techniques. Whether your child is in kindergarten, grade school, a tween or teen, these role plays will help them deal with bullying situations.

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What are your thoughts? Two Girls Arrested After One Allegedly Brags On Facebook About Cyber Bullying Suicide Victim

What are your thoughts? Two Girls Arrested After One Allegedly Brags On Facebook About Cyber Bullying Suicide Victim...

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Quote of the day

Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you.

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Abby's Story - A Bullying Story

This video shows just what can happen if you're a bully. Think before you speak. Think before you act. Bystanders, you have the most power, use it in the right way. 

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Quote of the day

Be thankful for the struggles you go through. They make you stronger and wiser. Don't let them break you. Let them make you.

By The Bully Blog with 1 comment

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