class they learn skills that they will use in life- therefore Lifeskills.) After an introductory lesson, we turn our focus to Bullying Behavior. To begin the lesson, we discuss behavior and the fact that it is learned. I then refer to bullying behavior and we discuss how it is also learned, and does not make someone who uses bullying behavior a bad person. And then I introduce what defines bullying behavior: it is behavior that is done ON PURPOSE and REPEATED. I cannot stress this enough with my students. Bullying behavior is not just
mean behavior, or something that has not been intentional. We cannot label someone who is being mean as a 'bully' unless we know that they are specifically targeting someone on purpose with the intention to hurt them. It is also determining if the person using the bullying behavior has POWER over the 'target'. My students are asked to discuss scenarios and decide if they are Bullying Behavior or Normal Conflict. For the most part, the students demonstrate that they understand the difference between true bullying behavior and normal conflict that arises between friends/classmates/peers.
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed belongings: clothes, books, jewelry, electronics
- Change in eating habits
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Not wanting to go to school
- Drop in grades/ loss of interest in schoolwork
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance or social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide.
Statistics tell us that only about one third of bullying cases are
reported. We ask ourselves why, and the answers are clear: the 'target' feels powerless and hopeless.
- Children who are bullied feel helpless. They might think they can solve it on their own, and don't want to appear weak.
- There is a fear of backlash from the student using the bullying behavior.
- They do not want adults to judge or punish them for being weak.
- The social isolation that they experience may be too overpowering and they feel no one cares.
- The fear of rejection by their peers may keep them from seeking help.