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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Good friend/bad friend chart for kids





Good friend/bad friend chart for kids

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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.

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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

RECESS - Bully - The Anti Bully Song

Recess is on a mission to STOP bullying. Listen to their song "Bully" and join Recess in their fight to change the world and make a difference. Visit to find more information on Recess and get them in your school or organizations for their "Friend's Don't Let Friends Bully Tour" an anti-bullying campaign

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13 Tips to Help Both Targets and Bullies...

If your child is the target of bullying, here are a few ideas:

Back to School Bullies: Tip 1
Talk with your child. Let them know that you can’t help them unless you know about the situation. Listen to their stories and feelings, while being non-judgemental and calm. Remember that there are always two sides to every story. Work with your child to develop solutions that make them feel comfortable.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 2
Gather information and document specifics from the incidents they describe: who was present (adults and children), what exactly happened, as well as when and where the incident took place. Ensure that your child knows there is a difference between tattling (telling with the intent of getting someone in trouble) and telling (telling with the intent of asking for help). Tell your child that you are proud that they feel comfortable enough to re-hash difficult and emotional situations with you.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 3
Don’t tell your child to ignore the bully or to learn how to fight.Encouraging your child to minimize their emotional reaction to the bully may reduce the frequency and severity of the incidents; however, ignoring a problem rarely ever makes it go away. And fighting fire with fire just makes a bigger fire.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 4
Don’t shrug the bullying behavior off as a normal part of childhood. Abuse of any kind must never be considered normal.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 5
Involve your child’s teacher and principal, but don’t rely on them to be the sole source of the solution. Simply telling the teacher does not necessarily mean the problem will be solved. Many teachers and school administrators are at just as much of a loss as you are with respect to how to handle the growing problem of bullying. All of the parties involved in bullying - targets, bullies, parents, teachers, school administrators and support staff - need to come together to find a solution. - Back to School Bullies
John Marcotte
Back to School Bullies: Tip 6
Ask about the bullying policy at your child’s school. It should define the different types of bullying (physical, verbal, relational, sexual, and cyber-bullying), and the consequences for each. It should also recognize the difference between inappropriate behavior and bullying. Bullying is chronic, frequent behavior that has, at its core, the intention to harm and intimidate. Inappropriate behavior is exhibited by all kids at one time or another, but it is not malicious or chronic. The policy should also recognize potential “hot spots” in the school environment, such as the playground, bathrooms, and hallways where bullying could potentially occur, and then detail preventive action plans for those areas in the school.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 7
Empower your child. The younger your child, the more they will benefit from things like role playing and scripts of how to respond in certain situations. Anything from “Okay, whatever you say,” and “Thanks!” to “Knock it off,” or “Please stop now,” are appropriate responses to bullies. Just ensure that your child responds with as little emotion as possible, and with as much confidence as possible. It may take a fair amount of time to see results from this tactic, so allow your child to move at their own pace in this regard.

If your child is the bully, there is also a lot you can do to be a part of the solution:

Back to School Bullies: Tip 8
Don’t deny that there is a problem. Once again, ignoring a problem rarely makes it go away, and often exacerbates it. Your child may not be entirely to blame; but he or she is definitely part of the equation, and problems can’t be solved without all parts of the equation being satisfied.
Minimizing the importance of the issue sends a message to your child that being inconsiderate of other people’s feelings is acceptable.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 9
Talk with your child. Listen to their stories and feelings. Remember that there are always two sides to every story. Document specific aspects of the behaviour so that you have the necessary information to help you and your child to work towards a solution.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 10
Encourage and model empathy. Bullies often lack the feeling of empathy. When discussing specific incidents, ask your child to put themselves in the other child’s shoes. While watching TV or a movie with your child, openly discuss what you think the characters might be feeling in certain scenes, especially ones filled with turmoil.
We must all do everything we can to ensure that our children come and go from school knowing that they are in a safe, inclusive, fair environment.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 11
Brainstorm reparations and focus on accountability. Ask your child to help you understand what they did that caused harm to another, and why they behaved in that manner. Then, work with your child to develop meaningful ways to show he or she is sorry for what they did. Simply saying sorry is not enough; they must state what they are sorry for, and what they are going to do in the future to make amends.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 12
Reduce the number of aggressive examples in your child’s life.Violent examples in today’s society can only be blamed for our children’s poor behavior if parents let those examples be their children’s babysitters. Monitor the TV programs and movies your child watches, the video games they play, and the other children they socialize with. That’s not to say that violent examples must be completely off limits; they are reality, and your child must learn to cope with them at some point. Just be sure to talk with your child about the appropriateness of such examples, and how you feel about them. This dialogue will give your child the basis from which to develop their own opinions.
Back to School Bullies: Tip 13
Find a Peer Mentor. In addition to lacking empathy, bullies also often lack social skills. Track down someone who can be, in your absence, a regular source of support for your child. They can help your child figure out socially acceptable ways of behaving.
Bullying has a huge detrimental impact on our children’s school environment. As the principal at one Edmonton school says every morning during announcements, “Everyone has the responsibility to help, and no one has the right to hurt.” We must all do everything we can to ensure that our children come and go from school knowing that they are in a safe, inclusive, fair environment. The absence of violence, fear and worry will put our children in the position of being able to concentrate on becoming confident and wise members of our society.

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Nick Vujicic - Love Without Limits - Bully Talk

My experiences with bullies left me feeling intimidated, depressed, anxious and sick to my stomach. If you know my personal story, you'll remember that most grade school days ended with tears and on one occasion led me to a failed suicide attempt. I didn't tell my parents when I was picked on because I didn't want to upset them. I thought I could handle it myself, but I was wrong. I should have told them.
As I travel around the world talking to tens of thousands of young people, it is evident that no one is immune from being bullied. This epidemic is not unique to North America. Bullying is a global issue.

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